UK ground-handling specialist John Menzies has rejected an unsolicited takeover approach from a Kuwaiti firm National Aviation Services.

John Menzies’ board says NAS has offered to acquire the entire company, with cash, at a price of £5.10 per share.

This followed a previous approach for an all-cash offer of £4.60 per share.

But the board says that, while it has “carefully considered” the proposal, it is “unanimously” rejecting it.

Chief executive Philipp Joeinig describes the approach as “highly opportunistic”, adding: “We believe [the offer] does not reflect Menzies’ true intrinsic business worth or its prospects.”

Menzies points out that the approach has been made at a time when the company’s activities are still recovering from the air transport crisis, and the impact management actions have not yet been reflected in Menzies’ valuation.

These actions include the removal of costs and implementation of a “refocused” commercial approach to generate £120 million of new annual revenues.

Menzies handling-c-Menzies Aviation

Source: Menzies Aviation

Menzies has a diverse range of ground-handling operations

“The proposal does not reflect the benefit of these actions,” it states, adding that it also fails to account for the “strong growth prospects” for the company.

“We have a clear strategy with tangible evidence of delivery,” it adds. “We will continue to deliver against our five strategic priorities – focusing on air cargo services, new fuelling operations and high-quality ground handling with new operations being targeted in emerging markets where margins are typically higher.”

Menzies says its board is “fully confident” in the recovery and outlook for global aviation services, and that the company’s portfolio mix and strategy will create “significant value for shareholders” in the near and medium term.