Canadian Consulting Engineer

GENIVAR to change to WSP Global

Genivar of Montreal announced last week that it intends to reorganize and rebrand itself as WSP Global. WSP is the name of the large U.K. company which Genivar merged with last year, creating a joint company of 15,000 people in 35 countries...

April 22, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Genivar of Montreal announced last week that it intends to reorganize and rebrand itself as WSP Global. WSP is the name of the large U.K. company which Genivar merged with last year, creating a joint company of 15,000 people in 35 countries around the world. Genivar is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Genivar points to “compelling” reasons in favour of reorganizing the company into a global corporate structure. Pierre Shoiry, president and chief executive officer, explained: “The transaction with WSP was a major and transformational achievement in the history of our Company…. WSP’s strong presence around the world and its global recognition in a number of market segments has led us to make the logical choice of changing the GENIVAR name to WSP…”

An article by Nicolas Van Praet on April 17 in the Financial Post, meanwhile, suggested that the rebranding and reorganization will help to distance the company from the corruption scandals that have embroiled construction and engineering companies in Quebec. (At the Charbonneau commission in March, Genivar and several engineering companies were implicated in illegal political donations.)

Genivar’s plan is to provide a holding structure that would enable the company to eventually separate regional operations into distinct subsidiaries. It would also create a better risk management structure by isolating, to the extent possible, the public entity from operations and operational risks.

The company’s board of directors, capital structures and dividend policy will stay essentially the same, and the company will relist itself as WSP Global on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Genivar’s largest shareholders, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Caisse de depôt et placement du Québec, who represent approximately 30% of the outstanding shares, are in favour of the proposals, which require more than two-thirds majority of shareholders to pass.

The changes are to be considered at the annual meeting of shareholders on May 23, 2013 in Montreal, and if passed, would come into effect on January 1, 2014.

To read Genivar’s press release, click here. To read the article in the Financial Post, click here.


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