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Proposed Acquisition of The PBSJ Corporation by WS Atkins plc

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WS Atkins plc ("Atkins" or "the Group") announces that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire The PBSJ Corporation ("PBSJ") for a cash consideration of US$280 million (c.£178 million), unanimously recommended by the boards of Atkins and PBSJ (the "Acquisition").

The consideration for the Acquisition will be satisfied from Atkins' available cash resources and new credit facilities.

PBSJ is employee owned and one of America's leading providers of engineering, planning, architecture, construction, environmental and programme management services, headquartered in Florida. As at 31 March 2010 it employed approximately 3,500 people and in the year to 30 September 2009 generated EBITDA of US$47 million on gross revenue of US$799 million.

The combination of Atkins and PBSJ represents an important step in Atkins' multi-skill, multi-local strategy and further expands its geographic footprint.

The Acquisition delivers the following benefits for Atkins' shareholders and clients:
  • balances Atkins' geographic presence;
  • deepens the Group's technical skills in established sectors;
  • provides a strong platform for growth; and
  • delivers attractive financial returns.
Commenting on the Acquisition, Keith Clarke, chief executive of Atkins, said:

"This is an important acquisition for Atkins and forms part of our plan to grow our business through a multi-skill, multi-local strategy. PBSJ operates a business model we understand and complements our business superbly, enhancing our skills in environmental, transportation, building design and programme management disciplines. PBSJ has an experienced management team and a strong, long-standing reputation for technical excellence and quality, which underpins its deep client relationships. These are all important criteria for a successful acquisition which will provide us with a strong platform for growth and enable us to drive significant value for our shareholders."

Robert Paulsen, chairman, CEO and president of PBSJ, said:

"We are excited to be joining Atkins which provides an excellent cultural fit for our business and a great opportunity to further develop our offering. We are both focused on engineering excellence and share a clear vision to become one of the world's best infrastructure consultancies. Atkins is a well regarded organisation and we look forward to continuing to drive high standards of work with our clients as part of an enlarged world class engineering consultancy".

This summary should be read in conjunction with the full text of this announcement.

Atkins plans, designs and enables the delivery of complex infrastructure and buildings for clients in the public and private sectors across the world. Atkins is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK and the world's eleventh largest international design firm (sources: New Civil Engineer Consultants File, 2010; Engineering News-Record, 2010). sAtkins is the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

PBSJ is based in Florida and was founded in 1960 and is one of America's leading providers of engineering, planning, architecture, construction, environmental and programme management services. The company has grown by developing deep technical skills and has differentiated itself in a highly competitive marketplace by expanding its resources in emerging technologies and combining those capabilities with a solid understanding of its clients' businesses. The firm is ranked by Engineering News-Record as 28th among the top design firms in the United States. PBSJ has approximately 3,500 employees and more than 80 offices in the United States.

Published 02/08/2010

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