By Mark McSherry
John Wood Group, the Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant, confirmed late on Wednesday afternoon that it has received three unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposals from Apollo Global Management, Inc. regarding a possible cash offer to buy Wood.
The Aberdeeen firm said it rejected each of the proposals from the alternative asset manager, having concluded that they “significantly undervalued” Wood.
It said the most recent approach on January 26 was pitched by Apollo at 230p per Wood share.
On Thursday morning, Wood shares rose about 30% to around 201p, giving the firm a stock market value of just about £1.4 billion.
In a stock exchange statement, Wood said: “The board of Wood notes the recent speculation and confirms that it has received three unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposals from Apollo Global Management, Inc. (Apollo), regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood.
“The most recent approach was received on 26 January 2023 and proposed a cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood at a price of 230 pence per Wood share …
“The board carefully considered each of the proposals, together with its financial advisers, and has engaged on a limited basis with Apollo.
“The board unanimously rejected each of the proposals, having concluded that they each significantly undervalued the repositioned group’s prospects.
“Any offer for Wood is governed by the Code.
“Under Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, Apollo must, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 22 March 2023, either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Wood in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies.
“This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code …
“This announcement has been made without the consent of Apollo.”