French court cancels order to Sacyr to make cash bid for Eiffage

2nd April 2008, Comments 0 comments

French appeal court on Wednesday cancelled an order from the financial markets body that Spanish construction group.

   PARIS, April 2, 2008 - The French appeal court on Wednesday cancelled
an order from the financial markets body that Spanish construction group Sacyr
Vallehermoso must make a full cash takeover bid for Eiffage.
   The court also found that the terms of a different share-exchange bid by
the Spanish group did not satisfy regulations.
   Trading in shares in Eiffage, a leading French civil engineering company,
was suspended here after publication of the court's decision, and on the
Madrid market trading in stock in Sacyr Vallehermoso was also suspended.
   Later on Wednesday, trading in the shares was resumed. In Paris, Eiffage
was down 2.34 percent at 60.55 euros (38.80 dollars) while in Madrid, Sacyr
was up 4.3 percent at 23.55 euros.
   The French financial markets authority AMF had said that Sacyr Vallehermoso
had to make a full bid for Eiffage because it was acting in concert with other
Spanish interests.
   The court of appeal cancelled that part of the AMF's decision on the
manoeuvres between the two companies but also rejected an appeal by the
Spanish group seeking cancellation of a previous finding that its share-swap
terms did not satisfy regulations.
   Sacyr Vallehermoso has controlled 33.2 percent of Eiffage for nearly two
years and this has pitted the boards of the two companies against each other.
   Eiffage has succeeded in depriving some other Spanish shareholders of their
voting rights, alleging that they were acting in concert with Sacyr
   Sacyr Vallehermoso responded by launching a takeover bid based on a share
swap, but Eiffage wants to force it to make a full and open price bid which
would put a higher cash value on the business.
   In June the AMF obliged Sacyr Vallehermoso to make a cash bid at a minimum
price of 129.30 euros per share which it said was the highest price paid by
other shareholders acting in concert during the previous 12 months.
   Sacyr Vallehermoso then appealed against the AMF ruling that it had to make
a full cash offer.
   In February, European Union competition authorities cleared the proposed
bid on anti-trust grounds.


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