Tetra Tech trumps WSP bid for environmental firm RPS Group

Dive Brief:

  • Pasadena, California-based engineering firm Tetra Tech has trumped engineering and design giant WSP Global’s offer for environmental consulting firm RPS Group, the company said in a press release. WSP had announced in August its intention to purchase the Abingdon, England-headquartered company to bolster its climate and infrastructure work.
  • With Tetra Tech’s offer of $691 million beating WSP’s $641 million offer by about 7.8%, the RPS board of directors unanimously approved the offer, the company announced Friday. The firm would be Tetra Tech’s largest acquisition to date. It employs about 5,000 designers, planners, engineers and technical specialists across the world.
  • However, a counter-offer from WSP is still possible. “WSP has an aggressive reputation in M&A, while TTEK’s is historically conservative. Together we can’t rule out another WSP offer,” analysts at Baird Equity Research Industrial Services said in an investor note.

Dive Insight:

Montreal, Canada-headquartered WSP has been on an acquisition spree lately. Just last week the firm announced it had completed its acquisition of the environment and infrastructure business of John Wood Group through a sale and purchase agreement for $1.8 billion.

WSP is growing its climate-related work as part of its 2022-2024 strategic plan, and the company is purchasing a variety of businesses to help it meet strong demand for these services. It’s not clear what the company will do next in regards to RPS Group.

“The corporation is considering its options in respect of the foregoing and a further announcement will be made by WSP in due course,” a WSP press release said

However, Tetra Tech, which has top rankings in both water and environmental management in Engineering News-Record’s 2022 list, is also enthusiastic about advancing its work in that sector.

“The RPS Group advances our long-term strategy to enhance our position as the premier global high-end consulting and engineering firm focused on water, environment, sustainable infrastructure, and energy transformation,” said Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack in a press release.

Details of the proposed acquisition will be sent to RPS Group shareholders within 28 days, the Tetra Tech release said. It is expected that the deal will be complete by the end of the year.

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