SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.is expanding its global consulting, design and project management capabilities with the takeover of United Kingdom -based WS Atkins Plc.
SNC-Lavalin has not changed its indicative offer of 2080 pence ($26.66) per share in cash, which is a 35.1-per cent premium to Atkin's closing price on 31 March.
Subject to approval by Atkins shareholders, who are being recommended to accept the offer by the board, the acquisition is expected to become effective during Quarter 3 of 2017.
The merger will create a $12.1-billion global professional services and project management company with 53,000 employees.
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SNC-Lavalin says the transaction will increase margins and improve its position in infrastructure, rail and transit, and nuclear.
The deal has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The Montreal-based company, which had until May 1 to finalize its offer made on April 3, would benefit from Atkins' broader exposure to US and United Kingdom infrastructure markets and being able to move away from oil-and-gas work, while the British firm would gain size to bid larger projects.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing $1.9 billion to support SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.'s global expansion projects. I look forward to welcoming Atkins' employees into our combined company.
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The acquisition will bring new and complementary capabilities to SNC-Lavalin in three of its four sectors, and with essentially no overlap in its service offering, with a significant presence in Europe, U.K., Scandinavia, the U.S., Middle East and Asia, the company said.
SNC-Lavalin said it expects to make £50m in annual cost saving at Atkins.
Current Atkins chief executive Uwe Krueger will step down and be replaced by current CFO Heath Drewett.
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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