WSP Global Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement in connection with the acquisition of Berger Group Holdings, Inc., the parent company of the group of companies doing business under the umbrella name of Louis Berger, a U.S.-headquartered international professional services firm active in the transportation, infrastructure, environmental, and water sectors. The purchase price of US$400 million will be financed by an underwritten term loan from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Louis Berger has approximately 5,000 employees, predominantly in offices across the United States, with an additional presence across Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (mainly India) and Latin America. With its U.S. operations representing approximately 70 per cent of its 2018 net revenues (excluding disaster response revenues), Louis Berger’s portfolio includes some of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, such as the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge, and the World Trade Center. It has also recently been providing emergency management services for temporary power in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. It was also selected, as part of a joint venture, to provide project management services to build Doha’s first metro, and supervise construction of three World Cup stadiums ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
“We are pleased by the opportunity to have Louis Berger join WSP. The company is recognized for its expertise in sectors and services that WSP had targeted for growth, including water, environment (including emergency management), and transportation (including ports and marine), as well as master planning. This acquisition will also enable us to increase our presence in geographies we have previously targeted for growth, such as Continental Europe. Lastly, it will increase our exposure to the U.S. Federal sector since Louis Berger has developed expertise and built experience in governmental contracts (including federal military and economic and institutional development),” said Alexandre L’Heureux, president and CEO of WSP. “We will focus on integrating U.S. operations and other regions that have proven to be drivers of growth, while pursuing the international restructuring Louis Berger had started.”
Also commenting on the acquisition, Jim Stamatis, chief executive officer of Louis Berger, said: “I am very pleased about the prospect of joining WSP, as our values and strategies are aligned and our operations are complementary. This will create new opportunities for our employees and clients WSP and Louis Berger are known to each other as we have pursued and won many projects together and as a result, we feel very comfortable in the strategic and cultural fit as we join together.”
The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the completion of certain administrative actions following the termination of the compliance monitorship.