Lavalin to buy out Britain's WS Atkins for $3.6bn

Brittany BishopApr 23, 2017

Canadian engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin Group will acquire United Kingdom engineering consultant WS Atkins in a deal valued at about CA$3.6bn (£2.1bn).

The company has offered £20.80 in cash for each Atkins share, a 35 per cent premium on the closing price at the end of March.

According to the deal agreed by the FTSE 250 company's board confirmed that Atkins shareholders will each receive 2,080p per share, as offered at the start of the month.

Founded in 1938, WS Atkins has 18,000 employees and about two billion pounds of annual revenues from activities mainly in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia, along with the U.S., Middle East and Asia.

SNC-Lavalin says the acquisition will create a $9-billion professional services and project management giant with 53,000 employees that will "significantly improve" its margins and "further balance its business portfolio" in infrastructure, rail and nuclear sectors.

"By combining two highly-complementary businesses, we will increase our depth and breadth of services to position us as a premier partner to public and private-sector clients", said SNC-Lavalin President & CEO Neil Bruce.

RBC Capital Markets is financial adviser and corporate broker to SNC-Lavalin.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of the year, the companies said.

SNC-Lavalin ranks at No. 12 on that list, reporting $2.69 billion in global revenue, mostly outside Canada, with significant construction revenue not included in that total.

Shareholders will have to approve the deal at a general meeting, which will be followed by a court meeting as the takeover will be facilitated by a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement.

"On behalf of our board I am pleased to announce SNC-Lavalin's recommended cash offer to our shareholders".

SNC-Lavalin considers that Atkins' employees will be a key factor in maximizing the opportunities that the acquisition will present and the executive leadership of the combined entity will also aim to retain the best talent across Atkins and SNC-Lavalin.

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