Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin has agreed to pay 2080 pence per share to take over the complete share capital of Atkins of the UK. The Atkins board approves the deal and is recommending shareholders accept.
The acquisition values Atkins' entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital at approximately £2.1bn.
The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 35% to the closing price of 1540 pence on 31st March 2017, when news of a possible offer broke and is 44% above Atkins’ average share price for the year to 31st March 2017.
With WS Atkins under its wing, SNC-Lavalin will become a £7bn global fully integrated professional services and project management company with 53,000 employees.
Neil Bruce, the British president & CEO of SNC-Lavalin, said: “We are very pleased to announce this proposed acquisition that is fully aligned with our growth strategy, creating a global fully integrated professional services and project management company – including capital investment, consulting, design, engineering, construction, sustaining capital and operations and maintenance. 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. It also creates new revenue growth opportunities in key geographies by positioning us to capitalize on increased cross-selling and the opportunity to win and deliver major projects in new regions. I look forward to welcoming Atkins’ employees into our combined company. Together, we will become part of a larger global organization that will open the door to new opportunities for further growth and development.”
Atkins chairman Allan Cook added: “On behalf of our board I am pleased to announce SNC-Lavalin’s recommended cash offer to our shareholders. Having achieved our strategic target of 8% operating margin, the Atkins directors believe that Atkins is strongly positioned to execute on its growth strategy going forward. This position is underpinned by favourable trends in our end markets, our differentiated offering, and the benefits of our new growth initiatives, including our acuity advisory business, our positioning in the nuclear value chain and our focus on digital and technology.
“However, we believe that the offer from SNC-Lavalin represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for Atkins shareholders reflecting the high quality of the business, its people and its future prospects. The board of Atkins believes that a combination will provide clear benefits to our shareholders, enhanced opportunities for our employees as part of a larger group, and a broader service offering for our customers.”