Wood closes deal to sell nuclear business

Source: press release, 9 March 2020

Wood’s chief financial officer, David Kemp
Wood’s chief financial officer, David Kemp (photo: Wood plc)

John Wood Group PLC, the global engineering and consulting company, has announced that it has closed the sale of its nuclear business to Jacobs for a cash consideration of GBP 250 million (around USD 325 million). The deal represents a multiple of approximately 12.4x based on 2018 EBITDA of GBP 20.2 million (USD 26.3 million).

Agreement on the deal was reached in August 2019, with closing conditional upon merger clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which was received on 4 March 2020.

The cash proceeds from the nuclear divestment and the recent sale of Wood’s industrial services business generated a total of USD 429 million. These moves form part of Wood’s ongoing portfolio optimisation focus and will also enable the company to reduce debt and accelerate progress towards its target leverage policy.

David Kemp, Wood’s Chief Financial Officer, says, “Future portfolio optimisation will continue to be driven by our strategic objective of building a premium, differentiated, higher margin business focused on energy and built environment end markets. The sale of our nuclear business and other recent divestments have also enabled us to accelerate progress towards our leverage target.”

The nuclear business Wood has divested designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex nuclear assets, primarily for customers in the UK. Wood’s environment and infrastructure consultancy will continue to deliver environmental, regulatory and permitting support, including large-scale remediation of radiological constituents in various markets including North America.