WSP to buy RPS in £591m deal
Shares of professional services firm RPS Group surged on Tuesday after it agreed to be bought by rival WSP for around £591.1m.
Under the terms of the deal, WSP will pay 206p per share in cash. This is a 76% premium to the closing share price on Monday.
RPS chairman Ken Lever said: "The RPS directors believe that RPS has a clear strategy and is strongly positioned for the future, underpinned by favourable trends in its end markets and the benefits that are starting to flow from investments in RPS' talent programme, brand, marketing strategy and technology initiatives.
"However, this is a compelling offer from WSP which fully values the business and its future prospects. It represents a highly attractive premium to recent trading levels and provides certain value in cash today for RPS Shareholders. The RPS directors also believe that the acquisition will provide career opportunities for our employees within the enlarged WSP Group as well as access to a comprehensive and expanded service offering for our clients."
News of the deal came alongside interim results from RPS, which showed that adjusted pre-tax profit rose to £16.1m from £9.8m in the same period a year earlier, while fee revenue increased to £267.4m from £233.5m.
RPS said its performance had exceeded board expectations, with strong demand for its services.
At 0820 BST, RPS shares were up 74% at 203.50p.