Brunswick has already bought a 3% stake in McAlpine as a springboard for a hostile takeover.
Brunswick chief Andrew Goodall, who returned to work on Tuesday from a two-week holiday, said he would ask for a meeting with McAlpine after the contractor rebuffed his second approach for the business, which valued it at 260p a share, or £265m.
McAlpine said it would reject any offer at 260p and complained that Brunswick had failed to give satisfactory evidence that it had secured adequate funding.
But property developer Andy Ruhan, who is backing Goodall with £8m, retorted: “We don’t know what further evidence they could possibly want.”
And Goodall said: “I don’t think their concern is funding now – it’s about what the company is worth.” He also made his own complaint about access to information – due diligence procedures require access to high-level financial information about a company before a bid can be made. However, Goodall said he had been unable to make a formal bid for McAlpine until now because he had twice been denied access to the relevant data.
“You wouldn’t want to commit to buying a company of this type without some serious checking of figures,” he said.
Goodall would not rule out the option of simply continuing to buy McAlpine shares on the open market. He can acquire up to 29% of McAlpine before stock exchange rules require a full bid. “We would not rule out any method at this stage,” he said. “I would say ‘let the market decide’ because I think 260p is a fair price.”
Goodall’s bid already has the support of 12% shareholder Phillips & Drew Fund Management and US institution Tweedy Browne, which has a 6% stake.
Goodall also commented that the drop in housing stocks caused by last week’s interest rate rise might persuade more investors to sell.
He added: “We and McAlpine are still on friendly terms as far as I am concerned.”