Wood rejects 3% higher takeover proposal from Sidara

Wood CEO Ken Gilmartin

John Wood Group plc, the Aberdeen-based engineering and consulting giant, said on Wednesday afternoon it rejected a slightly increased cash takeover proposal from Dubai-based firm Sidara.

The latest takeover proposal was pitched at £2.12 per Wood share, up from Sidara’s original £2.05 per share punt.

The new proposal valued Wood at about £1.47 billion —  3% higher than Sidara’s initial £1.42 billion offer made last week.

Wood shares fell around 6% to about £1.88.

Wood, one of Scotland’s biggest listed firms, employs more than 35,000 people in 60 countries.

In a stock exchange statement, the Aberdeen firm said: “On 8 May 2024, the board of Wood announced it had unanimously rejected an unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposal from Dar Al-Handasah Consultants Shair and Partners Holdings Ltd (Sidara), regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wood.

On 14 May 2024 Sidara submitted a further proposal for a cash offer to the board, which proposed an offer price of 212 pence per Wood share, representing an increase of approximately 3% to the initial proposal.

“The board carefully considered the latest proposal, together with its financial advisers, and concluded that it continued to fundamentally undervalue Wood and its future prospects.

“Accordingly, the board unanimously rejected the latest proposal on 15 May 2024.

There can be no certainty either that an offer will be made or 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, Sidara must, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 5 June 2024, 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 Sidara.”