It will pay £144m initially, followed by a further payment of up to £58.5m, depending on performance.
North American Piling is a Canadian foundations business, based in Edmonton, Alberta. It has more than 25 years' experience providing piling services, with a focus on construction markets across Canada, including the Alberta oil sands region. The company employs approximately 400 staff and, in the year ended 31 March 2013, reported revenue of CDN$236.5m (£149.7m) and operating profit of CDN$38.5m (£24.4m).
Keller's directors said that they believe the acquisition will bring the group a market-leading business, positioned in growth markets offering attractive margins. It will also increase exposure to the North American energy and resources sector as well as providing the opportunity to ecure new customers and expand its presence in the relatively under-developed Canadian geotechnical segment.
The initial £144m will be paid on a cash and debt-free basis in cash on completion. The further payment of up to £58.5m in cash will depend upon North American Piling's financial performance in the three years following completion, giving a maximum aggregate consideration of £202.5m.
Keller is proposing to finance the acquisition through the net proceeds of a share placing, together with the drawdown of some of the available funds under the banking facilities. Keller announces a placing of 6,600,000 new ordinary shares at 890p per share to raise £58.7m before expenses.
Keller chief executive Justin Atkinson said: "The board has identified Canada as a key target market and this acquisition of a complementary piling business represents an excellent opportunity to build substantially on Keller's existing presence in that market. North American Piling is a market-leading business with attractive margins positioned in growth markets, including the resource-rich regions of Western Canada. The business has a strong record of growth delivered by an experienced management team who are transferring to Keller. Importantly, the acquisition will be significantly earnings enhancing."