Weir withdraws bid

SOUTHSIDE firm Weir Group has withdrawn from its bid for Australian firm, Ludowici.

The company had been in a bidding war with Danish rival FLSmidth and Co over Ludowici which would have enhanced the groups existing business interests.

Based in Brisbane, Ludowici is a leading provider of vibrating screens, centrifuges and complimentary wear-resistant products and services to the mining industry with a strong focus on coal applications.

Apart from its work in the Australian market, which accounts for 65% of revenues, Ludowici also has bases in South Africa, South America, India and China.

The Australian firm employs around 1,000 staff globally, with 450 of them being in Australia.

Weir put in a bid of A$10 million which was bettered by the Danes who submitted A$11 million.

The southside company refused to go higher and opted out of the bidding after the Australian Takeovers Panel upheld a decision by the Initial Panel with regards to actions carried out by FLSmidth.

The Danish firm had made statements in a Reuters article in January relating to its initial A$7.20 per share proposal for Ludowici Limited.

Although the Initial Panel made orders requiring FLS to compensate shareholders who could establish they suffered loss as a result of these statements, the same panel declined to make orders holding FLS to these statements.

Weir chief executive Keith Cochrane said: “Whilst Ludowici represented an attractive opportunity to expand our market-leading Australian business, our focus in any acquisition is to create value for Weir shareholders.

“A materially higher offer would not have met the rigorous financial criteria which we apply to all acquisitions”.

Although not intending to change this position, Weir has stated that they could make another proposal to Ludowici if present circumstances change.