First FLSmidth (FLS), a Danish supplier of cement plants and technology, put its hand up in January to buy all of Ludowici?s shares at $7.20 cents per share.
They didn?t have to wait long before The Weir Group PLC, a Scottish minerals, oil, gas, power and industrial giant put in a better offer of $7.92 cents per share.
FLS then offered $10 per share, which set Ludowici?s pulse racing and its directors recommended that its shareholders take up the offer. The new offer values Ludowici at $295 million.
Now the story gets more involved. The Weir Group applied to the Australian Government Takeovers Panel, submitting that FLS made a last and final statement with its offer of $7.20 and it was now trying to up the ante by offering $10 per share.
Under the ?the truth in takeover? rules a bidder cannot offer a higher amount later if it has made a statement saying that there would be no more bids, which is what FLS appears to have done.
It gets better as the Takeovers Panel has come up with an interim solution, which is to allow FLS to raise its bid. In reality, the pause button has been pressed on this deal while the takeovers panel investigates and the sale can?t proceed before their finding is released.
What happens if the Takeovers Panel allows the FLS bid, will Weir make another higher offer? This story is by no means over, so watch this space.
Both FLS and Weir want Ludowici in their portfolio due to the growth in the Australian coal mining industry.