Engineering and design firm WSP Global Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Golder Associates, an engineering and consulting firm with more than 60 years of experience in providing earth science and environmental services.
The acquisition positions WSP’s strategic environment platform to capitalize on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) trends. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of the second quarter of 2021. Under the terms of the agreement, WSP will acquire Golder for an aggregate cash consideration of US$1.14 billion (approximately C$1.5 billion).
“Together we will create the leading Global Environmental Consulting Firm with approximately 14,000 of our 54,000 professionals dedicated to accelerating the world’s green transition,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, president and chief executive officer of WSP. “The combination ideally positions WSP to capitalize on the rapidly growing ESG trends driving demand for environmental services and sustainable infrastructure development.”
“WSP looks forward to welcoming Golder’s employees and joining forces with such a well-respected environmental consulting brand,” added L’Heureux. “Golder is a global leader in earth sciences and environmental services. This acquisition directly contributes to the realization of the goals we laid out in our 2019-2021 Global Strategic Plan and is expected to contribute to both strategic growth and value creation for many years to come.”
Highlights of the acquisition include:
- A strategic environment platform uniquely positioned to capitalize on ESG trends and an estimated US$1.25 trillion environmental market.
- Earth sciences and environmental consulting services to represent 25 per cent or $2 billion of WSP’s total $8 billion pro forma net revenues, achieving a key milestone of its 2019-2021 Global Strategic Plan.
- Enhances proportion of net revenues from strategic advisory services to approximately half of WSP’s total net revenues.
- Immediately increases adjusted EBITDA margin (pre-synergies) toward the higher end of its 2021 strategic ambitions.
- Highly complementary service offering and customer base provides significant cross-selling opportunities across all of WSP’s end-markets.
- Establishes long-term relationships with GIC, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with an established global network, and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest institutional investors.
- Transaction overwhelmingly supported by Golder’s Partners.
“Over the last 60 years, Golder has been on a journey where we have built one of the most successful and respected brands in the industry,” said Dr. Hisham Mahmoud, global president and chief executive officer of Golder. “Combining Golder’s industry-leading expertise with WSP’s impressive world-class platform and highly complementary services will provide long-term benefits for our people and help create greater value for our clients. This view is echoed and confirmed by the overwhelming support of our Partners for the transaction. I believe that the compatible cultures and values of WSP and Golder will facilitate a successful integration.”
WSP provides engineering and design services to clients in the transportation and infrastructure, property and buildings, environment, power and energy, resources and industry sectors. It also offers strategic advisory services. The company’s global experts include engineers, advisors, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, environmental specialists and surveyors, in addition to other design, program, and construction management professionals.
Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Golder is a private, employee-owned engineering and consulting firm in the geo-sciences sector with an engineering niche focused on earth and environmental conditions. The company provides engineering, remediation, regulatory and compliance, design, and environmental services to clients in the mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, power, and infrastructure industries.