Engineering solutions company WPS Global, known for its contributions to the Shard in London and New York’s Freedom Tower, has had a bid for the majority stake in New Zealand infrastructure consultancy firm Opus International accepted.
Opus’s majority shareholder, UEM Edgenta Bhd, has agreed to sell the entirety of its 61.2% stake in the business to the Canadian company.
The deal has WSP Global offering an 86.9% premium, paying $1.85, including a $0.07 cash dividend, per share for Opus which closed at $0.99 last week.
It is understood that Opus has been in a period of decline for some time, with a recorded $29.9mn loss in the calendar year of 2016.
However, WSP Global’s Chief Executive Alexandre L'Heureux remains confident in the deal, stating that the merger will allow Opus to “greatly leverage WSP's customer base and strong international brand equity to significantly bolster its positioning and growth outside of New Zealand”.
Opus floated for as much as $1.65 per share back in 2009, and has exceeded the $2 mark in the past three years, meaning the deal will provide long term investors the opportunity to recuperate any losses that they have seen with the company in the past 18 months.
Simultaneously, the deal will give WSP a greater platform in the markets of Australia and particularly New Zealand, where Opus has a significant market presence with 1,800 staff and 40 offices.
“We’re a global engineering firm but we have a very small presence in New Zealand. We have 100 employers, so to be in a position to merge with a firm like Opus was really attractive,” said L’Heureux.