Global project manager WYG is set to be taken over by California-based consulting and engineering services firm Tetra Tech in a £43m deal.
Tetra Tech said it anticipates “targeted reductions in headcount” in order to increase Leeds-based WYG's profitability, although it said this can not be quantified at the moment.
Tetra Tech has offered WYG shareholders 55p per share, more than treble the shares' value of 16p last week. The board of WYG is recommending that shareholders accept the offer and 72.5 per cent of WYG's shareholding has already indicated it will vote in support of the deal.
Tetra Tech said it attaches great importance to the "technical skills, expertise and experience" of WYG's existing management and employees and it believes they will be a key factor in maximising the opportunities the acquisition will create for the combined group.
However, it said it recognised that some operational and administrative efficiencies may be needed.
It said that headcount reduction should be "modest" and will predominantly come from back-office overhead support and corporate management activities, and will be driven by the optimisation of duplicative functions, consistent with the restructuring process already underway within WYG.
Tetra Tech said the takeover of WYG will create a premier international consulting, engineering and program management firm. It said that WYG’s leading position and expertise in international development, environment, infrastructure and water, will leave WYG well-positioned to provide a strong platform to drive long-term growth within the broader combined group.
The acquisition is currently expected to become effective in July.
Jeremy Beeton, non-executive chairman of WYG, said: "The WYG board and I unanimously recommend the offer from Tetra Tech.
"Becoming part of the Tetra Tech Group enables benefits of scale and access to expertise across highly complementary geographies and client relationships, and brings operational infrastructure and financial strength to support WYG’s long term growth ambitions."
He said WYG will provide Tetra Tech with a strong platform for investing in growth in the UK and Europe.
"We believe the combination of our two companies will provide greater opportunities for our people and clients, as well as offering certainty of immediate value to our shareholders at a considerable premium to the prevailing share price."
Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech's chairman and CEO, added: "WYG advances our strategy to add firms that support our position as the premier global high-end consulting, engineering, and program management firm.
"WYG’s expertise in infrastructure and program management, as well as water and environmental services, enables us to deliver innovative solutions to support the UK’s infrastructure needs.
"Together, we will be able to provide an expanded scope of services to our customers and offer our combined staff even greater professional opportunities."