U.K. Market Authority Mulls Remedies for Wood Group-Amec Deal

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By Eleanor Tyler

The U.K.'s merger authority said John Wood Group plc’s offer to divest Amec Foster Wheeler plc’s U.K. oil and gas assets in the U.K. might remedy its competition concerns about the $2.7 billion deal.

The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Aug. 15 that it has received Wood Group’s offer to divest Amec’s overlapping business providing engineering and construction services and operation and maintenance services to oil and gas producers.

CMA has until Oct. 12 to get public feedback and decide to accept or reject the offer, but announced that the proposal may be acceptable. A rejection of the divestitures as a remedy would trigger a longer review of the deal that could last months.

Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood Group, called the CMA’s announcement “an important milestone and gives us further confidence in our ability to complete the transaction in quarter four this year.” The company said in earlier announcement that the process for selling the assets is “at an advanced stage,” because the parties submitted the proposed divestitures to CMA in May anticipating potential competition concerns.

The combination is subject to clearances where the two companies have overlapping operations, which includes Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. The U.S. cleared the deal in April, and Canada in May.

Wood Group spokesperson Sarah Grieve told Bloomberg BNA that the parties have secured “a significant number of regulatory and competition approvals,” and are working toward closing this year.

The parties in March announced that Wood Group would acquire all shares of Amec for about 2.2 billion pounds. Shareholders of both companies approved the deal in June.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eleanor Tyler in Washington at etyler@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bna.com

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