Shares in energy and consulting firm Wood Group surged today after it revealed a £1.6bn takeover swoop from US buyout giant Apollo, its fourth bid for the firm.
The London-listed engineering and energy consulting firm, which has rejected the three previous cash offers on the grounds they undervalued the firm, said it was set to refuse the latest 237p per share cash bid for the same reasons.
“The board believes this latest proposal continues to undervalue the group and is therefore minded to reject,” Wood said in a statement. “The board will continue to engage with its shareholders and intends to engage further, on a limited basis, with Apollo.”
Wood added that there can be “no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made”.
The announcement today comes after wood chiefs revealed on the 22nd February that Apollo had made three bids for the firm, the latest coming on the 26th January.
Takeover interest in the firm has kicked shares up some 26.5 per cent, with the firm currently trading at 195p per share. Shares rocketed 11.8 per cent today on news of the latest offer.
Apollo’s interest in the firm has fuelled fears that cheap UK firms are vulnerable to foreign takeovers this year, as cashed up private equity firms and corporates take advantage of suppressed prices in London.
London firms were subject to a bargain hunt from foreign buyers last year, with Ted Baker and Aveva among the firms to be picked off from overseas.
Exhibition firm Hyve is among the other companies to have fallen into the sights of foreign private equity this year. Bosses revealed a £306m bid for the firm earlier this year, which top shareholders have reportedly branded “opportunistic”.