Menzies rejects £469m bid from Kuwait firm

Edinburgh-based aviation logistics giant John Menzies plc said on Wednesday it has turned down a “preliminary and unsolicited” takeover proposal worth roughly £469 million in cash from a unit of Kuwait-based Agility Public Warehousing Co, saying it undervalued the Scottish company.

The takeover proposal was pitched at £5.10 a share — a premium of about 52% to John Menzies’ closing share price on Tuesday.

Menzies shares soared about 43% to £4.78 on the news.

“The board of John Menzies announces that it has received a preliminary and unsolicited proposal from National Aviation Services Holding … a subsidiary of Agility Public Warehousing Co … to acquire the entire and to be issued share capital of Menzies at a price of 510 pence per Menzies share in cash …” said Menzies in a stock exchange statement.

The proposal follows an earlier unsolicited approach from NAS to the board regarding a possible all cash offer at 460 pence per Menzies share.

The board has carefully considered the proposal together with its financial advisers, Goldman Sachs International, and has unanimously rejected it, having concluded that the proposal is entirely opportunistic, conditional and that the terms fundamentally undervalue Menzies and its future prospects …

“Menzies has now been rebuilt for the future and the board expects to deliver strong revenue growth in the short and medium term generating significant value creation on a standalone basis.

“The proposal is opportunistic and does not fully provide shareholders with the full value potential available in Menzies ….

There can be no certainty that any firm offer for Menzies will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer may be made.”

Menzies chairman Philipp Joeinig said: “The board of Menzies has unanimously rejected this unsolicited and highly opportunistic proposal, which we believe does not reflect Menzies’ true intrinsic business worth or its prospects.

Menzies continues to make good progress with strong performance across a number of service lines, which together with productivity gains, saw the group to finish last year strongly.

“This strong performance and momentum in 2021 has continued in 2022 with further contract wins and renewals alongside the continued recovery of global flight volumes.

The board remains fully confident in the recovery and outlook for the global aviation services industry as it returns to pre-pandemic trading levels and benefits from long term structural growth drivers.

“The board believes the strong portfolio mix, positioning of Menzies and the ongoing execution of Menzies’ strategy will create significant value for shareholders in the near and medium term.”