License article

Macmahon knocks back Sembawang

MACMAHON Holdings has formally rejected Sembawang Australia's bid to take control of the contractor's construction assets, as it seeks to draw a line under the corporate conflict.

The contractor said it would deny Sembawang's requests for access to due diligence on the basis that the proposal was not in the best interests of shareholders, due to remaining uncertainty over the bid.

''[Macmahon] requested clarification from Sembawang about its previous proposals as they remained non-binding and highly conditional,'' Macmahon said in a statement to the stock exchange late on Monday.

It said the confirmation was not forthcoming, while Sembawang argued it could not table an unconditional bid without first gaining access to Macmahon's books.

Macmahon said the proposal to sell the assets to major shareholder Leighton Holdings remained in place.

But adding to the confusion on Monday was another Sembawang letter sent to Macmahon, reiterating that a second part of its original offer, for a number of projects within Macmahon's construction business, remained valid.

Despite the latest rejection from Macmahon, Sembawang chief executive Ric Grosvenor said he would ''keep his legal options open''.

Macmahon, which is 24 per cent owned by Leighton Holdings, also took a swipe at Sembawang's decision to release private emails documenting negotiations between the two company chief executives.