WSP to acquire Parsons Brinckerhoff in $1.35 billion deal

Acquisition would create a 31,000-person firm; Balfour Beatty stockholders and antitrust regulators must still give the go-ahead

September 03, 2014 |
The consolidation would strengthen WSP's position in the U.S. transportation seg

Giant design/engineering firm WSP Global said today it plans to acquire infrastructure professional services firm Parsons Brinckerhoff from PB's parent organization, Balfour Beatty plc. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of WSP and Balfour Beatty, has an enterprise value of $1.243 billion, plus another $110 million in cash retained by PB.

The acquisition, if approved by Balfour Beatty shareholders and cleared by antitrust regulators, would create a mega-firm of more than 30,000 employees - 17,500 from Montreal-based WSP, 13,500 from New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff. WSP currently has >300 offices in 30 countries on 5 continents; PB has 170 offices worldwide, with about 5,000 employees in the U.S.

The consolidation would strengthen WSP's position in the U.S. transportation segment and in the United Kingdom, where Parsons Brinckerhoff is a strong player. WSP said in a release that the move would also give the firm "a stronger presence in key growth regions such as Asia and Australia."

Parsons Brinckerhoff was founded in 1885. It is known for its expertise in infrastructure services in water, mining, power, transportation, energy, community development, and environment.

WSP, which acquired Flack & Kurtz in 2012, is considered a major player in urban planning and environmental projects, and in the engineering of complex buildings.

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