Balfour Beatty has just announced the sale of its professional services division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to WSP Global for a cash consideration of US$1,352.5 million (£820 million). The sale price assumes cash of US$110 million (£67 million) is retained within Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The sale is conditional upon the approval of Balfour Beatty’s shareholders, and the transaction is also subject to certain antitrust and other approvals. Completion of the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff is expected in Q4 2014.
WSP’s press announcement states: “Since the companies possess complementary skills and serve complementary segments and geographies with limited overlap in operations, the acquisition is also aligned with WSP’s growth strategy of:
· capitalizing on opportunities in countries where it has a strong and well-established presence, such as the UK;
· enhancing its position in industrialized regions where the Corporation [WSP] is established but does not have a significant presence, such as the US and Australia;
· expanding its offerings and capabilities in its core segments, such as buildings and infrastructure, to increase its expertise and offerings worldwide; and
· developing the energy segment, while further growing its project and program management services offering.”
Pierre Shoiry, President and CEO of WSP, comments: “We are pleased to be joining forces with a firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s long-standing reputation and know-how as we expect this transaction to create an industry leader, with the ability to deliver more expertise and services to our client base across the world.
“We expect to successfully reach the strategic objectives we had set for 2015, by creating one of the largest global pure-play professional services firms in our industry.”
George J Pierson, President and CEO of Parsons Brinckerhoff adds: “This tremendously exciting transaction significantly expands opportunities for our employees and services to our clients. The compatibility of our respective cultures is strengthened by the complementary technical skills we each offer.”
Once the acquisition is completed, Pierson will become an executive member of the board of directors of WSP, ensuring his active role in the organisation as well as continuity and integration at the highest level.
By Gail Taylor