Belfast Telegraph

WS Atkins shares reach record high after firm receives takeover approach

WS Atkins shares surged to an all-time high after the British engineering and design consultancy received a takeover approach by Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin that values the firm at £2 billion.

The UK firm said it is "in discussions" with SNC-Lavalin over the terms and conditions of a possible deal after the Montreal-based company tentatively offered 2,080 pence per share in cash for the firm.

That is around 35% higher than WS Atkins' closing share price on Friday, and values the firm at £2.08 billion

WS Atkins signalled it was warm to the deal, saying it "would offer value to Atkins shareholders at a level that the board would be prepared to recommend".

The news saw WS Atkins' London-listed shares soar more than 26% in afternoon trading, up 422p to 1,962p.

That is the highest price on record since the company floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1996.

SNC-Lavalin has until May 1 to make a firm deal.