CANADIAN engineering services firm SNC-Lavalin has made an offer of US$2.3bn for UK company WS Atkins.
The two companies are currently in talks to establish the terms of a deal and satisfy several pre-conditions, including due diligence on the part of SNC-Lavalin and financing. Both boards warn that a firm offer is not yet certain, but Atkins’ board has said that the offer is at a level that it would be prepared to recommend to shareholders, if agreement can reached on terms.
Under UK takeover rules, SNC-Lavalin must make a firm offer by 17:00 on 1 May 2017, or declare that it does not intend to make one.
SNC-Lavalin, headquartered in Montréal, Quebec in Canada, has offices in 50 countries and employs around 40,000 people. Atkins employs around 18,000 staff in offices in 29 countries. Its headquarters are in Epsom, UK.
A merger would continue recent trends for engineering services firms. Wood Group agreed a deal in March to buy Amec Foster Wheeler for £2.225bn (US$2.72bn), while in October 2016, GE merged its oil and gas unit with Baker Hughes.
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