4 Sep 2013

Opus moves into Canada's massive oil and gas market

12:39 pm on 4 September 2013

The engineering firm Opus International Consultants is expanding into Canada's vast oil and gas market by buying the engineering and environmental consultancy Stewart Weir.

The acquisition, worth a total of $110 million, will substantially boost Opus' Canada operations, taking staff numbers from 150 to more than 700.

Stewart Weir's work on pipeline, infrastructure and energy-related projects makes it a market leader in the state of Alberta, Canada's highest growth market.

Opus chief executive, David Prentice, says the purchase fits with his company's expansion plans.

"Part of our strategic plan was about diversifying and growing our base in Canada, and this just offered a fantastic opportunity for us, not only to do that but also to get into the Alberta market which is effectively the cornerstone of the growth of the Canadian economy at the moment and in particular in the oil and gas sector."

Mr Prentice says Opus will initially pay $61 million for Stewart Weir, followed by performance-related payments of up to $49 million, funded by cash and debt.

The 100-year-old Canadian company had annual revenues of $110 million this year.