Atkins is to be taken over by Canadian giant SNC-Lavalin in a sale which values the UK engineering firm at £2.1bn.
The boards of both firms have agreed a cash purchase deal and are recommending shareholders vote for the takeover. Atkins is currently one of the few remaining major British-owned engineering consultants.
The takeover bid was announced at the beginning of the month. The deal will create a £7bn global firm with 53,000 employees.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Atkins shareholders will receive £20.80 in cash for each share.
On completion of the takeover, Atkins chief executive Uwe Krueger will step down to be replaced by the current Atkins finance director Heath Drewett.
Also promoted to the new board is current Atkins executive director James Cullens who will become executive vice-president HR.
Atkins chairman Allan Cook said: “Having achieved our strategic target of 8% operating margin, the Atkins directors believe that Atkins is strongly positioned to execute on its growth strategy going forward. This position is underpinned by favourable trends in our end markets, our differentiated offering, and the benefits of our new growth initiatives, including our Acuity advisory business, our positioning in the nuclear value chain and our focus on digital and technology.”
SNC-Lavalin president and chief executive Neil Bruce added: “By combining two highly complementary businesses, we will increase our depth and breadth of services to position us as a premier partner to public and private sector clients. It also creates new revenue growth opportunities in key geographies by positioning us to capitalise on increased cross-selling and the opportunity to win and deliver major projects in new regions.”
Subject to the shareholders vote and regulatory formalities, the sale is expected to be completed in the last quarter of the year.