WSP pushes into Latin America with purchase of Chilean engineer

Canadian consultant WSP has acquired Poch, a 730-strong professional services firm based in Chile with branch offices in Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The deal is expected to double WSP’s capacity in Latin America.

WSP bought Poch with its own cash but the terms were not made public. However, the Montreal Gazette reported that Canadian financial sources estimated the deal to be worth about US$40m.

One of Poch’s projects was this Mexican healthcare centre, which achieved a LEED gold standard (Poch)

WSP president and chief executive Alexandre L’Heureux said the acquisition was "a milestone in our ambition to become a top-tier pure player in Latin America".

"With 540 employees the Chilean office is strategically located for our operations and positions us for continued growth in Chile," he said in a press statement.

Poch chief executive Miguel Sanchez Carril said WSP was "the perfect partner for us".

With revenue of around $45m a year Poch was founded in 1989 and traded as an engineer before adding environmental management and consulting services in 2001, followed by a sustainability offering in 2008.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of purchases by WSP intended to grow the business to 45,000 employees by the end of 2018, compared with 36,000 in 2016.

Other notable recent acquisitions include YR&G, a US building design and sustainability consultancy; UK contractor and consultant Mouchel; Parsons Brinckerhoff, which was Balfour Beatty’s professional services arm; and the water business of US oil services giant Schlumberger.

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