Ground-handler Menzies has indicated willingness to recommend a takeover offer from Kuwaiti firm National Aviation Services, after the prospective buyer substantially increased its bid.

UK-based Menzies specialises in ground-handling, fuelling and air cargo and operates at over 200 airports.

NAS is proposing a cash offer of £6.08 per share which, if firmed, would value Menzies at £558 million.

It had previously had offers for £4.60 and £5.10 before hiking the bid to £6.05 and then a final figure of £6.08.

Menzies-c-Menzies Aviation

Source: Menzies Aviation

Menzies operates at more than 200 airports and serves several high-profile airlines

Menzies says it has considered the proposal and indicated that it would be willing “unanimously” to recommend it to shareholders – although the offer remains conditional on due diligence and other terms.

“Accordingly, the board is in discussions with NAS in relation to these terms and will be providing NAS with access to management and due diligence information,” says Menzies.

NAS had told the company that it would not consider increasing its offer of £6.08 per share unless a rival third party made a firm offer for Menzies.

Under regulatory procedures NAS must formalise its offer, or withdraw, by 9 March.