Apollo in final £1.66bn ‘possible’ offer for Wood Group

Wood Group HQ, Aberdeen

By Mark McSherry

New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management said on Tuesday it has made a “final” and “possible offer” for Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant John Wood Group pitched at £2.40 per share in cash, valuing Wood at £1.66 billion.

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

Wood shares rose about 2% to around £2.09.

Apollo said its possible offer of £2.40 per share represents “a 59% premium to the closing undisturbed share price of 151 pence as of 21 February 2023 (being the last business day prior to Wood’s announcement on 22 February 2023).”

Apollo said it believes that its proposal “would provide a compelling opportunity for Wood’s shareholders to monetise their holdings in Wood for cash at a highly attractive valuation which is also at a significant premium to its recent and undisturbed share price, eliminating the inevitable execution risk and uncertainty associated with delivering Wood’s refreshed strategy.”

Apollo said it “looks forward to engaging constructively with the board of Wood to finalise the terms of a recommended transaction to be put forward to Wood’s shareholders.”

Wood responded with a statement, saying: “The board of Wood notes the announcement today by Apollo Management Holdings, L.P. of a possible offer at a final price of 240 pence per share in cash for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood,” said the Aberdeen firm.

“The final proposal is subject to a number of pre-conditions and reservations as described in Apollo’s announcement.

The board of Wood will continue to engage with its shareholders.

There can be no certainty that an offer will 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 19 April 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 …

“This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.”