SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire WS Atkins for $3.6 billion. The overall acquisition price is $4.2 billion including the pension deficit.
Headquartered in the UK, Atkins is a respected consultancy in design, engineering, and project management, with a leadership position across the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors. Tracing its roots back to 1938, Atkins today has 18,000 employees with revenues of approximately £2.0 billion in 2016, and is geographically diversified in the U.S., Middle East and Asia, together with a leading position in the UK and Scandinavia.
“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,” said Neil Bruce, president & CEO. “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.”
The acquisition financing structure preserves SNC-Lavalin’s balance sheet strength and leverages SNC-Lavalin’s equity stake in the Highway 407 ETR, while retaining its equity ownership. The acquisition will be funded through a combination of equity and debt issuance, and supported by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), SNC-Lavalin’s largest shareholder. The funding includes a $1.5 billion loan from CDPQ, an $800 million public bought deal offering, a $400 million private placement with CDPQ, as well as a £300 million term loan, and an approximately £350 million draw on our current credit facility.