WSP intends to acquire Sweett to strengthen Its expertise in Project Management

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WSP intends to acquire Sweett to strengthen Its expertise in Project Management

WSP Global has reached an agreement with the Board of Directors of Sweett Group, based in London, U.K., on the terms of a recommended cash offer pursuant to which WSP will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sweet.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Sweett Shareholders will be entitled to receive 35 pence (C$ 0.67) in cash for each Sweett Share held, valuing the entire issued share capital of Sweett at approximately £24 million (US$35.1 million). The offer price represents a premium of approximately:

  • 52.17 percent to the closing price per Sweett Share of 23 pence on 24 May 2016 (being the last business day prior to the date of this announcement); and
  • 73.58 percent to the six-month average price per Sweett Share of 20 pence (being the average closing price for the six month period ended on 24 May 2016 being the last business day prior to the date of this announcement).

Sweett is an international business provider of professional services for the construction and management of building and infrastructure projects. Its services include quantity surveying/cost management, project management, building surveying and specialist and advisory services. Sweett employs approximately 600 people, mainly based in the United Kingdom. 

According to WSP, Sweett is an attractive acquisition opportunity for the following key reasons:

  • it provides an opportunity to grow the range of advisory skills of WSP;
  • it adds further scale and management strength in the United Kingdom and Europe;
  • it has a complementary client base to which to cross sell services;
  • it gives the opportunity to provide a broader offering to WSP's existing and new clients; and
  • it provides a very solid foundation from which WSP can achieve growth of a strong programme, project and cost management capability.

Opus Corporate Finance LLP is acting as financial adviser and Nabarro LLP is acting as legal adviser to WSP. Stockdale Securities Limited is acting as financial adviser and  Pinsent Masons LLP is acting as legal adviser to Sweett.

Commenting on the Acquisition, Alexandre L'Heureux, CFO and incoming President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP, said:

"This transaction fulfills our strategic ambitions of enhancing our project and cost management services and positions our combined group as a leading global consultancy. WSP and Sweett operate a similar business model of global knowhow, local delivery and are highly compatible in terms of strategic objectives, being both pure play consulting firms."

Commenting on the Acquisition, Paul Dollin, Chief Operating Officer of WSP, said:

"This transaction is a key step on WSP's journey as a world class professional services organisation. The combination of skills and compatible cultures will provide a great foundation for the two organisations to work together constructively and enjoyably on selected projects, creating attractive and competitive solutions for our clients. This is a transaction that will truly benefit the business, our people and our clients."

Commenting on the Acquisition, John Dodds, Chairman of Sweett, said:

"This transaction supports the realisation of both companies' strategic aims and provides a strong global platform for growth. It provides Sweett Shareholders with cash at an offer price that recognises Sweett's underlying value, whilst enabling the Sweett business to accelerate its growth potential with the support of WSP's financial strength."

Commenting on the Acquisition, Douglas McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of Sweett, said:

"I believe this transaction will provide Sweett, our staff and our clients with enhanced opportunities and the combined entity will achieve increased prominence in the global markets in which we work. By joining WSP, this will provide the Company with a stronger platform, both operationally and financially, for growth in the years ahead."

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