John Wood Group, the Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant, said on Tuesday it received a fourth takeover proposal from private equity firm Apollo Global Management — this time pitched at 237p per share.
“The board believes this latest proposal continues to undervalue the group and is therefore minded to reject,” said the Aberdeen firm.
Wood shares rose about 15% to around 224p to give the company a current stock market value of just over £1.5 billion.
One of Scotland’s biggest companies, Wood operates in more than 60 countries and employs 35,000 people.
Wood said in a stock exchange statement: “On 22 February 2023, the board of Wood announced it had unanimously rejected three unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposals from Apollo Global Management … regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood.
“On 6 March 2023 Apollo submitted a fourth proposal for a cash offer to the board, which values Wood shares at 237 pence per share.
“The board believes this latest proposal continues to undervalue the group and is therefore minded to reject.
“The board will continue to engage with its shareholders and intends to engage further, on a limited basis, with Apollo.
“There can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.
“Further announcements will be made as appropriate.
“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.”