Britain and Germany in battle for Kentz

AN engineering group with oil and gas projects across the globe is the subject of a takeover tussle between British and German rivals.

Kentz Corporation said a £690m approach by engineering giant Amec undervalued it, while it has also rebuffed a lower offer from M+W Group.

London-based Amec said buying Kentz would boost its presence in the oil, gas and mining markets, and offer an attractive deal to its target’s shareholders.

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But Kentz rejected Amec’s latest approach, which valued it at between £673m and £691m, after turning down another attempt last month. It also spurned an approach from Stuttgart-based M+W, which it said was worth less than Amec’s.

Kentz employs 14,500 staff and it spans the oil and gas, chemicals, mining and metals sectors. It traces its roots back to 1919 as an electrical contractor in Tipperary, Ireland, and works on small to medium-sized projects from bases across the globe.

The company is registered in Jersey but has no central headquarters, with its management spread across the world.

Recent big projects include electrical wiring on a giant gas platform in Australia and installing a telecoms network at an oil sands project in Canada.

It said Amec’s “highly conditional and unsolicited” approach was based at 565p to 580p per share.

Amec employs around 25 staff at its Leeds office, and carries out consultancy work for clients including Yorkshire Water.