Port of Dundee hazardous waste firm Augean is to be sold at auction in the latest twist in an intense bidding war.
The action started in May when an arm of the banking giant Morgan Stanley made an offer worth around £300m for Augean.
Then, Eleia – a firm formed by investment businesses Ancala and Fiera Infrastructure of Canada – tabled a bid of 341m last month.
And last week, Morgan Stanley put forward an improved offer of £356m for Augean.
The firm’s board then removed its recommendation to approve the Eleia bid.
Instead, the board proposed to approve the MSI offer.
Bids and counter-bids, but no final offers
But with neither having declared their bid as final, the auction process will begin next week.
Documents announcing the auction read: “On the basis that neither MSI Bidco nor Eleia Bidco have declared their offers final, such that either offer may be further increased or otherwise revised, a competitive situation continues to exist.
“In the absence of a “no increase” statement by either MSI Bidco or Eleia Bidco prior to 5pm on September 21, the auction procedure will apply.”
The auction will consist of a maximum of five rounds, which will take place on Tuesday evening.
The bids will then be confirmed the following morning. An update is then expected to be issued to Augean shareholders.
Augean’s work at Port of Dundee
Augean brought the first major decommissioning project to Dundee.
It worked on the prominent Shell Curlew decom project at Port of Dundee for over a year.
Augean also has four sites in Aberdeen as well as a Peterhead facility. It is headquartered in Wetherby.
The firm cut more than a third of its North Sea Services workforce last year.