May 13, 2019 / 1:23 AM / in 9 days

Australia's Lendlease jumps on approach report, co says no bid yet

(Reuters) - Shares of Lendlease Group jumped on Monday after a media report suggested it was a takeover target, but the construction firm said it had not received any “approach”.

The Australian newspaper reported here that a Japanese suitor was potentially looking to buy Lendlease.

Lendlease shares surged 9.7% to A$13.97 by midday, its highest level in more than two months. As of Friday, the construction firm had a market value of A$7.19 billion ($5.02 billion).

The potential suitor may seek to eventually sell Lendlease in parts once it buys it as a whole, according to the paper.

In March, Reuters reported that Lendlease had hired advisers to plan the sale of its struggling engineering and services business.

Cash-rich Japanese companies have been lining up for deals in Australia, seeking exposure to an economy that has grown for nearly three decades. Nippon Paint Holdings Co Ltd proposed to buy Australia’s biggest paint maker DuluxGroup Ltd for A$3.8 billion.

($1 = 1.4316 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Gopakumar Warrier

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