Canadian Consulting Engineer

SNC-Lavalin acquiring UK-based WS Atkins to create $12B company

April 20, 2017

The merger positions the combined entity to capitalize on infrastructure projects globally and win wider nuclear work.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has reached an agreement with WS Atkins plc on the terms of a cash acquisition by which SNC-Lavalin will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Atkins for £20.80 per share in cash, representing an aggregate cash consideration of $3.6 billion*.

Headquartered in the UK, Atkins is a consultancy offering design, engineering and project management, with a stong position across the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors.

With roots back to 1938, Atkins has 18,000 employees with revenues of approximately £2.0 billion in 2016, and had operations in the U.S., Middle East and Asia, together with a leading position in the UK and Scandinavia.

“We are very pleased to announce this proposed acquisition that is fully aligned with our growth strategy, creating a global fully integrated professional services and project management company – including capital investment, consulting, design, engineering, construction, sustaining capital and operations and maintenance. By combining two highly complementary businesses, we will increase our depth and breadth of services to position us as a premier partner to public and private sector clients,” said Neil Bruce, President & CEO. “It also creates new revenue growth opportunities in key geographies by positioning us to capitalize on increased cross-selling and the opportunity to win and deliver major projects in new regions.”

SNC-Lavalin states that the merger positions the combined entity to capitalize on the significant investment in infrastructure projects globally but principally in North America, and it positions the combined entity to win wider nuclear work; maintenance and decommissioning in particular, as one of the most compelling nuclear services firms.

SNC-Lavalin announced that it will aim to retain the best talent across Atkins and SNC-Lavalin.

As part of the integration process, a review of the Atkins businesses will be completed with the Atkins leadership team to determine any organizational and structural changes that should be implemented to benefit the combined entity.

Heath Drewett, the current group finance director and executive director of Atkins will, upon completion of the acquisition, be promoted to lead Atkins within the combined entity. Drewett will report into Neil Bruce and become a member of SNC-Lavalin’s executive committee.

James Cullens, group director human resources & marcomms and executive director of Atkins, will remain with the combined entity and support SNC-Lavalin with key integration and people-related matters following the successful completion of the acquisition. Cullens will assume the position of executive vice-president, human resources, for the combined organization.


The merger will create a $12.1 billion global professional services and project management company with 53,000 employees.



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