* Boskalis now holds 25.07 percent of Smit
* Says Smit complements strategy
* Smit shares up 2.9 percent, Boskalis shares down
By Aaron Gray-Block
AMSTERDAM, Feb 2 Dutch dredging group Boskalis
Westminster NV (BOSN.AS) said on Monday it might buy more shares
in Smit Internationale SMTNc.AS after a regulatory filing
showed it had upped its stake in the maritime services company.
Filings with the Dutch stock markets watchdog AFM showed on
Saturday Boskalis held a 25.07 percent stake in Smit, up from
20.01 percent. Boskalis was obligated to make the filing on Jan.
29, the filing showed.
The increased stake comes after Boskalis abandoned on Dec 4.
its takeover bid for Smit after repeated rebuffs from Smit
management. Boskalis said it would be irresponsible in the
current financial climate to buy Smit without its co-operation.
"The oil and gas sector we believe is where we want to
strengthen ourselves and some of Smit's activities fit in that
segment," Boskalis spokesman Martijn Schuttevaer said. "Whether
we will continue to buy shares -- it's possible."
Under Dutch law, the next threshold where Boskalis would
need to report its stake is 30 percent. If it crosses that
level, Boskalis would be forced to make a full offer for Smit.
"This news could fuel speculation that Boskalis would again
pursue a takeover of Smit," Rabo Securities said in a note.
Shares in Smit rose on the news of the increased stake,
trading up 2.9 percent by 0927 GMT, while Boskalis shares fell
2.6 percent compared with a 1.5 percent decline in the Amsterdam
midcap index .AMX.
Schuttevaer said the way Boskalis views Smit and how it
executes its strategy has not changed and upping the size of the
company's stake fits within that perspective.
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)