Battle for Hyder continues

Dutch engineering firm Arcadis increases offer to $477mn

NEWS, Business, Arcadis, Hyder Consulting, Nippon Koei, Takeover

The bidding war for Hyder Consulting has intensified following an increased offer for the company by Dutch engineering group Arcadis.

It has made an offer of 730p ($12.09) per share for Hyder, valuing the firm at $477mn.

Its new offer is $27mn higher than the recent offer for the firm made by Japanese company Nippon Koei on 8 August, and is around $44mn higher than its own initial offer made on 31 July.

Arcadis said that it had secured agreements from 18.6% of Hyder shareholders to sell shares to it at this improved price, including an agreement from all of Hyder's directors.

Arcadis said that buying Hyder would be "a natural step" in its evolution towards becoming the world's biggest design and consultancy firm. The practice, which already owns project management consultancy EC Harris, said that the two firms operate in "highly complementary" geographies and that the deal would lead to greater synergies.

Hyder chief executive Ivor Catto said: "The Hyder Board and management team is delighted that Arcadis has made this increased offer. [It] represents compelling value for Hyder shareholders.

"The combined rich histories, shared values, strong strategic and cultural fit and the financial strength of the combined business make the two organisations natural partners."

Nippon Koei said that it was "considering its position and will make a further announcement in due course".

Hyder has a strong Middle East presence, with a 110-year history in the region. It has built projects such as the Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers, and is currently working on scores of Qatar infrastructure projects.

In the year to 31 March, the company had revenues of just over $500mn - $147.8mn of which was generated in the Middle East. The company employs 4,500 people worldwide.

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