Arcadis has announced it will acquire Hyder Consulting for £256.2m.
Arcadis UK Investments, a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based global firm, will acquire Hyder for 650p per share, a premium of 38.5 per cent on the closing price of 469p per share on 30 July 2014.
The acquisition of the £297m-turnover consultancy will allow Arcadis to “establish a footprint in new markets sooner than previously anticipated”, it said in the announcement.
Arcadis said the acquisition of Hyder was a “natural step in the evolution of Arcadis as the world’s leading design and consultancy firm”.
It also said Hyder’s design and engineering capabilities would strengthen its service offering in the infrastructure, buildings, water and natural resources sectors, and expand its geographical reach.
Hyder employs 4,500 people and operates in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Germany and the UK.
Arcadis acquired EC Harris in 2011. The firm employs 22,000 people worldwide and reported a turnover of €2.5bn (£1.9bn) in 2013.
Arcadis chief executive Neil McArthur said: “Hyder is a unique company with a long history of being involved in the leading edge of design and engineering.
“Through the transaction we see an excellent opportunity to better serve our clients by further deepening our capabilities in global design and engineering in growth markets, while creating exciting career opportunities afforded by a stronger global growth platform for staff in both companies.
“The transaction will create value for Arcadis shareholders by accelerating our sustainable growth strategy and through the synergy opportunities that arise from the combination.”
Hyder directors intend to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the the acquisition at its general meeting, the announcement said.
Hyder chief executive Ivor Catto said: “Arcadis’ recommended cash offer announced today represents a significant premium to Hyder’s current share price.
“Although the board believes Hyder has a strong future as an independent business, it considers that this cash offer substantially recognises Hyder’s growth prospects and provides certainty, in cash, to our shareholders today.
“The resultant group should also provide further opportunities for our highly valued clients and staff.”
Arcadis UK investments is providing the cash consideration payable from a new acquisition financing facility.