US-based Jacobs Engineering Group, a global provider of technical and construction services said it has entered into an agreement to sell its energy, chemicals and resources (ECR) segment to Australia’s professional services firm WorleyParsons for $3.3 billion.
The transaction consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $700 million in WorleyParsons ordinary shares, Jacobs said.
The deal value represents a multiple of more than 11.5 times trailing twelve-month (TTM) adjusted EBITDA for the ECR business, it added.
Following the completion of the transaction, Jacobs will be focused solely on its two higher growth, higher margin lines of business – Aerospace, Technology, Environmental & Nuclear (ATEN) and Buildings, Infrastructure & Advanced Facilities (BIAF).
"For Jacobs, this transaction marks an inflection point in our portfolio transformation focused on more consistent, higher-margin growth as a leader solving the world's critical challenges," said Jacobs chairman and CEO Steve Demetriou.
"The increased financial flexibility we gain from this sale better positions us to invest in our ATEN and BIAF businesses, focusing our premier talent and expertise on technology, innovation and sustainable solutions that are priorities for our infrastructure and government services clients. These capabilities, along with our strong backlog and efficient global platform, will further strengthen our global leadership in these segments to drive meaningful value creation."
"While we are in the process of finalizing our fiscal 2018 results, our current view is materially consistent with previously announced guidance for the year," said Jacobs CFO Kevin Berryman. "In addition, we continue to believe that the adjusted EPS guidance provided for fiscal 2019 remains appropriate, keeping in mind that such guidance did not reflect any impact from the pending transaction announced today."
"Upon closing of this transaction, we plan to initially apply proceeds to pay down floating-rate debt," Berryman added. "Beyond that, our strong financial flexibility and free cash flow will support incremental profitable growth investments and capital returns to shareholders, consistent with our record of disciplined allocation yielding attractive growth and value creation. And of course, Jacobs will continue to benefit from our ECR business' earnings and cash flow through the closing of the transaction."
Upon closing, Jacobs expects to receive approximately $2.6 billion in net proceeds from the transaction, which initially will be used to pay down floating-rate debt, while also maintaining a disciplined approach to deploy capital for increased shareholder value, including mergers and acquisitions. The company will provide further details about its capital allocation strategy, as well as its updated pro forma financial outlook, at the company's investor day on February 19, 2019, the statement said.
Together, ECR and WorleyParsons will be a global leader with the talent, industry sector, customer and geographic diversity needed to compete and win. The structure of the transaction enables Jacobs to benefit from the near-term upside created by the combination and the oil and gas market recovery.
At the close of the transaction, Jacobs will receive approximately 58.2 million shares of WorleyParsons stock, which will equate to approximately 11 per cent of WorleyParsons ordinary shares based on WorleyParsons' outstanding shares post-close. The shares will be subject to a six-month holding requirement (but not earlier than Aug. 31) following the transaction's closing. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.