British construction and engineering firm Carillion today emerged as the possible bidder behind an approach for troubled rival Mowlem.
According to The Sunday Times, Carillion is in early stage talks with Mowlem over a potential bid thought to be worth 220p a share, valuing the company at £312m (€462m).
Shares in Mowlem have soared from 130p in August to 200p at the end of October, when Mowlem confirmed it had received a preliminary approach.
In a statement, Mowlem said: “The board notes the recent movement in its share price and confirms that it has received a preliminary approach which may or may not lead to an offer.
“The board wishes to stress that discussions are at a very early stage and there can be no certainty that this approach will lead to an offer for Mowlem.”
Mowlem, based in Isleworth, Middlesex, has issued four profits warnings in the last year and in September revealed it had slipped £73.4m (€108.7m) into the red.
Reports suggest that Carillion is attracted by Mowlem’s private finance initiative (PFI) portfolio, which analysts estimate to be worth up to £100m (€148m).
Among them is a contract to upgrade the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Northwood, Middlesex.
Mowlem was also behind the landmark Spinnaker Tower project at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.
Carillion, which manages London’s Royal Parks, is unlikely to have a clear run at Mowlem.
The company is thought to have been contacted by a second bidder towards the end of last week.
Both companies were unavailable for comment today.