WSP has reached an agreement to acquire British consultant RPS Group at a cost of $714.8m (£591.1m), a 76% premium on its share price.
RPS, founded in 1970, has 5,000 staff and generated $875m (£722) in revenue during the last financial year. It specialises in environmental services.
Funding for the buyout is being delivered by a $400m (£330m) public offering and a further $400m in equity financing from WSP’s three existing shareholders.
The deal will increase WSP’s advisory, planning and programme management services and the company’s presence in the UK and Australia.
Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP’s president, said: “We are pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of RPS as it will enable us to rapidly deliver on our global strategic action plan and create value for all our stakeholders.
“RPS is a perfect fit as it adds depth to our current platform and is highly complementary in terms of geographies and sectors. When completed, our recently announced transactions will bring our workforce to approximately 70,000, with approximately 23,000 environmental experts across the globe.”
The acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter if 2022.