Altrad launches Cape takeover offer

French industrial services provider Altrad has launched a takeover offer for Cape plc, a provider of services to the energy and natural resources sectors.

Altrad UK’s subsidiary Altrad Bidco will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Cape in a deal which will, if approved, see Cape shareholders receive 265 pence in cash for each Cape share, with the whole offer valued at around £332.3 million ($430.5 million).

The Cape directors intend unanimously to recommend that Cape shareholders accept the offer.

“The offer will provide the certainty of a cash exit for all Cape Shareholders at a level which the Cape Directors believe to be fair and reasonable, given that there remain risks and uncertainties inherent in progressing the Cape Group’s business and delivering its strategy,” the Cape director said in a statement.

The offer price represents a premium of approximately 46.2 per cent to the closing price of 181 pence per Cape Share on 6 July 2017  and a premium of approximately 31.4 per cent. to the volume-weighted average Closing Price of 202 pence per Cape Share for the 12 months ended on the same date.

According to the offer document, full acceptance of the offer will result in the payment by Altrad Bidco of up to approximately £332.3 million in cash to Cape shareholders.

 Mohed Altrad, Chairman of the Altrad Group, said: “We are very pleased to announce this proposed acquisition that is fully aligned with our growth strategy, to become the world leader in the provision of industrial services, scaffolding solutions and light construction equipment in the civil and industrial sectors.  Altrad and Cape have strong complementarity in geographic and product mix enabling the creation of a multi-disciplinary industrial services leader in key markets around the world. We believe the proposed acquisition can bring together our respective strengths to create a powerful global platform with a strong competitive edge to meet customers’ requirements.”

‘Synergies’

In 2016, Cape employed c.16,000 people working across its global operations in 23 countries and had reported revenue of £863.5 million.

In a statement on Friday, Altrad said it was yet to assess the impact the acquisition will have on the employees of the combined group, the locations of their places of business or any redeployment of fixed assets.

However, headcount cuts can be expected as the company said it had, so far, identified the potential to generate cost savings in areas where there is an overlap of functions between Altrad and Cape.

For an initial period, Altrad intends to manage all or the majority of Cape’s operations within a standalone division, continuing to deliver all Cape’s services and products while undertaking a full review and implementing cost synergies from bringing Cape into the Altrad structure.

The company will look into areas of overlap in corporate, shared services and other operational functions between Altrad and Cape, and it has said that these efforts may result in a reduction of the headcount of the “enlarged group.”

Trading strongly

Cape in June secured important contract awards in Australia and the UK. In the UK, Cape Industrial Services Limited secured two contracts to extend the Group’s longstanding relationship with BP in the UK North Sea for a further three years. These contracts have a combined estimated value in excess of £150 million.

In Australia, Cape has been hired for the provision of insulation and coatings services for the Ichthys Project Onshore LNG Facilities in Darwin, Australia.

At the time, the Cape board said the company continued to trade strongly and, with the additional benefit of the Ichthys award, “the Board now expects that the Group’s full year performance for 2017 will be materially ahead of its previous expectations.”

 

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