After rejecting four previous offers, Wood Group has agreed to engage with Apollo Global Management after the US private equity firm tabled a firm bid valuing the engineering consultancy at £1.7billion.

The engineering giant said yesterday it would open its books for scrutiny by Apollo after rejecting several previous approaches from the fund.

Apollo’s fifth and final proposal earlier this month at 240p a share represented a 17% premium to Wood’s closing share price on April 3, the day before the latest approach, and a 59% premium and 20% increase on the first approach.

Shares in the Aberdeen-headquartered firm rose strongly on the news that it would open its books, closing up 14¼p, or 6.7%, at 226p, valuing the company at £1.5 billion.

In a stock exchange announcement, Wood said: "The board remains confident in Wood's strategic direction and long-term prospects, following a transformative year in 2022, including new executive leadership and a new strategy.

"However, having now weighed all relevant factors, particularly feedback received from Wood shareholders, the board has decided to engage with Apollo to see if a firm offer can be made on the same financial terms as the final proposal.

"Accordingly, the board will grant Apollo access to due diligence materials."

The deadline to make a formal offer has been moved from Wednesday this week until the middle of next month, on May 17.

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