SNC-Lavalin completes takeover of WS Atkins

Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin has announced the completion of its acquisition of UK-based design, engineering and project management consultancy WS Atkins, for £2.1 billion. Atkins has approximately 18,000 employees in the UK, US, Scandinavia, Middle East and Asia.

“By combining our two highly complementary businesses, we are solidifying SNC-Lavalin’s position as one of the largest fully integrated professional services firms in the world,” said Neil Bruce, president & CEO, SNC-Lavalin. “Together, we will become part of a larger global organisation that will open the door to new opportunities for further growth and development.”

Together, the companies have over 50,000 employees and annual revenues of approximately £66.5 billion.

Heath Drewett, group finance director and executive director of Atkins, now becomes president of Atkins and a member of SNC-Lavalin’s executive committee, reporting directly to Bruce.

“Joining SNC-Lavalin will provide us with the ability to offer our clients and employees the enhanced scale, capabilities, expertise and other benefits that come with being part of a larger and stronger global company,” said Drewett. “At the same time, we look forward to bringing our own unique project management, design, consulting and engineering capabilities to SNC-Lavalin’s clients. The result will be a more agile and responsive company that better meets client needs and creates cross-selling opportunities.”

The acquisition is expected to deliver approximately £71 million in cost synergies – £18 million from SNC-Lavalin and £53 million from Atkins – by the end of the first full financial year. These would mainly include eliminating corporate and listing costs, optimising corporate and back-office functions and shared services, streamlining IT systems, and real estate consolidation.

The acquisition became effective on July 3 following a vote by Atkins’ shareholders on June 26 and approval by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales on June 29.