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Weir is linked with bid for another Finnish firm

WEIR Group has been linked with another Finnish acquisition target following its failed pursuit of Metso.

IN CHARGE: Speculation suggested Weir, headed by Keith Cochrane, was considering a bid. Picture: Gordon Terris
IN CHARGE: Speculation suggested Weir, headed by Keith Cochrane, was considering a bid. Picture: Gordon Terris

Helsinki-listed Outotec produces pumps for the mining industry and also has an industrial water treatment arm.

Market speculation suggested Weir, headed by chief executive Keith Cochrane, was mulling a bid in the region of £1.5 billion.

But Outotec said it has not been approached or received a formal proposal for a potential combination of the two companies.

It added: "Should Outotec receive these types of proposals the board of directors of Outotec would evaluate them thoroughly and issue a stock exchange release regarding the matter."

Weir Group said that it did not comment on market speculation.

Analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said a tie-up between Weir and Outotec did not make sense.

They cited a likely high cost, the potential for the Finnish state to block a deal and the fact Outotec's product mix would be of limited appeal to Weir.

That view was echoed by analysts from UBS who said: "In our view while feasible from a financial perspective, the industrial logic appears less clear.

"Outotec provides engineering services to mining companies and as such has a different business model to Weir, which sells product and then farms the aftermarket.

"We believe that the Weir management team are keen to continue an acquisitive expansion strategy but acquisitions in the unconventional oil and gas flow control segment may be more feasible."

Weir walked away from a £3.7 billion all share deal with Metso, which makes rock crushers for the mining sector and other industrial equipment, in May after its advances were rebuffed.

The Glasgow company has also been linked by some analysts with a move for IMI and Sulzer in recent months.

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