John Wood Group rejects third takeover bid from Dubai-based Sidara

  • Rival’s 220p continues to ‘significantly undervalue’ the industrial engineer  

John Wood Group has rejected a third takeover bid from Dubai-based rival Dar Al-Handasah, known as Sidara.

The FTSE 250-listed industrial engineering group told investors on Friday that Sidara’s latest bid of 220p per share still ‘significantly undervalued’ the firm and its prospects.

In mid-May, it snubbed a second offer from Sidara worth 212p per share, or £1.5billion, having rejected a £1.4billion bid earlier in the month.

Wood Group says third Sidara bid still undervalues the oilfield services firm 

Wood Group shares were up 3 per cent to 185.4p by midafternoon, having gained more than 30 per cent over the past year.  

The firm said: ‘The board, together with its financial advisers, carefully considered the third proposal, in particular, in the context of the board’s view of the fundamental prospects of Wood, and concluded that it continued to significantly undervalue the group and its prospects. 

‘Accordingly, the board unanimously rejected the third proposal on 23 May 2024.’

Wood Group’s profit margins grew in the first three months of 2024 even as revenues dropped 6 per cent.

To bolster its defences against takeover predators, Wood is currently restructuring to save up to £48million a year from 2025 after cutting about 200 jobs.

Wood is the latest London-listed firm to be eyed by overseas predators, who are attracted by the perceived undervaluation of London-listed stocks. 

Package firm DS Smith, haulier Wincanton and housebuilder Redrow have all agreed to be bought this year.

Sidara now has until 5pm of 5 June to make another bid for Wood or walk away, though this deadline can be extended.