Takeover nears

Wood agrees to talks with Dubai-based Sidara

Wood Group
Wood Group is on the brink of being taken over

Wood Group’s days as an independent energy services company appear to be numbered after the board agreed to engage with its Dubai-based suitor.

Its decision to grant Sidara access to due diligence materials came in a statement issued just before the Takeover Panel’s 5pm deadline imposed on the Middle East group to make its intentions clear.

The panel granted an extension to the deadline so that Aberdeen-based Wood can determine if Sidara will make a firm offer on the same terms as its final proposal of 230p per share, valuing the company at about £1.6 billion.

A new deadline has been set for 5pm on 3 July. This can be further extended by the board of Wood, with the consent of the Takeover Panel.

On 29 May, Dar Al-Handasah Consultants Shair and Partners Holdings, known as Sidara, announced that it had submitted a fourth proposal.

The board of Wood, which was led for many years by Scottish tycoon Sir Ian Wood, said “it remains confident in Wood’s strategic direction and its fundamental prospects.

“However, having now weighed all relevant factors including, in particular, feedback received from Wood shareholders, the board has decided to engage with Sidara to determine if a firm offer can be made on the same financial terms as the final proposal.

“Accordingly, the Board will grant Sidara access to due diligence materials.”

Wood’s willingness to engage with Sidara follows expectations that the deal was doomed, given its resistance to three previous approaches from the company one last year from Apollo Global Management.

They may be some likelihood of a rival offer emerging before next month’s deadline.

Wood Group shares closed 5.7p up at 186p before the announcement.

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