Banking giant Morgan Stanley Infrastructure has been given an extension to make an offer for waste management company Augean or walk away.
Augean, which has a base in Port of Dundee, announced on Thursday that the UK Takeover Panel granted its request for a new deadline so talks can continue.
The infrastructure investment arm of global bank Morgan Stanley announced in May it was considering making an approach regarding a possible offer for the waste manager.
Under Takeover Code rules – known as “put up or shut up” – the bank was required to confirm a firm intention to make an offer for Augean or announce that it does not intend to make an offer by no later than 5pm on June 24 2021.
But with discussions still ongoing between the pair, the board of Augean was successful in requesting the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers extend the deadline by almost a month.
The new deadline for any deal being done is 5pm on July 22.
Yorkshire-headquartered Augean has a big presence in Scotland, operating from locations including Aberdeen, Dundee, Lerwick and Peterhead.
A statement from Augean on the London Stock Exchange said: “There can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer, if made.
“A further announcement will be made when appropriate. This announcement has been made with the consent of MSI.”
Augean North Sea Services hit hard
Augean brought the first major decommissioning project to Dundee. It provided specialised cleaning and waste management services for Shell’s floating production, storage and offloading vessel, Curlew.
The vessel was at Dundee for just over a year, leaving last July.
The firm cut more than a third of its North Sea Services workforce last year.
The London-listed group said the Covid-19 pandemic and associated oil price slump hit Augean North Sea Services (ANSS) harder than any of its other branches as customers reined in their decommissioning expenditure.
Revenues for ANSS dropped 36% to £22.4m in 2020 and adjusted operating profits decreased to £1.4m from £2.6m.