Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin has agreed a takeover of WS Atkins in a deal that values the British infrastructure firm at £2.1bn.
Atkins’ current group finance director and executive director, Heath Drewett, will be promoted to lead Atkins within the combined entity, while current chief executive Uwe Krueger will step down.
The redevelopment of Newport railway station was an Atkins project
In a statement Atkins said the deal, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, ‘values its entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital at approximately £2.1bn’.
SNC-Lavalin described Atkins as ‘one of the world’s most respected consultancies in design, engineering and project management, with a leadership position across the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors’.
Neil Bruce, SNC-Lavalin’s president and CEO, 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.’
SNC-Lavalin moved to reassure Atkins’ employees, stating that they ‘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 the two companies’.
It added that as part of the integration process, a review of the Atkins businesses will be completed with the Atkins leadership team to determine any organisational and structural changes that should be implemented to benefit the combined entity.
The firm said it ‘does not expect this integration review to have a material impact on the continued employment of Atkins’ employees’.
It was previously reported that American engineering giant CH2M had approached Atkins about a possible £3bn-plus merger.