"This acquisition is fully aligned with our stated growth strategy of becoming a recognized global E&C powerhouse", SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce said in a conference call after markets closed.
In 2016, Atkins had 18,000 employees with revenues of about 2 billion British pounds from consultancies in design, engineering and project management across the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, SNC said.
In its announcement, SNC-Lavalin does not expressly note layoffs, saying that Atkins' employees "will be a key factor in maximizing the opportunities that the acquisition will present", adding that the combined firms' executives "will also aim to retain the best talent across Atkins and SNC-Lavalin".
Atkins has agreed to a bid from Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin for 2,080p in cash per share, which represents a premium of approximately 35 per cent to the company's closing price of 1,540 pence per share on 31 March 2017. SNC-Lavalin's accountants are Deloitte LLP, and Maitland acted as financial communications consultants.
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SNC-Lavalin ranks at No. 12 on that list, reporting $2.69 billion in global revenue, mostly outside Canada, with significant construction revenue not included in that total.
As part of the integration process, a review of the Atkins businesses will be completed with the Atkins leadership team to determine any needed organisational changes. SNC-Lavalin does not expect this integration review to have a material impact on the continued employment of Atkins' employees. Drewett will report into SNC-Lavalin's president and CEO and become a member of SNC-Lavalin's executive committee.
The acquisition is SNC-Lavalin's biggest so far.
On top of any cross-selling benefits and increased geographical reach, SNC-Lavalin anticipates delivering annual cost synergies of around CAD120.0 million by the end of 2018 - split CAD90.0 million from WS Atkins and CAD30.0 million from SNC-Lavalin.