SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian management firm Transfield Services Ltd TSE.AX said on Monday it had received an indicative takeover proposal from Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial (FER.MC), valuing the company at around A$1 billion ($876 million). Ferrovial had made a conditional proposal at A$1.95 per share, a 30 percent premium to Transfield's last traded price, but a level the Transfield board said it did not believe reflected the underlying value of its shares.
"Nevertheless, the Board believes that shareholders interests are best served by conducting exploratory discussions with Ferrovial to determine whether a proposal which would deliver better value to shareholders, can be put forward," the company said in a statement.
As part of the discussions, Transfield would offer Ferrovial limited and non-exclusive due diligence, it added.
Transfield said its first quarter had experienced strong trading. The company provides operations, maintenance and construction services to a wide range of industries and employs more than 19,000 people in 10 countries.
Shares in Transfield closed on Friday at A$1.50, having risen by 68 percent this year, far outperforming the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index , which is down about 1 percent in 2014.
(1 US dollar = 1.1418 Australian dollar)
Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli