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A foothold in Finland

Weir Group's rough wooing of Finnish rival Metso remains on track, apparently.

Weir Group analysts RBC Capital Markets cite the Sunday Herald Business's recent story about Finland's state-owned holding company Solidium as a reason to be positive about Weir's all-share approach to Helsinki rock-crusher Metso (just one of the many things it does).

However, the brokers note that Solidium's mission is to "strengthen and stabilise Finnish ownership in nationally important companies and increase the value of its holdings in the long run". It is "also expected to continue to sell down holdings to help Finland balance its state budget", just as it did with its holding in phone and mobile network TeliaSonera last September.

RBC concludes: "On balance, we consider Weir's approach for Metso as positive, although opportunistic (in that it is close to the bottom of the cycle but offering Metso shareholders the opportunity to share significant synergies and any eventual market recovery)."

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