Jacobs buys CH2M for £2.1bn in US mega merger

3 August 2017

Jacqueline Hinman, CH2M chairman

US firm Jacobs engineering has bought rival firm CH2 in a deal worth £2.1bn.

The two companies announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Jacobs will acquire all outstanding CH2M shares in a cash and stock transaction.

Jacobs already employs more than 54,000 people and operates in more than 25 countries around the world. It stated it saw CH2M as a leader in key infrastructure and government service sectors that it has previously targeted for growth, including water, transportation, environmental and nuclear.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Jacobs’ 2018 fiscal year.

Under the deal, 60% will be paid in cash and 40% paid in Jacobs common stock. It also includes £314m of CH2M’s net debt. Jacobs said it expected to make £113m of cost synergies through the merger.

The new overall firm will employee 74,000 people globally.

Steve Demetriou, chief executive of Jacobs, said: “By increasing our industry reach and adding to our already extensive skills, this transaction enhances our value to our clients and bolsters Jacobs’ position as a premier consulting, design, engineering, construction, and operations and maintenance technical services firm.”

CH2M chairman Jacqueline Hinman said “Since late 2014, we’ve been transparent about our plans to pursue an ownership transition, providing sustained access to capital for growth.

“Considering all of the options, we focused on securing greater opportunities for our employees, delivering superior value to our clients and enhanced value for our stockholders, all while continuing to serve the higher purpose our company is known for, providing sustainable solutions for a better world.”

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