A new suitor has emerged with a nine-figure bid for the company that brought Dundee’s first major decommissioning project.
Shares in hazardous waste firm Augean have rocketed as it emerged a rival bidder is trying to acquire the company.
Augean worked on the prominent Shell Curlew decom project at Port of Dundee for over a year.
It also has four sites in Aberdeen as well as a Peterhead facility. Its headquarters is in Wetherby.
Another offer for Augean to come?
In May, banking giant Morgan Stanley made an offer worth around £300 million for Augean. Two extensions have been granted to try to complete the deal.
Today a new offer has been made by investment firms Ancala and Fiera Infrastructure of Canada under the banner of Eleia Limited.
Their bid of 325p a share values the firm at £341.2m.
The Augean board is now recommending this higher offer for approval.
Augean share price rose 17% this morning, from 285p to 334p – beyond the new offer price.
This suggests shareholders now anticipate an improved offer from Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSIP).
Augean offer is ‘good outcome’
Jim Meredith, executive chairman of Augean, describes Ancala and Fiera Instructure as “well-respected as long-term investors in the infrastructure sector”.
He said the firms would keep Augean’s existing footprint.
In a message to investors, he added: “They will be able to support Augean’s strategy of providing the highest level of customer service and safe operations in niche and highly regulated hazardous waste markets.
“We recognise the increase in the price offered to Augean shareholders… when compared with the MSIP offer and have accordingly recommended the offer to Augean shareholders.”
Mr Meredith said the acquisition is a “good outcome for all Augean stakeholders, including our employees, our customers and the wider UK economy.”
Meanwhile, Ancala and Fiera Infrastructure both emphasise their ambitions to grow Augean.
What comes next?
Shareholders are due to receive further details of the offer in the week of September 6.
This communication will also contain the proxy forms of whether to accept the bid or not.
Huge offshore platform Curlew arrives in Dundee for decommissioning by waste management firm Augean.
A general meeting will then be held in the week of September 27.
Then, if the deal wins approval, the transaction will complete in October.
Augean provided specialised cleaning and waste management services for Shell’s floating production, storage and offloading vessel Curlew.
The vessel was at Dundee for just over a year, leaving last July.
The firm cut more than a third of its North Sea Services workforce last year.