US private equity group Apollo Global has had three bids rejected to buy London-listed energy services company Wood Group, the last valuing the company at more than £3bn.
The FTSE 250 company said the bids were all-cash proposals, the most recent offering 230p per share on January 26, a 55 per cent premium compared with its closing price of 148.12p on Wednesday.
Including £1.7bn of net debt, the latest offer valued the company at £3.3bn.
The Scotland-based group said it carefully and unanimously rejected each of the proposals because they “significantly undervalued the repositioned group’s prospects”.
Apollo declined to comment.
The takeover attempts were made as the Aberdeen-based company has come under pressure from an activist shareholder to boost its share price.
Sparta Capital, founded in 2021 by former Elliott Management portfolio manager Franck Tuil, has called on Wood Group to buy back its stock to lift its valuation.
“We are concerned that the current significant undervaluation makes the company vulnerable to take over,” Sparta wrote to Wood Group in a letter from December.
Wood Group provides consultation, management of assets and engineering services for the energy and materials sector, and has recently expanded into clean energy projects such as wind farms.
It has benefited from oil and gas companies seeking to prolong the life cycle of their projects amid fears of energy shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In its 2022 annual report, Wood Group said its revenues rose about 8 per cent to $5.4bn and it had won multiyear contracts with the likes of BP and Shell.
However, the company’s stock has fallen about 40 per cent over the past year.
About a year ago the company announced a $100mn charge on a US anti-missile defence project in Poland and delayed publication of its annual results, sending shares plunging.
Under the UK’s takeover regulations, Apollo has until March 22 to either announce its firm intention to make an offer for Wood or declare it does not intend to make a further proposal.
Additional reporting by Antoine Gara in New York