Apollo gets an extra month to bid for Wood Group

Private equity firm Apollo Global was given another month to make a bid for John Wood Group

  • Apollo now has until April 19 to announce a ‘firm intention’ to make a bid
  • Wood Group’s board has so far rejected three takeover bids from Apollo
  • The bids for Wood come amid a wave of takeovers from London-listed companies

Apollo Global Management has been given four weeks to come up with a takeover proposal for engineering services company John Wood Group.

The private equity giant had until next Wednesday to state “firm intent” to make a bid, but has now been postponed until April 19.

Wood’s board has already rejected three takeover bids and is ‘intending to reject Apollo’s fourth and final proposal’ as it believes it could sell the company, which currently has a market capitalization of £1.4 billion. significantly undervalued.

Deadline: Apollo Global Management is given four weeks to submit an acquisition proposal for engineering firm John Wood Group.

Last month, the Scottish company revealed it had received three separate offers from Apollo, the highest of which was worth 230 pence per share, before announcing two weeks later that it had been awarded a 237 pence per share deal.

Wood Group shares were 0.8 percent higher at 203.9 p on Friday afternoon.

Wood’s move comes amid a wave of takeovers of London-listed companies by foreign private equity houses benefiting from a weaker pound and relatively low valuations.

British stalwarts that have fallen victim to foreign takeovers in recent years include outsourcer G4S, Ultra Electronics and supermarket chain Morrisons, who bought Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in October 2021 for £7bn.

On Wednesday event planner Hyve Group agreed to a £481 million takeover of US based Providence Equity Partners after rejecting two previous offers.

Providence’s accepted offer of 108 pence per share is more than 80 percent below Hyve’s January 2020 share price.

Shares in the exhibition organizer plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns and cross-border travel restrictions saw conferences canceled or postponed.

Hyve was dealt another blow when it pulled out of Russia, where it employed more than 200 people, following the outbreak of war in Ukraine 13 months ago.

Wood Group shares have also failed to recover to their pre-Covid levels after being hit by the massive 2020 oil price slump and delayed commissioning of new projects.

This is despite the company returning to profits in the first half of last year amid rising petroleum prices and the $1.8 billion sale of its built environment division to WSP Global, one of the world’s largest professional services firms.

At the end of December, the company had a record $6 billion book, after winning renewed contracts with oil supermajors BP and Shell, as well as a four-year contract with INEOS to build a petrochemical complex in Belgium.

Headquartered in Aberdeen, the company operates in approximately 60 countries. Wood Group has traditionally provided engineering and consultancy services to the oil and gas sector, but has increasingly expanded into the renewable energy sector.

On Tuesday, it completed the sale of its offshore employment services business in the Gulf of Mexico to Danos, a Louisiana energy services contractor.

Chief executive Ken Gilmartin said the “divestment is a sign of the proactive steps we are taking to selectively enhance the group’s portfolio and invest in the markets and solutions where we see the strongest profitable growth.”


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