Thursday, April 5, 2018

Canadian firm Aecon now owned by Chinese engineering giant for $1.19 billion

Canadian firm Aecon now foolishly sold to Chinese engineering giant for $1.19 billion

CCCI’s size and financial strength will augment Aecon’s access to capital and its ability to compete for global business.

Canadian engineering firm Aecon was involved in the construction of the CN Tower. The company has agreed to be acquired by China Communications Construction Co.
NEW YORK—Aecon Group Inc. agreed to be acquired by a unit of China Communications Construction Co. for $1.19 billion in cash, giving the Canadian company more heft to bid on global infrastructure projects.
Aecon, which helped build Toronto’s landmark CN Tower, said in a statement that CCCC International Holding Ltd. (CCCI) would pay $20.37 a share, or 23-per-cent higher than Aecon’s closing price Wednesday. The company will continue to be based in Canada with a Canadian management team.
“We believe this is a very positive outcome for Aecon and our key stakeholders,” Brian Tobin, Aecon’s chairperson, said in the statement.
The Toronto-based company confirmed in August it was exploring a sale. Activist investor Eric Rosenfeld of New York-based Crescendo Partners was nominated to Aecon’s board in June. Rosenfeld held 214,000 shares as of July 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Aecon has been without a permanent chief executive officer since last November, when executive chairman and founder John Beck replaced Terrance McKibbon on an interim basis.
“This is an excellent fit for both our companies. Aecon has strong management team and a very impressive track record,” Lu Zianzhong, president of CCCI, said.
The companies said CCCI’s size and financial strength will augment Aecon’s access to capital and its ability to compete for larger and more complex projects in Canada and around the world. The deal is worth $1.51 billion including debt, the companies said.
The sale, which is being structured as a plan of arrangement and subject to standard approvals, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2018, the companies said. If Aecon were to find another buyer, it would be required to pay a $50 million termination fee. If CCCI backs out, including failure to get the required approvals in China, it is subject to a $75 million termination fee.
Aecon operates companies across the mining, infrastructure, energy and services industries, building projects from factories, roads and sewers to theatres, book stores and hotels, according to its website.
CCCI’s Beijing-based parent is one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. Its core business activities include infrastructure construction and design and dredging, with revenue of $62 billion (U.S.).
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank acted as financial advisers to Aecon, while Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg provided legal advice. Barclays Plc provided financial advise to CCCI while Blake, Cassels & Graydon provided legal advice.

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