Jacobs buys CH2M for US$3.27bn

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP has bought CH2M HILL for a total of US$3.27bn, including net debt, creating a merged company worth US$15bn.

Buying CH2M will boost Jacob’s offerings in what it believes are key infrastructure and government service sectors, including water, transport, environmental and nuclear. According to Steve Demetriou, Jacobs’ chairman and CEO, the company will also benefit from CH2M’s expertise in consulting, design, engineering, construction, and operations and maintenance technical services.

CH2M is known for its technical expertise in water design, something Jacobs is less focussed on. CH2M is renowned for its work in large-scale nuclear environmental remediation, which will complement Jacobs’ capabilities in the nuclear sector, including decommissioning, and its work with government agencies, creating expansion opportunities in the nuclear and environmental sector. Jacobs hopes to become a tier 1 service provider to the US$145bn nuclear industry following the acquisition, as well as providing more services in environmental planning and remediation. Both companies have strong positions in the petroleum and chemical sectors.

The CH2M board unanimously approved the transaction. CH2M chairman and CEO Jacqueline Hinman said that the company has been open in recent months about seeking a takeover.

“Considering all of the options, we focussed on securing greater opportunities for our employees, delivering superior value to our clients and enhanced value for our stockholders, all while continuing to serve the higher purpose our company is known for, providing sustainable solutions for a better world. Throughout this time, we strengthened our business portfolio and performance, which put us in a position to deliver the best possible value and outcome for the future of the company,” she said.

Gary Mandel, most recently Jacobs president of petroleum and chemicals, and Lisa Glatch, executive vice president for growth and sales at CH2M, will jointly lead the Integration Management Office to oversee the merger. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2018, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

Senior reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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