Shares in John Wood Group hit an eight-month excessive after rejecting three takeover bids from a New York-based non-public fairness agency.

The FTSE 250 oil rig and refinery engineer rocketed 29 per cent, or 44.85p, to 199.55p – its highest degree since June final yr – after it revealed that Apollo Global Management tabled had swooped on the agency.

But John Wood rejected the bids, together with a proposal of 230p per share made on January 26 which valued the corporate at £1.8billion.

John Wood Group rocketed 30.1% – its highest level since June last year – after it revealed that Apollo Global Management tabled had swooped on the firm

John Wood Group rocketed 30.1% – its highest degree since June final yr – after it revealed that Apollo Global Management tabled had swooped on the agency

The proposals had been ‘fastidiously thought-about’ however rejected as a result of ‘every considerably undervalued’ the group, the agency mentioned in a press release. Analysts at Jefferies mentioned the supply is ‘materially beneath our upside state of affairs of 290p’.

John Wood has confronted strain from activist investor Sparta Capital to spice up its share worth to keep away from turning into a takeover goal.

It has additionally known as on John Wood, which employs greater than 35,000 individuals throughout 60 international locations, to return money to shareholders.

Apollo, which has additionally focused the training specialist Pearson (down 0.04 per cent, or 0.4p, to 908p), should resolve whether or not to make one other supply or stroll away by March 22.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.3 per cent, or 22.91 factors, to 7907.72, however the FTSE 250 rose 0.6 per cent, or 110.2 factors, to 19790.49.

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Recruitment agency Hays has began its search to switch boss Alistair Cox who has introduced his 15-year tenure to an finish.

The outgoing chief government took over in 2007. He bowed out on a excessive after Hays reported file half-year charges in 19 international locations. Fees rose 12 per cent to £651.9million within the six months to December.

Stock Watch –  Tribal Group

Tribal Group sank into the pink after it warned little progress has been made on resolving its contract with a college in Singapore.

The software program firm mentioned in December its eight-year contract price £17million with Nanyang Technology University (NTU) can be loss-making following delays to implementation and supply.

Tribal has now mentioned it stays in ‘important disagreement’ with NTU over how a lot income it is entitled to. Shares slid 7.9 per cent, or 4.15p, to 48.6p.

But revenue fell 8 per cent to £97million in the course of the interval. Shares slid 3.6 per cent, or 4.5p, to 119.1p. 

Likewise, Genus boss Stephen Wilson is to retire on the finish of September after 4 years in cost. He has been with the animal genetics firm for ten years, with a seek for his substitute below means.

Alongside Wilson’s departure, Genus reported a 25 per cent rise in revenues to £350.2million for the six months to December 31 and reiterated annual forecasts as it remained hopeful that the unstable Chinese porcine market will get well. Shares surged 8.7 per cent, or 234p, to 2938p.

Mondi, nevertheless, headed within the different route. The packaging big sank 4.8 per cent, or 71p, to 1406.5p after it warned its enterprise would proceed to face ‘softer demand and pricing’. 

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Its bleak outlook got here despite the fact that income surged 28 per cent to £7.85billion in 2022 whereas revenue jumped 119 per cent to £1.37billion.

Serco slid 1 per cent, or 1.6p, to 150.2p regardless of the renewal of its contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The deal will see the outsourcing group, which runs safety, transport and immigration contracts, assist those that qualify to purchase medical insurance. 

The four-year, seven-month contract, which is able to begin on July 1, might be price as much as round £570million.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals took a success after earnings slumped 52 per cent to £235million in 2022 following a £151million impairment cost associated to its generics enterprise and analysis and growth prices. Shares fell 2 per cent, or 35.5p, to 1718p.

Kitchen provider Howden Joinery made a shiny begin to 2023 with its UK income up 6.1 per cent within the first eight weeks of the yr.

It adopted a ten.8 per centrise in revenues to £2.3billion in 2022 whereas revenue was 4 per cent larger at £405.8million. Shares sank 1.8 per cent, or 13p, to 704.4p.

Construction group Morgan Sindall noticed annual income rise 12 per cent to £3.6billion on the again of demand for workplace house. Shares soared 7.3 per cent, or 120p, to 1754p.

And precision instrument specialist Spectris posted a 14 per cent rise in gross sales in 2022 to £1.3billion. Profit surged 16 per cent to £401.5million. Shares gained 7 per cent, or 222p, to 3365p.

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