Wood Group suitor Sidara makes final offer for oilfield services giant

  • Sidara has put forward a new offer valuing Wood Group at around £1.6bn
  • It represents a 52% premium to Wood’s closing share price on 29 April

Engineering and consulting company Sidara has raised its offer for John Wood Group for the third and final time.

The Dubai-based firm has put forward a 230 pence per share proposal valuing the Scottish oilfield services giant at around £1.6billion.

It represents a 52 per cent premium to Wood’s closing share price on 29 April, the day before Sidara unveiled its first bid for the business.

Takeover target: Engineering company Sidara has put forward a 230 pence per share proposal valuing oilfield services giant John Wood Group at around £1.6billion

Wood rejected the initial 205p per share approach and two subsequent offers from Sidara worth 212p and 220p per share, respectively, saying they undervalued the company and its future prospects.

The FTSE 250 firm’s bosses said they would review the proposal with financial advisers and make an additional announcement later.

Under City rules, Sidara has until 5pm on 5 June to make a concrete bid or walk away, although Wood and the takeover panel could extend this deadline.

Sidara said its latest proposal ‘does not amount to a firm intention to make an offer under the code, and there can be no certainty that an offer will ultimately be made.’

John Wood Group shares were 2.9 per cent, or 12.3p, lower at 184.8p on Wednesday afternoon.

The move for Wood comes amidst a renewed frenzy of takeover activity involving London-listed companies, which are perceived as undervalued relative to their global peers.

Royal Mail owner International Distribution Services has accepted a £3.2billion bid from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who owns significant stakes in grocery chain Sainsbury’s and football club West Ham United.

Kretinsky has promised to maintain Royal Mail’s headquarters and tax residency in the UK, as well as its universal service obligation, brand name, and protections for staff benefits and pensions.

Meanwhile, Anglo American has turned down a £39billion deal from BHP, £8billion higher than the Australian mining giant’s original bid, and rejected calls to extend the deadline for takeover discussions.

Should the deal go through, it would represent the biggest mining sector acquisition in history and enhance BHP’s exposure to copper, a vital element in eco-friendly technologies like electric vehicle batteries and solar panels.

Other businesses that have declined major takeover bids in recent months include motor insurer Direct Line and trading platform Hargreaves Lansdown.

But many have accepted proposals, such as cybersecurity specialist Darktrace, packaging group DS Smith, haulage firm Wincanton, and telecoms testing company Spirent Communications.

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