WSP buys GTA-based environmental consultancy Golder for $1.5 billion

07 December 2020 2 min. read
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WSP, a Montreal-based global design and engineering consultancy, has acquired Golder, a Mississauga, ON-based global environmental consulting firm, in a deal worth $1.5 billion.

Founded in 1960, Golder is a private, employee-owned firm specializing in geo-sciences consulting – an engineering niche focused on earth and environmental conditions. The company provides engineering, remediation, regulatory & compliance, design, and environmental services to clients in mining, manufacturing, oil & gas, power, and infrastructure industries.

Golder has approximately 7,000 employees across offices in 30 countries.

WSP’s acquisition of Golder will create the world’s leading environmental consulting firm, according to WSP.

“Together we will create the leading Global Environmental Consulting Firm with approximately 14,000 of our 54,000 professionals dedicated to accelerating the world’s green transition. The combination ideally positions WSP to capitalize on the rapidly growing ESG trends driving demand for environmental services and sustainable infrastructure development,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, president and CEO of WSP.

WSP buys GTA-based environmental consultancy Golder

WSP said that following the deal’s expected closure in Q2 2021, its earth science and environmental consulting services will account for a quarter ($2 billion) of its $8 billion in annual revenue.

“Over the last 60 years, Golder has been on a journey where we have built one of the most successful and respected brands in the industry,” Hisham Mahmoud, global president and CEO of Golder, said. “Combining Golder’s industry-leading expertise with WSP’s impressive world-class platform and highly complementary services will provide long-term benefits for our people and help create greater value for our clients.”

WSP expects to realized significant cross-selling opportunities from Golder’s client roster. The firm also expects annual cost synergies of approximately $35 million over a 24-month period.

The deal will also boost strategic advisory services to approximately half of the firm’s total net revenue. WSP, as well as its rivals SNC-Lavalin and Aecom, have been putting more of their resources into more stable, higher-margin consulting work and backing away from riskier, fixed-cost construction projects.

Industry competitor Jacobs recently expanded its advisory division with a majority stake in PA Consulting, an innovation-focused consultancy.