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TOP NEWS: Initially reluctant, John Menzies accepts Kuwaiti takeover

30th Mar 2022 08:54

(Alliance News) - John Menzies PLC on Wednesday said it has accepted a final offer from GIL International Holdings V Ltd, a subsidiary of Kuwait's Agility Public Warehousing Co KSCP.

The deal, at 680 pence per share, values the Edinburgh-based aviation services and cargo handling firm at GBP571 million on a fully diluted basis and offers an enterprise value of GBP763 million.

The price tag is 81% higher than the company's share price of 335p on February 8, the day before the approach by Agility was first announced. It is 19% higher than its 570p closing price on Tuesday. John Menzies shares were up 3.9% at 592.02 early Wednesday.

John Menzies has a market capitalisation of GBP544.2 million.

Agility, which is listed in Kuwait and Dubai, will combine Menzies with its National Aviation Services unit. NAS provides aviation services in emerging markets, and its customers include British Airways, part of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, as well as Air France KLM SA, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Menzies was founded in 1833 as a bookseller on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

The combined Menzies and NAS group will have annual revenue in excess of USD1.5 billion, based on 2021 figures. It will operate in 250 airports in 57 countries, handling more than 600,000 aircraft turns a year.

Menzies Chair & Chief Executive Officer Philipp Joeinig will be CEO of the combined group, while the current CEO of NAS, Hassan El-Houry, will be chair.

"The Menzies board, which has been so advised by Goldman Sachs International as to the financial terms of the acquisition, consider the terms of the acquisition to be fair and reasonable," a statement read.

The deal ends a long-running saga. Back in early February, Menzies said it rejected a 510p bid from its Kuwaiti suitor. This followed a previous unsolicited cash offer of 460p a share, the company had explained.

In early March, the cargo handling firm gave Agility an extension on the deadline to make a formal takeover offer. That so-called put-up-or-shut-up deadline was due to end on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the two companies said the offer from Agility has acceptances from Menzies directors and other shareholders representing 14.3% of Menzies shares. In addition, Agility already owns a 19.0% stake in Menzies, making it already the company's largest shareholder.

By Tom Waite; [email protected]

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