Murray & Roberts scores $313 million worth of new mining projects

South African engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (JSE:MUR) unveiled Tuesday it had been awarded 3.7 billion rand (about $313 million) in mining projects located in sub-Saharan Africa, North America and Australasia.

The company, currently subject of a takeover bid from Germany’s ATON, said the awarded underground projects included diamond, gold, copper, salt and platinum mines. It also said they were due for delivery in two to three years.

Last week, M&R rejected ATON’s buyout offer, which considered “opportunistic” and one with poor value for shareholders.

The company, currently subject of a takeover bid from Germany’s ATON, said the awarded underground projects included diamond, gold, copper, salt and platinum mines.

ATON, a company owned by German investor Lutz Helmig, had offered to buy about 13.7 million M&R shares, increasing its stake in the company to 33.1%. It had also proposed to pen an offer to buy the remaining shares at 15 rand each.

It was the second time attempted to grab the Johannesburg-based company. Talks about a merger of the M&R’s underground mining business, known as Cementation, and a company owned by Aton in 2016, ended with no agreement.

The German company — which has a diverse portfolio of investments in the mining, engineering, aviation and health technology sectors — has a roughly 30% stake, but aims to rise it 33.1%, which is close to the level at which it must make an offer to all minority shareholders under JSE rules.

The South African firm’s underground mining division has an extensive geographic footprint, covering six continents. Its service offering spans the project value chain including specialist engineering, shaft construction, mine development, specialist-mining services, including raise boring and grouting, and contract mining.

Shares in Murray & Roberts closed up 1.45% on Tuesday to 14 rand.