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WSP completes $400m takeover of US firm Louis Berger

Acquisition adds 5,000 staff to construction consultancy's global workforce

Construction consultancy WSP's Middle East operations are most prominent in Dubai, where it was named Consultancy of the Year at the Construction Week Awards 2018 this December.
Construction consultancy WSP's Middle East operations are most prominent in Dubai, where it was named Consultancy of the Year at the Construction Week Awards 2018 this December.

Canadian consultancy WSP has closed its takeover of US-based Louis Berger, buying the professional services firm for $400m (AED1.4bn).

The acquisition is set to add 5,000 people to WSP's workforce. It was finalised following the completion of all regulatory approvals for WSP's deal to take over Louis Berger, which operates in transport, infrastructure, water, the environment, and master planning.

WSP, which worked on Dubai Mall's expansion and Palm Jumeirah, announced its plan to acquire Louis Berger in July this year. It has paid the $400m acquisition price tag in cash, financed by new term loans from a group of banks.

READ: WSP to acquire US firm Louis Berger

The takeover is expected to strengthen WSP's project and programme management expertise in a range of sectors that Construction Week's Consultancy of the Year operates in.

WSP has been extremely active in the acquisition space. Between 2015 and 2018, it has added 15,000 new staff to its team, adding approximately $1.8bn (AED6.6bn) of net revenue along the way, according to its president and chief executive officer, Alexandre L’Heureux.

“I am pleased with this transaction, which brings together two complementary organisations with aligned strategic ambitions and a resolute emphasis on clients and employees,” he said.

“As we focus on integration in the next few months, we will bring to the combined entity our experience of building a global consultancy with the added benefit of providing professional and personal development opportunities to our employees, while delivering long-term value to our shareholders.”

VIDEO: Greg Kane, managing director of WSP Middle East

Louis Berger's chief executive officer, Jim Stamatis, said the WSP takeover “opens the door to a bright and transformative future” for the business and its clients around the world.

In WSP's statement setting out its intent to acquire Louis Berger this July, the consultancy said it expected to pay $50m (AED186m) in one-time integration and restructuring costs.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce acted as the financial adviser to WSP on the acquisition.

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Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 747
Aug 03, 2019