Weir Group merger bid rejected by Finnish firm Metso

Weir Group engineer Weir Group said it still believed it had made an attractive merger proposal

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Finnish engineering firm Metso Corporation has rejected a bid by rivals Weir Group to start talks over a possible merger.

The Metso board said it had reached the "unanimous conclusion" it was not in the best interests of its shareholders.

Weir had proposed an all-share merger, under which Metso shareholders would own about 37% of the combined company.

Glasgow-based Weir said it continued to believe there was a "compelling strategic rationale" for a merger.

The proposed deal, which was announced two weeks ago by Helsinki-listed Metso, has been reported to be worth more than £3.3bn.

In a statement, Metso said it had "carefully evaluated" Weir's proposal before reaching its conclusion.

It added: "The Metso Board remains extremely positive and confident in Metso's standalone growth and value creation prospects by pursuing its current strategy.

"As a consequence, the board has rejected Weir's proposal and sees no reason to commence discussions regarding a potential combination."

'Compelling rationale'

Responding to the announcement, Weir said: "In keeping with the spirit of the merger proposal, Weir had proposed that the combined company would have a significant presence in, and a long term commitment to, Finland as well as the UK and would be listed in both Finland and the UK with full index inclusion in both countries, alongside shared management and board responsibilities.

"Weir continues to believe that there is a compelling strategic rationale for bringing the two companies together in a merger structure.

It added: "The board of Weir believes that it has made an attractive merger proposal and there is no certainty that it will revise the terms of its proposal.

"Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate."

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