URS set to buy Scott Wilson

City A.M. Reporter
US ENGINEERING firm URS said its unit agreed to buy British peer Scott Wilson Group for £161m in cash, while another US firm said it was considering a cash offer for the company.

The 210p per share offer from URS’ unit Universe Bidco was at a premium of 76 per cent to Scott Wilson’s Friday close, but it jumped as much as 89 per cent to 226p yesterday.

In a statement, CH2M HILL, a Colorado-based engineering and design consultancy, said it had undertaken due diligence on Scott Wilson and it was considering making a cash offer for the company.

CH2M’s offer was likely to push up the current offer from URS, Panmure Gordon analyst Mike Allen said.

However, there was a good chance of the proposed URS deal going through because of the synergies of the deal, he said, upgrading the stock to a “buy” recommendation.

Scott Wilson chief executive Hugh Blackwood said: “We did make clear that sometime ago we had received a number of approaches. The board has recommended the URS offer.

“We have had a note from CH2M this morning, but so far we have nothing else [from them].”