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Opus mulls takeover by WSP

NCE stock business

WSP dispatched takeover offer documents to Opus International shareholders on Friday as it prepares to combine the two companies’ “expertise in the transportation and building sectors”.

Opus’ independent directors based in New Zealand said they “strongly recommended” that shareholders wait until it releases a target company statement before they respond to the offer. A target company statement is produced by the company potentially being taken over and lays out the views of the directors as well independent expert advice on the proposal.

WSP announced last month that it intended to make a full takeover offer for all the ordinary shares in the engineering consultancy at $1.78 per share.

A spokeswoman for WSP said Opus in the UK had expertise in transportation, asset management and building sectors, and combined the companies would be in the best position to fully benefit from expected governmental investments in infrastructure.

The companies would have 7,640 employees in the UK and £474M (C$762M) in net revenues combined.

Opus’ board chairman Keith Watson said: “The independent directors strongly recommend that shareholders wait until we release the Target Company Statement before they respond to WSP’s offer.

“The Target Company Statement, which will be issued within the next two weeks, will contain important information that should be considered as part of their decision-making process.

“Shareholders will have at least 90 days to accept the offer, so there is no benefit to accepting the offer before the Target Company Statement is released.

“Early responders will not receive priority over other shareholders nor be paid any earlier.”

The independent directors will provide a recommendation to shareholders by 15 September. Opus International was the winner of the NCE100 awards in 2016.

If it goes ahead it will be the latest in a long line of acquisitions for WSP, including Mouchel Consulting last year.


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