SNC-Lavalin's $2.78bn acquisition of Atkins creates engineering giant

SNC-Lavalin's $2.78bn acquisition of Atkins creates engineering giant
The merged entity will command a global workforce of over 50,000 employees and annual revenues of approximately $9bn.
Published: 5 July 2017 - 5:01 a.m.
By: Indrajit Sen

Canadian engineering major SNC-Lavalin on Monday announced completing the acquisition of British engineering consultancy firm Atkins, for an estimated C$3.6bn or US$2.78bn.

The takeover of WS Atkins plc allows the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc create a global, fully integrated engineering giant, that would leverage its significant control of the infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors to establish a near-monopoly on the projects market in these industries, especially in the Middle East.

The combined professional services and project management company is expected to ward off competition from its rivals worldwide with its array of services – including capital investment, consulting, design, engineering, construction, sustaining capital and operations and maintenance.

“SNC-Lavalin is continuing to deliver on its strategy of establishing itself in the top 3 in our industry globally. By combining our two highly complementary businesses, we are solidifying SNC-Lavalin’s position as one of the largest fully integrated professional services firms in the world, while improving our margins and balancing our business portfolio,” Neil Bruce, president and CEO of the Montreal-based company, was quoted in a press release as saying.

The merged entity will command a global workforce of over 50,000 employees and annual revenues of approximately $9bn. In the press release received by, SNC-Lavalin says it believes the acquisition increases its customer base, geographic reach and scale, ‘making us a true global player with more balanced revenue coverage worldwide, while strengthening our position globally to develop and capitalise on the infrastructure, rail & transit, nuclear and renewables markets’.

It might be interesting to note that even before this mega-merger saw the light of day, SNC- Lavalin had been enjoying a commanding position in the oil and gas engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) market in the MENA region, by virtue of which it leaped from No.3 to become the numero uno in Oil & Gas Middle East’s Top 30 EPC Contractors list this year.

This key acquisition highly raises SNC-Lavalin’s business prospects, as Atkins is known to be a reputed consultancy firm, specialising in design, engineering and project management verticals. Headquartered in the UK, Atkins is a geographically-diversified global company with approximately 18,000 employees in the US, Middle East and Asia, together with a leading position in the UK and Scandinavia.

Heath Drewett, group finance director and executive director of Atkins, now becomes president of Atkins, SNC-Lavalin’s fifth business sector, and a member of SNC-Lavalin’s executive committee, reporting directly to SNC-Lavalin’s CEO Bruce.

“Joining SNC-Lavalin will provide us with the ability to offer our clients and employees the enhanced scale, capabilities, expertise and other benefits that come with being part of a larger and stronger global company,” Drewett was quoted as saying in the press release. “At the same time, we look forward to bringing our own unique project management, design, consulting and engineering capabilities to SNC-Lavalin’s clients. The result will be a more agile and responsive company that better meets client needs and creates cross-selling opportunities.”

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