Jacobs agrees to acquire JWG’s nuclear business for £250m
August 22, 2019 – American engineering company Jacobs has agreed to acquire the nuclear business of British multinational company John Wood Group (JWG) in a deal worth approximately $300m (£250m) on a debt-free, cash-free basis.
Employing over 2,000 people, Wood Nuclear offers solutions that span the entire life cycle of the nuclear industry.
The firm offers programme management technical and consulting services in areas such as decommissioning, nuclear new build and operational support in the civil nuclear and defence segments.
The acquisition is expected to improve Jacobs’ capabilities and margin profile of its existing $1.2bn (£990m) nuclear portfolio.
Jacobs chair and CEO Steve Demetriou said: “This acquisition further strengthens Jacobs’ position in highly profitable and complementary sectors within nuclear and defense, enhancing our recognized program management skills with deep, technical expertise.
“We are excited to welcome these talented employees to the Jacobs’ team. Given the compelling and synergistic fit of our two organizations, we believe this transaction will translate into significant value for Jacobs’ shareholders, diverse opportunities for our employees and new, differentiated nuclear and defense solutions for our clients.”
Planned to be completed by the second quarter of fiscal 2020, the deal is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
However, if the transaction is not cleared by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Jacobs will pay a fee of approximately $9m to John Wood Group.
Jacobs chief financial officer Kevin Berryman said: “This acquisition is expected to deliver returns for our shareholders in excess of our cost of capital.
“We will continue to execute a focused, disciplined and agile capital allocation strategy that is consistent with our objective of compounding above market returns for our shareholders.”
Jacobs said that it is planning to finance the transaction through cash on hand and existing credit facilities.
Rothschild & Co serves as the financial advisor and Paul Hastings as legal counsel to Jacobs for the transaction. Price Waterhouse Coopers serves as the financial advisor and Slaughter and May as legal counsel to John Wood Group.