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Canada's WSP crosses 90% threshold

Canada's WSP crosses 90% threshold to mop up remaining Opus shares

By Rebecca Howard

Nov. 10 (BusinessDesk) - WSP Global Inc, a Canadian listed consultancy firm, has crossed the 90 percent threshold needed to enforce mop-up provisions in its takeover bid for local engineering firm Opus International Consultants, meaning it just needs regulatory approval to close the deal.

The Canadian consultancy lifted its stake to 90.7 percent from 89.5 percent according to documents filed to the stock exchange. WSP mounted a takeover in August after extended negotiations with Malaysian Stock Exchange-listed UEM Edgenta Bhd, which owns 61.2 percent of Opus International. 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 hold 9.4 percent of Opus International, joined UEM Edgenta in signing a lock-up deal with WSP, meaning it started the process with acceptances totalling 70.6 percent.

WSP has previously said it will exercise its statutory right to compulsory acquire the remaining shares once it crosses the 90 percent threshold.

The takeover offer remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions, including the consent of the Overseas Investment Office which was applied for on Aug. 22, Opus said.

Opus shares last traded at $1.76 and have gained 123 percent in the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)

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