Bradken Limited surges on takeover bid: Is it an opportunity?

A second takeover approach to the embattled contractor will only put the focus on other failed ASX-listed targets. Expect more merger and acquisition activity.

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Engineering services firm Bradken Limited (ASX: BKN) has surged to a more than one-month high before confirming that it received a second takeover approach.

Shares in the embattled contractor surged 21% to $2.35 on high volume with management confirming reports that private equity firm PEP and US conglomerate Koch Industries have put in a $2.50 bid for Bradken yesterday.

Management has rejected the offer as it believes the proposal “does not represent fair value”.

I highlighted renewed corporate interest in Bradken the day before as predators could be tempted to have a second go on failed takeover targets due to their recent share price malaise.

Bradken’s refusal to engage with the suitors doesn’t change this thematic. In fact, it will only bolster interest in these second chance targets.

We have seen this in PanAust Limited (ASX: PNA) after its biggest shareholder Guangdong Rising Assets Management (GRAM) came back with a surprise takeover offer after supposedly walking away from an earlier approach in May last year.

Bradken too had received a tentative $5.10 a share takeover offer in December last year from PEP and Bain Capital but the deal couldn’t be consummated because the bidders were unable to obtain financing on acceptable terms.

It is also interesting to see Chevron’s successful sell down of its 50% stake in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) last week.

These developments put the spotlight on other failed corporate actions. This includes Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX: TEN) after Discovery pulled out of the consortium making a takeover approach, and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after Shell failed to sell its 13.6% stake in the Australian oil giant mid last year through a selective buyback.

Shares in Bradken was trading at $2.29 as it came out of the trading halt.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares in Bradken, PanAust, Caltex and Woodside. Follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/brenlau We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policyThis article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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