UK: Wood keen to keep Amec’s nuclear unit in £2.2bn merger

Wood Group, the UK oilfield services specialist, which is in the midst of a £2.2bn ($2.8bn USD) takeover of rival Amec Foster Wheeler, is keen to avoid the sale of its target’s nuclear business, which was initiated before the acquisition was agreed. London-listed Amec put its civil and defence nuclear operations up for sale at the start of March as part of a campaign to raise £500m from disposals to help tackle its £1bn debt load.

Less than a fortnight after announcing the sale process, Amec’s board agreed the all-share takeover by Aberdeen-based Wood. The deal was struck just over a week before Amec was planning to go cap in hand to shareholders for £500m via a rights issue to bolster its balance sheet.

The sale process for the nuclear unit has continued but Wood has privately expressed its interest in the unit to analysts and investors, the Financial Times has learnt.

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