Dubai Firm Sweetens Bid for U. K. 's Wood Group

Dubai-based engineering and consulting firm Sidara has increased its offer to acquire John Wood Group, a British oilfield services and engineering company, for the third time. This latest proposal, characterized by Sidara as its "final offer, " marks a significant escalation in the ongoing takeover attempt.

The new offer values Wood Group at roughly £1. 59 billion (US$2. 03 billion), translating to a cash offer of 230 pence per share. This represents a 52% premium over Wood Group's closing share price on the day before Sidara first expressed interest in acquiring the company.

Wood Group has so far rejected all of Sidara's offers, maintaining that they undervalue the company's potential. Notably, Wood Group has not engaged in any discussions with Sidara since the initial approach.

Sidara has expressed its belief that its offer cannot progress without Wood Group's cooperation and is seeking an extension of the deadline for a formal offer. Sidara currently has until June 5 to submit a formal bid or abandon its pursuit of Wood Group.

The news of Sidara's increased offer caused a slight dip in Wood Group's share price, falling by 2. 9% at 1326 GMT. The reasons behind this decline are not entirely clear, but it could indicate that investors are skeptical about the likelihood of a deal being reached at the current price point.

Analysts are divided on the merits of Sidara's offer. Some believe that the 52% premium is a fair price that reflects Wood Group's current financial state and future prospects. Others argue that Wood Group's expertise in the energy sector, particularly in renewable energy, justifies a higher valuation.

The outcome of this attempted takeover remains uncertain. Sidara faces an uphill battle in convincing Wood Group's board to accept its offer. If a deal cannot be reached by the deadline, Sidara will be forced to walk away, leaving Wood Group to continue operating independently.

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