WSP Global approaches Aecom about possible deal: Bloomberg

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Canada’s WSP Global Inc. has approached rival engineering services firm Aecom about a possible deal, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reports.

“There’s no guarantee that the overture will lead to a transaction, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public,” said the story, published on Tuesday.

Bloomberg said representatives from Los Angeles-based Aecom and Montreal-based WSP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Aecom, as a publicly traded company has a market value of about US $7.4 billion, while WSP’s market value is about $9.9 billion in Canadian funds, or $7.6 billion in US dollars.

Bloomberg said Aecom agreed in October to sell its management services division to a group of private equity firms for $2.4 billion. It has been “targeted by activist investor Starboard Value,” the published report said.

WSP has been expanding rapidly. It’s Australian division purchased Elton Consulting Group Pty Ltd. (also based in Australia) in November. In December, it acquired New York-state based Ecology and Environment Inc.

Aecom’s website says its services include consulting, planning, architecture, engineering and construction management.

“While it has a growing backlog thanks to a steady stream of government and infrastructure contracts, profits have stagnated in recent years due to inefficiencies and construction contract losses,” Bloomberg reported, citing a Bloomberg Intelligence report.

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