Canada's WSP to de-list Opus from NZX after takeover

WSP mops up shares.

Opus International Consultants will de-list from the NZX in January, with its shares to be suspended from December 11, after being acquired by Canadian listed consultancy firm WSP Global Inc.

In November, WSP announced it had crossed the 90% threshold needed to enforce mop-up provisions in its takeover bid for the local engineering firm and had received approval from the Overseas Investment Office. The compulsory acquisition process, which the company began on December 4, will be completed on January 10 after which it will de-list.

The Canadian consultancy mounted a takeover bid for Opus in August after extended negotiations with Malaysian Stock Exchange-listed UEM Edgenta Bhd, which owned 61.2% of the company. It lifted its offer price to $1.92 a month later to accommodate a dividend payment.

Three institutional shareholders – Accident Compensation Corp, Salt Asset Management and Aspiring Asset Management – who between them held 9.4% of Opus International – joined UEM Edgenta in signing a lock-up deal with WSP, meaning it started the process with acceptances totalling 70.6%.

Opus shares last traded at $1.81 and have gained 116% this year.