FLSmidth outbids Weir Group for Australian mining equipment firm Ludowic

Danish engineering firm FLSmidth yesterday raised its bid for Australian mining equipment firm Ludowici to A$358 million (£244 million) trumping a rival A$294-million bid from Scottish pumps and drilling equipment maker Weir Group Plc.

FLSmidth raised its offer to one of Australia's oldest industrial firms to A$10 per share, topping an A$7.92 bid made last week by Weir Group. (See: Scotland's Weir Group launches A$294-mn takeover bid for Australia's Ludowici)

The A$10 a share offer is a whopping 286-per cent premium to Ludowici's last trading price of A$3.50 a share before FLSmidth tabled its first bid on 23 January.

Directors owning 22 per cent of the Ludowici including relatives of the founding family are supporting the offer.

FLSmidth said Ludowici's board would recommend the new offer to shareholders on condition there is no higher bid, that a final implementation agreement is reached and that independent experts find the bid in the interest of shareholders.

But Copenhagen-based FLSmidth's counter-offer appears to be controversial since it had said in its initial bid that its offer price was final and it would not be able to increase it, and Weir had made this known in its offer.