Wooden Group stated it was “minded to reject” a fourth money provide from Apollo International after the vitality companies enterprise beforehand spurned three bids from the US non-public fairness group.
The sweetened provide would worth the FTSE 250-listed firm at 237p a share or roughly £2bn, a 3 per cent improve from its earlier proposal of 230p a share.
“The board believes this newest proposal continues to undervalue the group and is subsequently minded to reject [it],” Wooden Group stated in an announcement on Tuesday.
The takeover makes an attempt come because the Aberdeen-based firm faces stress from an activist shareholder to spice up its share worth.
Sparta Capital, based in 2021 by former Elliott Administration portfolio supervisor Franck Tuil, has referred to as on Wooden Group to purchase again its inventory to elevate its valuation. The funding firm has warned that Wooden Group’s “vital undervaluation” makes it susceptible to a takeover.
Apollo’s earlier bid on January 26 supplied 230p per share, a 55 per cent premium in contrast with Wooden’s share worth on the time and equal to roughly £1.9bn, taking web debt into consideration.
Wooden Group shares gained greater than 14 per cent to commerce at about 222p per share throughout Tuesday morning buying and selling in London.
The corporate’s “board will proceed to interact with its shareholders and intends to interact additional, on a restricted foundation, with Apollo”.
A consultant for Apollo declined to remark.
The Scottish firm supplies session, administration of belongings and engineering companies for the vitality and supplies sector, and lately expanded into clear vitality initiatives similar to wind farms. Its revenues final 12 months rose about 8 per cent to $5.4bn.
Apollo is pursuing Wooden Group at a time when nearly all of FTSE 250 bosses imagine UK-listed corporations are susceptible to overseas takeovers this 12 months, amid rising expectations that mergers and acquisitions exercise will decide up as financial circumstances enhance.
One other US fund, Windfall Fairness, has made a takeover method for the London-listed exhibition firm Hyve, a transfer that some prime shareholders have referred to as “opportunistic”.
Beneath the UK’s takeover laws, Apollo has till March 22 to announce its agency intention to make a proposal for Wooden or stroll away.