Stantec Inc. has announced it is to acquire engineering, consulting and construction management firm MWH Global, Inc in a US$795 million deal that will see the firm earn greater presence in key targeted geographies, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America, Europe and the Middle East.

Under the terms of the all-cash deal, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Stantec will acquire MWH for a purchase price of approximately US$793 million, with the transaction valued at approximately US$795 million after taking into account the estimated assumed net indebtedness of MWH.

"MWH brings a global presence and reputation in water infrastructure that will advance Stantec’s position as a top-tier design firm within the highly attractive global water market," said Bob Gomes, Stantec president and chief executive officer (CEO). "Together, we share a commitment to our communities and have the combined talent to support the most technically advanced clients and projects locally and around the world."

MWH has a network of approximately 187 offices in 26 countries, with around 6800 staff worldwide. Key members of the management team of MWH, including the presidents of key business units, will be joining Stantec in significant leadership positions after the Acquisition closes (the "Acquisition Closing Date"). Alan Krause and David Barnes, MWH chief financial officer, are committed to joining Stantec after the Acquisition Closing Date to ensure a smooth and successful integration, the company said in a statement.

"We are excited to join the expertise and experience of Stantec and MWH in a transaction that will enable us to thrive and grow amidst an increasingly complex industry landscape by strengthening our combined ability to solve the most pressing water, transportation and infrastructure challenges today," added Alan Krause, MWH chairman and CEO. "Our highly complementary cultures, shared approach to client service and extended global reach should yield multiple benefits for our clients, employees and the communities we serve."

Stantec said the acquisition will help in a bid to becoming a global leader in water and infrastructure markets, with the engineering and technical services offered by MWH expected to add international capabilities in water-related design services to Stantec’s key hydropower, oil & gas, mining, and industrial clients.

MWH is involved in key hydropower projects worldwide, ranging from American Municipal Power’s four new hydropower projects on existing sites along the Ohio River in the US, through to the 102MW Gulpur hydropower project in Pakistan.