SYDNEY, Jan 10 (Reuters) - India's Punj Lloyd Ltd,
stepped up its offer for the construction business of Macmahon
Holdings Ltd on Thursday, looking to trump a current
deal with Leighton Holdings Ltd.
Punj Lloyd unit Sembawang Australia said it would offer A$38
million ($40 million) for Macmahon's construction businesses,
including its rail business. Alternatively, it is offering to
beat Macmahon's existing A$20 million agreement with Leighton
for the construction assets, minus the rail business, by A$5
Macmahon, which is shedding its construction arm to become a
full service mining contractor, said its board was considering
Macmahon last week distanced itself from Punj Lloyd's
original approach, which did not include a dollar figure, saying
it could not offer the Indian firm due diligence due to
exclusivity arrangements with Leighton.
Macmahon said in December it planned to exit construction
and announced a deal to transfer the majority of its
construction assets to Leighton. Construction group Leighton
owns 24 percent of Macmahon, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Macmahon shares jumped as much as 5.5 percent in morning
trade on news of the revised offer and were last trading up 3.6
percent at A$0.285.
($1 = 0.9516 Australian dollars)
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Richard Pullin)