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Bradken Limited jumps on renewed takeover talk: What you need to know

Mining and civil engineering contractor Bradken Limited (ASX: BKN) jumped to a two-week high on reports that it had received another takeover bid in the past two months.

Shares in Bradken jumped 2.2% to $2.27 in early trade after The Australian reported that private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) made an offer to buy the company after rival firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) teamed up with Koch Industries to make a $2.50 offer for Bradken earlier this year.

But the stock couldn’t sustain its positive momentum as it gave up early gains to trade flat in late morning trade when the market worked out that the report didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.

There were also no details on how much KKR was willing to cough up, the attaching conditions and when exactly the written offer was delivered to Bradken.

This isn’t the second time Bradken has been courted. PEP initially joined forces with Bain Capital to put a $5.10 offer for the group late last year before the private equity firms walked away after they said they couldn’t raise funds at an acceptable price to consummate the deal.

It seems every time a bidder walks away, Bradken’s share price plunges to another multi-year low.

Perhaps this is why management has become coy about reporting such approaches. The April bid by PEP and Koch was also exposed by the media and Bradken has refused to comment on today’s KKR bid.

I have highlighted Bradken on a number of occasions as a company most likely to get a “second chance” offer following Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (ASX: PRG) second stab at merging with Skilled Group Ltd. (ASX: SKE), and the sale of copper and gold miner PanAust Limited (ASX: PNA) to its persistent Chinese suitor.

We have not heard the last of the takeover saga for Bradken as the stock is trading on valuations that are hard to ignore for investors willing to look through the mining and civil construction down-cycle.

These corporate raiders will be back.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of Bradken Limited, PanAust Limited, and SKILLED Group Limited. Follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/brenlau

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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