Canadian contracting giant SNC-Lavalin Group is holding talks to buy multi-disciplinary consultancy WS Atkins in a $2.6bn (£2.1bn) deal, ConstructionWeekOnline reports.
Atkins’s stock price has seen upward movement since SNC-Lavalin’s interest in the company emerged earlier this week.
Listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the value of Atkins’s stock increased by 28% from 1,540 pence on 31 March, 2017, to 1,984 pence on 4 April, 2017.
SNC-Lavalin has made a tentative bid offer of 2,080 pence per share.
In a press statement, the Canadian company said: “A transaction would value WS Atkins at approximately $3.5bn.”
The number is based on the per-share price offered by SNC-Lavalin, multiplied by Atkins’s 100,110,799 ordinary shares currently in issue and admitted to LSE, evaluated at a GBP:CAD exchange rate of 1.66, the company added.
SNC-Lavalin’s takeover of Atkins would expand its scope in key markets where Atkins has a strong foothold, such as the GCC and Europe.
Atkins’s project portfolio in the GCC features Riyadh Metro, Doha Metro, Etihad Rail, and Dubai Opera (pictured), while SNC-Lavalin’s regional clientele includes Saudi Aramco, Petroleum Development Oman, and Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority.
During an interview with Janus Rostock, design director at Atkins, he said: “We are moving away from the ‘starchitect’”.