John Menzies sees shares soar after rejecting £469m takeover

The group said it rebuffed a ‘highly opportunistic’ 510p-a-share proposal from Kuwait-based National Aviation Services.

John Menzies sees shares soar after rejecting £469m takeover PA Media

Airport services company John Menzies has seen its shares rocket after revealing it rejected a £469m takeover approach from a Kuwaiti suitor.

Shares in the Edinburgh-based firm – which provides fuelling, ground handling, lounge and maintenance services – jumped more than a third after it rebuffed a 510p-a-share unsolicited bid from National Aviation Services (NAS).

The bidder is an aviation services provider in emerging markets, which has its headquarters in Kuwait and is part of the wider Agility Public Warehousing Co.

The proposal followed an earlier 460p-a-share possible offer previously made by NAS.

John Menzies said: “The proposal is highly opportunistic and comes at a time when the full impact of management actions is not yet reflected in Menzies’ valuation and underlying volumes have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.”

The latest approach from NAS marks a significant premium on John Menzies’s 335p-per-share closing price on Tuesday.

But it comes after the stock took a hefty knock amid the pandemic, which has battered the aviation sector.

The group has stripped out £25m of costs since 2019 and embarked on a “clear and deliverable” strategy, which it claims is set to position it to benefit from the ongoing recovery in the sector.

John Menzies said it “carefully considered” the proposal with its financial advisers, Goldman Sachs, but it was unanimously rejected, as the terms “fundamentally undervalue Menzies and its future prospects”.

Chairman and chief executive Philipp Joeinig said: “The board remains fully confident in the recovery and outlook for the global aviation services industry as it returns to pre-pandemic trading levels.”

John Menzies started life as an Edinburgh bookseller in 1833, but has since transformed into an international aviation services business, with global operations.

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