Scotland's Weir Group launches A$294 mn takeover bid for Australia's Ludowici

Scottish pumps and drilling equipment maker Weir Group has made an A$294 million (£200 million) takeover offer for Australian mining equipment maker Ludowici, topping an A$267 million rival bid from Danish engineering rival FLSmidth.

Glasgow-based Weir, which has recently gone on an acquisition spree, yesterday offered A$7.92 per Ludowici share, trumping a 23 January $7.20 a share offer from FLSmidth.

Based in Brisbane, Ludowici makes equipment for the mining industry. Its primary market is its home country, which accounts for about 65 per cent of it's A$212 million revenue, but also has a presence in South Africa, South America, India and China.

Sydney-listed Ludowici makes vibrating screens, centrifuges and other mining equipments that are used mainly in the coal-mining industry.

''The potential acquisition would extend Weir's offering in minerals processing and expand our exposure to the attractive and fast growing coal sector where Weir is relatively unrepresented,'' Weir's chief executive Keith Cochrane said.

Although FLSmidth is conducting due diligence and has priority as a buyer as long as it matches any higher offer, the Copenhagen-based company has yet not said whether it intends to make a counter-offer.
"We will continue our due diligence and finish it and then we will contemplate the situation," reports quoted Jesper Larsen, a spokesperson for FLSmidth, as saying.