Metso rejects Weir’s $5.5 billion merger approach
Finnish engineering firm Metso Corporation has rejected Scottish rival Weir Group's (LON:WEIR) US$5.5bn proposal to merge, claiming the deal isn't in the best interests of its shareholders and that it remains confident of its growth prospects as a stand-alone firm.
Weir revealed earlier this month it had proposed an all-share merger to Metso that would create a group with a combined market capitalization of US$14 billion (£8.5bn).
Under the terms of the proposed deal Metso shareholders would receive 0.84 Weir shares per Metso share held, which would see the Finish firm’s shareholders owning around 37% of the combined company.
The merged entity would be listed on both the London and Helsinki Stock Exchanges.
In response to Metso’s rejection Weir said it continues to believe in the strategic rational for bringing the two companies together. However, it added that there was no certainty it would revise the terms of its original offer.
“The proposal was structured to enable the shareholders of both Metso and Weir to share in the very significant value creation that would result from material cost synergies in addition to further revenue synergies expected to be generated through the combination,” said Weir.
The all-share offer was met with a cool reception from state-owned Finnish investor Solidium, one of Metso's biggest shareholders, which is against the deal.
“We are a new company forming our own future. We’ve only been in existence for three months,” Hanna Masala, Solidium’s investment director was quoted as saying by FT.com.
The proposed multibillion-dollar marriage of the companies, which make equipment for the energy and mining industries, comes amid a recent uptick in European deal activity.