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SNC-Lavalin to buy WS Atkins for £2.1bn

British engineering giant WS Atkins has agreed to a £2.1bn takeover by Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin in a deal that will see the FTSE 250 company's chief executive step aside.

Atkins' board last night agreed to a cash takeover at £20.80-a-share, some 35pc above its closing share price on March 31 when the talks first emerged.

The deal, which comes months after Atkins snubbed interest from US rival CH2M Hill, will see its physicist Uwe Krueger give up his role as chief executive while chief financial officer Heath Drewett will fill the same job at the enlarged company if the merger goes ahead.

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