Share indices in the week to 26 October 2001
Like a spurned boyfriend finally getting the message, Dutch contractor Heijmans this week slunk away from its attempts to woo rival HBG.

The on-again, off-again relationship that has kept shareholders, the media and the courts busy for months was called off by Heijmans this week.

For Heijmans it seemed a match made in heaven, but as is so often the case with crushes, HBG was never as keen to get together.

HBG even tried to set up home with dredging outfit Ballast Nedam to escape Heijmans' attentions.

Heijmans' decision this week came after the courts decided that HBG had followed proper procedures for its merger plans with Ballast Nedam. HBG shareholders, angry that the company had refused to talk to Heijmans, had gone to court to force the directors to begin negotiations.

Heijmans had been determined to pursue the deal and had planned to issue an offer memorandum to HBG shareholders, but the court's decision has made that unrealistic. HBG now seem likely to push ahead with the merger with Ballast Nedam.

The court's ruling has vindicated HBG chairman Carel Jan Reigersman's decision not to continue talks with Heijmans. He had previously said he could see no justification for further negotiations.