The Hyder board initially approved a £256m approach from Dutch firm Arcadis before Nippon Koei lodged a £268.1m offer, prompting Hyder’s board to ditch the Dutch and accept the higher offer.
Arcadis subsequently increased its offer to £288m (730p per share), prompting the Hyder board to switch sides once again. Last week Arcadis further upped its offer to 750p per share, raising its valuation to £296m, to ward off any last ditch attempt by the Japanese to muscle back in.
Nippon Koei has now confirmed that it has no intention of revising the 680p per share that it put on the table on 8th August 2014.
Accordingly, Nippon Koei confirms that it will no longer proceed with its potential acquisition of Hyder and the Takeover Panel has consented to the withdrawal of its Offer.
Nippon Koei president Noriaki Hirose said: “Nippon Koei’s strategy is focused on broadening our geographic footprint and client base while providing ongoing strong customer service and delivery. While Hyder represents an attractive fit with Nippon Koei, and is clearly an excellent company, an acquisition at the current valuation level would present challenges to value enhancement for us, not least as our offer envisaged Hyder continuing to operate as a standalone division of the combined business.”
Rather graciously (in contrast to statements made in other recent takeover battles) Mr Hirose added: “We understand and regret the impact of a process such as this on the employees and customers of Hyder in particular, and wish to make it clear that we will not proceed with the acquisition now in order to minimise the ongoing uncertainty. We wish the management and employees of Hyder all the best in the future."
He concluded: “Nippon Koei retains its strategic vision to become a top tier global engineering consultancy and we will continue to investigate potential merger partners to assist us in achieving that aim.”