Infrastructure investor John Laing in talks with KKR for possible takeover offer

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) -John Laing Group said on Thursday it was in talks with KKR & Co Inc regarding a possible takeover offer from the private equity firm, sending the UK-based infrastructure investor’s shares up more than 18%.

John Laing, originally into construction before moving to investing in and managing greenfield infrastructure projects worldwide, said the deadline for KKR to announce a firm intention to make an offer was June 3.

KKR did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.

Shares of John Laing jumped as much as 18.5% to 376.4 pence, their highest level since January 2020, valuing the firm at about 1.86 billion pounds ($2.59 billion).

In March, the company reported a loss before tax of 65 million pounds for the year ending Dec. 31, 2020, compared with a loss of 95 million pounds a year earlier, while net asset value per share slipped to 310 pence from 337 pence.

Last month, John Laing and Macquarie Capital said they would invest 200 million pounds in retirement homes developed by McCarthy Stone to help address the undersupply of elderly accommodation in Britain.

($1 = 0.7195 pounds)

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