Wood Group, the international energy services company, today announces it has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its Well Support Division to GE for cash consideration of $2.8 billion (the â€śDisposalâ€ť). Following the Disposal, the Board of Directors intends that Wood Group will return cash of not less than $1.7 billion to shareholders (the â€śReturn of Cashâ€ť).
- The price of $2.8 billion fully recognises the strong performance and future prospects of the Well Support Division. Net proceeds after estimated tax, fees and expenses are $2.6 billion. For the year ended 31 December 2010 the Well Support Division had revenues of $947.1 million, EBITDA of $165.9 million and EBITA of $128.1 million. At 31 December 2010 it had gross assets of $604.7 million.
- The Disposal will accelerate the delivery of value to shareholders and reflects Wood Groupâ€™s success in building the Well Support Divisionâ€™s differentiation and market position as a leading provider of products and services for drilling and production operations.
- The Disposal of the Well Support Division, together with the recently announced acquisition of PSN, is in line with Wood Groupâ€™s enhanced strategic focus on its core engineering and operations & maintenance activities in its Engineering & Production Facilities and Gas Turbine Services divisions.
- Conditions in the oil & gas and power markets are anticipated to continue to strengthen and Wood Group will continue to pursue its strategy of targeted geographic expansion and broadening of the service offering through organic and acquisition-led growth.
- Having considered the expected net proceeds from the sale of the Well Support Division, together with the forecast operating cash flow of Wood Group, including associated working capital requirements, the Groupâ€™s capex profile, nearer term acquisition opportunities and the recently announced acquisition of PSN, the Board intends that Wood Group will return cash to shareholders of not less than $1.7 billion (the â€śReturn of Cashâ€ť). Following the Disposal and the Return of Cash, the ratio of illustrative average gross debt to 2010 pro forma EBITDA will be 1.0x. Details regarding the mechanism for the Return of Cash will be announced following the completion of the Disposal.
- The effect of the Disposal of the Well Support Division, together with the Return of Cash, is expected to be significantly earnings per share enhancing immediately following completion.
- The Disposal is conditional, amongst other things, upon obtaining anti-trust clearances and the approval of Wood Group shareholders at a general meeting (the â€śGeneral Meetingâ€ť). The Disposal is targeted for completion by the end of Q2 2011. A circular containing further details of the Disposal, the action recommended to be taken by Wood Group shareholders and setting out the notice of the General Meeting and the resolution required to approve the Disposal will be sent to Wood Group shareholders shortly.
Commenting on the Disposal, Allister Langlands, Chief Executive of Wood Group, said:
“The significant investment programme in Well Support over the years and the expertise and dedication of all our people is reflected in the price achieved. I believe that GE will be a good owner of the business and, with its scale and reach, be able to accelerate the future international growth of the business. I want to thank all the Well Support people for their outstanding service to Wood Group over many years, and I wish them every success in the future.â€ť
â€śOur shareholders will benefit from a significant return of cash and we plan to continue to pursue our successful growth strategy of targeted geographic expansion and broadening of the service offering in our core engineering and operations & maintenance activities in oil & gas and power markets.â€ť
Claudi Santiago, President and CEO, GE Oil & Gas said:
â€śWith world-class products and people, Wood Groupâ€™s Well Support division has excellent strategic fit with our business model of high technology engineering, manufacturing and services. The acquisition is another major step forward for GE Oil & Gas in executing our strategy to equip and serve our global oil and gas customers with the mission-critical equipment and solutions required to address their toughest technical challenges and growth objectives.â€ť