Atkins accepts £2.1bn SNC Lavalin takeover

Hamish Champ

Atkins boss Uwe Krueger to depart under the deal

Atkins’ management has recommended SNC Lavalin’s 2,080p a share offer for the company, valuing the project management group at around £2.1bn.

The deal, which both firms anticipate will complete by the end of the third quarter 2017, will see the departure of Atkins’ chief executive Uwe Krueger (pictured), who will be replaced by Heath Drewett, Atkins’ current finance chief.

Drewett will report to SNC Lavalin’s board, running Atkins as a separate group within the Canadian firm.

The 2,080p price represented a 35% premium to Atkins’ share price on 31 March, the day before SNC Lavalin tabled its offer, and 9.8 times its Ebitda.

Cost benefits from the deal are expected to be in the region of £69.5m (C$120m), the firms said.

In a statement Atkins’ chairman Allan Cook said the offer from SNC-Lavalin represented “the high quality of the business, its people and its future prospects”.

He added: “The board of Atkins believes that a combination will provide clear benefits to our shareholders, enhanced opportunities for our employees as part of a larger group, and a broader service offering for our customers.”

Neil Bruce, SNC Lavalin’s president and chief executive, said the acquisition was “fully aligned with our growth strategy, creating a global fully integrated professional services and project management company”.

SNC Lavalin, which has agreed in the event of the deal being scrapped to pay Atkins £50m, said it believed the acquisition would be earnings enhancing immediately.

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