Wood gives Apollo extension on takeover deadline

Wood CEO Ken Gilmartin

By Mark McSherry

The deadline by which Apollo Global Management is required to announce a firm intention to make a takeover offer for John Wood Group, the Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant, has been extended to April 19 from March 22.

One of Scotland’s biggest companies, Wood operates in more than 60 countries and employs 35,000 people.

Wood said on Friday “there can be no certainty” that an offer will be made.

On March 7, Wood said 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 on March 7.

Wood shares are trading around 209p to give the company a current stock market value of just under £1.5 billion.

Wood said in a stock exchange statement on Friday: “On 7 March 2023, the board of Wood announced that it had received a fourth unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposal from Apollo Global Management, Inc, regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood, that it believed the latest proposal continued to undervalue the group and that it was therefore minded to reject.

Following engagement with shareholders and to allow for the scheduled release of Wood’s FY22 results on 28 March 2023, in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code, the board of Wood has requested and the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has consented to, an extension from the existing date of 22 March 2023 by which Apollo is required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Wood in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or to 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.

“Such announcement must now be made by not later than 5.00pm on 19 April 2023. This deadline can be further extended by the Board of Wood, with the consent of the Takeover Panel.

There can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.

As announced on 12 January 2023, results for FY22 are in line with expectations.”