Canadian property services consultancy WSP Global Inc paid $256.7 million last Monday to buy out 97.5% of shareholders in Opus International Consultants Ltd, and issued a compulsory acquisition notice for the balance.
The final day of trading in Opus shares is this Monday, 11 December. The shares will cease to be quoted on the NZX from close of business on Wednesday 10 January.
Opus International Consultants is a global infrastructure development & services company with headquarters in Wellington & 35 offices in New Zealand, the UK, Australia & North America.
It came into existence 20 years ago, a year after the New Zealand Government sold the business, as Works Consultancy Services Ltd, to Malaysian Government-controlled Kinta Kellas Ltd, and was listed on the NZX in 2007. The Malaysian Government’s 61.2% holding was more recently through UEM Edgenta Bhd, 69.14% owned by UEM Group Bhd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Malaysian Government’s strategic investment fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
On Wednesday, the Opus board changed from one controlled by UEM Edgenta to one controlled by WSP, but retaining 3 local independents & the managing director.
Directors now are: Independents Keith Watson (chair), Alan Isaac & Sam Knowles; non-independents Dr David Prentice (managing director) & 3 WSP executives, chief financial officer Bruno Roy, chief operating officer Paul Dollin and Australia & NZ chief executive Guy Templeton.
The takeover has been through WSP NZ Acquisition Ltd, a local company owned directly from Canada. In New Zealand, the WSP branch dropped the Parsons Brinckerhoff acronym (PB) from its name in March and it’s now just WSP NZ Ltd. But WSP internationally includes the Parsons Brinckerhoff businesses, bought by UK construction & infrastructure group Balfour Beatty plc in 2009 and sold to WSP in 2014.
15 August 2017: WSP secures Malaysian stake on way to full Opus takeover
Attribution: Company releases.