Canadian Manufacturing

WSP to buy Canadian engineering firm, MMM, for $425M

Montreal-based company continues growth momentum, will sell shares to fund purchase

MONTREAL—WSP Global Inc. has agreed to acquire MMM Group Ltd. for $425 million. The company will offer $175 million of common shares in a public offering as well as $125 million in shares in a private placement to fund the purchase.

“We are pleased to join forces with MMM, which is recognized as a highly successful firm nationally, with a particularly strong GTA market presence,” David Ackert, president and CEO of WSP Canada, said.

“This acquisition perfectly fits within the priorities of our Canadian growth strategy, which is focused on becoming a top player across the country, in all the sectors in which we operate,” he added.

MMM is one of the largest privately-owned engineering consulting companies in Canada with approximately 2,000 employees. The company has a national footprint, comprising 18 offices across 7 provinces with a particularly strong presence in the GTA. The Toronto area represented 75 per cent of the company’s 2014 net revenue. WSP noted MMM is also known for its success procuring and delivering public private partnerships.

WSP has made several acquisitions over the past 12 months, most notably the US$1.3B Parsons Brinckerhoff last October. The global company now has over 32,000 employees in 500 hundred offices worldwide. The Montreal-based company pointed to the strong position MMM would provide the company in the GTA as one of the rationales for the purchase.

“WSP anticipates to be well positioned to compete for expected upcoming opportunities in Ontario and particularly in the GTA, driven by factors such as aging infrastructure and population growth,” the company said.

The company also noted a similar corporate culture based on integrity, excellence, safety and growth.

“This transaction supports the realisation of both companies’ strategic aims and provides MMM a strong platform for continued growth both in Canada and internationally,” Hugo Blasutta, CEO of MMM said. “We believe it will provide our employees and our clients with enhanced opportunities and we expect to achieve increased prominence globally in the areas in which we excel.”

Upon the closing of the acquisition, WSP said Blasutta will join enlarged company’s corporate team.

The acquisition remains subject to certain customary closing conditions, including court and shareholder approvals. Special meetings of investors are expected to be held in early October.

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