Amec will not make offer for Kentz, looks elsewhere

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - British engineer Amec (LSE:AMEC) said it will not make an offer for oil and gas construction firm Kentz (LSE:KENZ), as it continues to try to expand in Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

Amec, which provides services and equipment for the oil and gas, mining, nuclear and renewable energy sectors, had an approach for Kentz at 565 to 580 pence per share rejected last month and had until September 16 to make a formal bid.

The offer valued Kentz at around 680 million pounds, compared to a market capitalisation of 561 million pounds before news of the offer.

Kentz, which analysts suggested might be the target of a bidding war, said in a separate statement it had not received any further proposals to those from Amec and German group M+W last month.

Amec reiterated on Thursday it was still on the hunt for acquisitions and that if none were made it would consider a cash return to shareholders in the fourth quarter.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Amec Chief Executive Samir Brikho said the firm had at least a couple of targets.

"We have a pipeline of acquisition targets and you need to have at least two things to make a line - otherwise it's just a point," he said.

Brikho had been frustrated that Amec's bid had been leaked, a point which analysts at the time said would make it less likely the firm would be dragged into a bidding war.

Kentz, a FTSE 250 company, has grown rapidly since listing in 2008. Recent contract awards include building parts of the Nacala rail and port project in Mozambique and the Ichthys LNG project in Darwin, Australia.

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; editing by Keith Weir)

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