BY PETER JONES
CH2M, Centennial’s public works contractor and the largest privately-held business in Colorado, will be purchased by Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group for $3.27 million in cash and stock, the companies announced last week, confirming rumors of an impending sale.
Jacobs will secure all outstanding shares of the Douglas County-based global engineering firm and about $416 million in CH2M’s debt.
In a statement, Jacqueline Hinman, CH2M’s CEO, said the firm has been “transparent” since 2014 about its plans to pursue an “ownership transition” as a way to acquire access to capital.
“Considering all of the options, we focused on securing greater opportunities for our employees, delivering superior value to our clients and enhanced value for our stockholders, all while continuing to serve the higher purpose our company is known for, providing sustainable solutions for a better world,” said Hinman, who is expected to step down as part of the transition.
The deal is also expected to give Jacobs an inroad to the United Kingdom, where CH2M has a strong presence.
“CH2M is a world-renowned design, engineering and program-management firm, and is a leader in key infrastructure and government service sectors that Jacobs has previously targeted for growth, including water, transportation, environmental and nuclear,” the Jacobs announcement said.
The deal is still subject to approval by CH2M stockholders. It has already been agreed to by both companies’ boards of directors.
CH2M has more than 20,000 employees, including more than 1,700 in Colorado.
The firm, formerly known as CH2M Hill, has provided traffic engineering and other public works services to the City of Centennial for more than a decade in a contract that has been called the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the United States.
In 2007, CH2M received a $5.4 billion contract to expand the Panama Canal.
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