By Ian Walker, wsj.com
Shares of John Menzies PLC leapt on Thursday after National Aviation Services said that it has agreed to buy shares in the U.K. aviation-services group at 605 pence each, and that any firm offer would be at no less than that price.
The indicated offer price, which is an increase on the previously rejected price of 510 pence, values Menzies at 556.0 million pounds ($755.2 million).
Shares at 1002 GMT were up 118.0 pence, or 25%, at 586.0 pence.
NAS said that following talks with Menzies’s shareholders, Agility Strategies Holding Ltd. has agreed to buy 12.1 million shares, representing 13.2% of Menzies’s issued share capital. Agility Strategies is under control of NAS and is classified as acting in concert with it.
“The acquisition of this significant stake demonstrates our seriousness and belief that a combination of Menzies and NAS offers a compelling opportunity to all stakeholders,” NAS Chief Executive Hassan El-Houry said.
NAS has until March 9 to either make an offer for Menzies or walk away under U.K. Takeover Panel rules.
Menzies said on Feb. 9 that it had received a number of takeover approaches from NAS which it had rejected saying they were “entirely opportunistic, conditional and that the terms fundamentally undervalue Menzies and its future prospects.”
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