SNC-Lavalin approaches Atkins with USD-2.6bn takeover bid

Burbo Bank Extension installation works completed

April 4 (Renewables Now) - Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (TSE:SNC) has proposed to take over UK-based engineering and project management consultancy WS Atkins Plc, which has considerable expertise in renewables and future energies.

The Canadian engineering and construction group has made an offer of GBP 20.8 (USD 25.86/EUR 24.27) apiece in cash for every Atkins share, the British firm announced in a statement. SNC-Lavalin confirmed the information separately, saying that a potential transaction at that price would value Atkins at about CAD 3.5 billion (USD 2.6bn/EUR 2.44bn).

In the renewable energy space, Atkins offers engineering design and owners' engineer services for offshore wind, hydropower, biomass and waste-to-energy, solar, tidal and decentralised energy. It says it has collaborated with industry partners on more than half a dozen offshore floating wind projects, including the 402-MW Dudgeon, 258-MW Burbo Bank Extension and 580-MW Race Bank projects in UK waters.

SNC-Lavalin has time until May 1, 2017 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer or step back. The two companies are currently negotiating terms and conditions other than the price. The board of Atkins has indicated it would be willing to recommend the existing proposal should the other terms be agreed.

The Canadian group added in its statement that Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) would provide CAD 400 million in equity and a CAD-1.5-billion non-recourse loan for the transaction in the event that a deal is struck. The balance would be raised through a combination of additional debt and equity and other financing means.

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.243/EUR 1.167)

(CAD 1.0 = USD 0.744/EUR 0.698)

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