John Menzies accepts £571m bid from Kuwaiti suitor

Bosses at John Menzies have accepted a takeover bid by a Kuwaiti firm for the Scottish air services company.

The £571m bid had already been made by a subsidiary of Agility Public Warehousing over a month ago, but at that time was still conditional.

The board of John Menzies had at the time “indicated” to Agility that it would accept the bid once it was made firm.

On Wednesday, the company stated that it had reached an agreement on the terms of the deal with the suitor.

The 608 pence per share deal is 81% ahead of Menzies’ share price before an offer by Agility was first announced in early February. It follows two previous lower bids.

Directors of John Menzies and GIL International Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agility, have agreed the terms of the cash offer, which values ​​the Edinburgh-based business at £763m on an enterprise basis.

Agility will create an enlarged group by combining Menzies’ business with subsidiary National Aviation Services (NAS). This is expected to have approximately 35,000 employees and a presence at more than 250 airports in 57 countries, handling more than 600,000 aircraft turns a year.

Menzies chief executive Philipp Joeinig said: “The Menzies directors believe that the offer represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Menzies’ future prospects.

“The board of Menzies applauds the work that the management team has done to steer the business through the challenging impacts of the pandemic and position the business for continued future growth and the next evolution in its journey.”

Joeining’s 2.54 million shares entitle him to a £15m payout.

The deal will deliver a £26.2m payday for Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson, the third largest shareholder in Menzies with 4.3 million shares, or a 4.68% stake.

Agility vice-chairman Tarek Sultan said: “Agility’s focus is on growth and shareholder value creation.

“We are a long-term, multi-business operator and investor aiming to create value with a disciplined investment strategy that focuses on companies in high-growth sectors with strong fundamentals, reinforced by management teams with established records, best-practices governance, and alignment with Agility’s vision and values.”

Founded as a bookshop in 1833, John Menzies later became a news distributor and a series of acquisitions putting it into the airport services sector in the 1980s. It sold its distribution arm in 2018.

It handles cargo, planes and fuel at airports in 37 countries and employs thousands of people.

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