04 April, 2017
Canadian engineering services group SNC-Lavalin has made a £2.1bn bid for WS Atkins, sending shares in the United Kingdom firm soaring.
SNC-Lavalin has launched a takeover approach for United Kingdom engineering company Atkins in a deal valued at around $3.5bn.
Atkins' board has indicated that the preliminary offer from the Montreal-based firm, which employs 35,000 worldwide, was at a level that the board would be prepared to recommend, subject to reaching agreement on the other terms and conditions of the offer. It also cautioned that there's no certainty any offer would be made.
However, any deal is conditional upon a number of issues, including diligence and financing, Atkins said.
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Atkins' shares jumped to a new high of 2,004 pence following news of the proposal.
The news saw WS Atkins' London-listed shares soar more than 26% in afternoon trading, up 422p to 1,962p.
Moelis & Co and JPMorgan are advising Atkins. SNC reported its biggest annual profit gain since 2007 past year, and Chief Financial Officer Sylvain Girard said in January that the company was looking for acquisitions of as much as $3 billion.
SNC-Lavalin must now make a firm offer for Atkins, which is involved in the design of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, before May 1.