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Arcadis chief confident of securing Hyder

Arcadis chief executive Neil McArthur has spoken of his confidence that the company will secure Hyder Consulting following its improved offer.

The Dutch giant yesterday tabled a bid of 730p per share for Hyder, trumping Nippon Koei’s offer earlier this month of 680p per share, itself an improvement on Hyder’s original offer in July.

Nippon Koei this morning said it was considering its position and would make a further announcement in due course, sparking the possibility of a prolonged bidding war.

But McArthur said the Hyder board of directors had sent a clear message with their decision to sell their own shares to Arcadis at its current offer price.

“I can’t speak for any other player in the market,” he said when asked by NCE whether a further bid from Nippon Koei was anticipated. “I would point to the very strong signal from the board when they sold their shares.

“We believe their decision to sell their shares ahead of a full acceptance of the offer is unprecedented.”

The official offer now goes through the courts before a vote by Hyder shareholders in September.

“We are confident we have a strong and compelling offer for Hyder,” said McArthur. “We have a strategic, cultural and operating model fit; there are ample opportunities for synergies; and the senior leadership at both companies are aligned.”

The opportunity to bring Arcadis’ “range of capabilities” to the Australian market was a key driver in pursuing Hyder, McArthur said. The Dutch firm would also grow substantially in the Middle East.

Whether or not it eventually secures Hyder, Arcadis will continue to pursue acquisitions.

“We will look at merger and acquisition opportunities for companies with outstanding capabilities that are compatible with our aims and core values,” said McArthur.

NCE reported earlier this month that the acquisition of Hyder could allow Arcadis to expand into the UK infrastructure market.

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