Shares in UK consultant Waterman rose 81% after it was announced that Japanese rival CTI Engineering had offered to buy company’s equity at 140p a share. The cash offer, which adds up to $56m, represented an 83% premium on Waterman’s value before the offer.
According to reports from the London Stock Exchange, CTI intends to retain Waterman’s senior management, London base, name and business model.
Michael Baker, chairman of Waterman, said: "The Waterman board believes that the CTI proposal provides considerable opportunities for our people and enhances our capabilities and expertise in several key markets, including highways and flood defence.
"In particular, the proposal for Waterman to continue to operate as an independent business within the CTI Group is compelling for both our clients and our people."
Kazuo Murata, president of CTI, said: "Waterman should expand our technical capacity to serve clients in the property and building construction sectors internationally.
"Waterman’s knowledge and experience of working with both private and public sector clients in English-speaking markets should provide an excellent strategic fit with our group of companies as we seek to take advantage of the opportunities that exist beyond our domestic market."
CTI has already agreed the purchase of a total of 8.1 million shares in Waterman at the offer price, representing 26% of its total equity.
Tokyo-based CTI, which was founded in 1945, describes itself as Japan’s first consulting engineer. It employs more than 2,000 staff and turned over $370m in 2016.
Waterman Group employs 1,225 staff generating £91m revenue and a profit of £3.6m.
Image: One of CTI’s Japanese projects was the Choshi-Ohashi bridge near Tokyo (Panoramio)