In one of the industry's larger recent cross-border transactions, Montreal-based professional services firm Genivar Inc. has agreed to spend $431 million to buy the higher-revenue U.K. engineering firm WSP Group plc in a cash deal that includes pension liabilities. The deal, announced on June 7, would add 9,000 employees over a broader global footprint to Genivar's 5,500 mostly Canadian staffers, and officials said they did not expect "significant" staff cuts. The transaction is set to close by July 31, with a vote by WSP shareholders scheduled for July 13. Genivar will retain its listing on the Toronto Stock
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.