Court Rules Against Sacyr Cash Bid for Eiffage

Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso will not have to make a $12.5 billion cash takeover bid for French public works firm Eiffage, a Paris court ruled on Wednesday.

The Paris Appeals Court ruling overturned an earlier decision by the French market regulator AMF, which said Sacyr acted in concert with other shareholders to buy a third of Eiffage to try and get seats on its board.

Under the AMF's ruling, heavily indebted Sacyr could have had to pay 8 billion euros ($12.5 billion) for the rest of Eiffage -- about twice as much as it is currently worth on the market. Sacyr had appealed that decision.

Shares in Eiffage and Sacyr were suspended ahead of the French court ruling.

"It's very positive for Sacyr, of course," said Gonzalo Moros, an analyst at Ahorro Corporacion.

Sacyr, which had earlier made an all-stock bid for Eiffage, said it would make a statement about the French group later.

Under the AMF ruling, Sacyr would have had to make a cash offer to buy Eiffage at a price at least equal to the maximum price paid by the bidder or those acting with it in the year before the takeover bid -- or about 130 euros a share.

Sacyr shares closed trade on Tuesday at 22.58 euros. Eiffage closed trade at 62 euros.