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Interserve Says in Talks With Mouchel About Possible Bid

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Interserve Plc said today it is in discussions with Mouchel Group Plc. about a possible bid for the supplier of grit to London roads.

Interserve has entered into a cooperation agreement with Mouchel, the Twyford, England-based company said in a statement. Interserve’s potential proposal is a combination of cash and shares, and would be “highly attractive” to Mouchel shareholders, if made, the company said.

Mouchel, which has already rejected two offers from builder Costain Group Plc, said yesterday it is in “advanced” talks with a potential bidder, which would provide the “best option” for shareholders. Interserve said its approach is “friendly” and a merger would “accelerate the enlarged group’ international scale and reach.”

Costain sweetened an offer last month for Mouchel to about 172 million pounds ($277 million) valuing Mouchel shares at about 153.2 pence each. Mouchel’s shares rose 12 percent to 152.5 pence yesterday.

Interserve is an outsourcing and infrastructure company, which offers advice, design, construction and facilities management services in the U.K. and overseas for the public and private sectors, according to today’s statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at fflynn3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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