CONSTRUCTION firm Costain stepped up its pursuit of struggling rival Mouchel by unveiling a sharply higher takeover proposal.
Costain returned with a new all-share offer worth more than £150m after Mouchel’s board rejected a previous approach in December.
Costain said its offer, which is subject to a number of pre-conditions, was 27.6% higher than its previous approach and would give Mouchel shareholders a 51.7% stake in the enlarged company.
The interest comes after Mouchel’s shares hit an all-time low of 56.5p in early December – from a year high of 268p – amid concerns about Government spending cuts and as it holds talks over the refinancing of its debt pile.
Costain, which focuses on the infrastructure, environment and energy sectors, said a combination with Mouchel would create a company with a combined order book of more than £4bn.