Jacobs to buy John Wood nuclear arm for £250m

Aaron Morby 5 months ago
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Oil and gas engineering contractor John Wood Group has sold its nuclear business to a subsidiary of US consultant Jacobs for £250m.

Wood recently won a multi-million pound contract to provide engineering and technical services to the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset.

The Wood nuclear business designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex nuclear assets primarily in the UK and employs around 2,000 staff.

In 2018, pre-tax profit reached £12m with full-year revenue of around £235m and gross assets valued at £383m.

Wood said the sale proceeds would be used to cut debt. The firm originally acquired nuclear engineering and safety consultancy capabilty when it acquired rival Amec Foster Wheeler in 2017.

David Kemp, Wood’s chief financial officer, said: “The sale of our nuclear business follows other recent divestments and marks a significant step towards achieving Wood’s target leverage policy.

“Although our nuclear business is a strong UK player and has performed well, we see better opportunities to develop clear global leadership positions across other parts of our business.”

Finalisation of the deal was conditional on competition regulator approval and Jacobs has agreed to pay a £7.5m fee to Wood if rejected by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou. “We are excited to welcome these talented employees to the Jacobs’ team.

“Given the compelling and synergistic fit of our two organizations, we believe this transaction will translate into significant value for Jacobs’ shareholders, diverse opportunities for our employees and new, differentiated nuclear and defence solutions for our clients.”

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