Parsons Brinckerhoff sold to WSP Global of Canada

New York-based consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff  has been sold by it British owner Balfour Beatty to WSP Global for $1.35bn.

The deal, which assumes the retention of $110 million by Parsons Brinckerhoff, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Montreal-based WSP Global expects the acquisition will increase its presence in the US and position the company as a player in the U.S. transportation segment.

The deal also will build on WSP Global’s position in the U.K., and provide a stronger presence in growth regions such as Asia and Australia. The transaction also will expand its capabilities in its core buildings and infrastructure segment, as well as develop the energy segment and further increase its project- and program-management-services offerings.

WSP Global expects the combination to generate annual cost savings of about $25 million over two years. The company expects the deal will give an immediate boost in the mid-single digits to per-share earnings.

Balfour Beatty said plans for proceeds from the deal include returning as much as $329 million to shareholders, and targets $140m (£85m) toward reducing its pension-fund deficit.

Balfour Executive chairman Steve Marshall said the sale follows a re-evaluation of the company’s portfolio to focus on its core construction and infrastructure businesses.

Balfour Beatty acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff in September 2009 for $828m.


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