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Jacobs to buy PA Consulting

US engineering firm Jacobs has agreed to acquire a majority stake in UK-based PA Consulting for GBP1.4 billion (USD1.8 billion), the two companies announced on 30 November.

Jacobs is based in the US state of Texas. (Getty Images)

Jacobs is based in the US state of Texas. (Getty Images)

Jacobs said the purchase will enhance its knowledge in several high-growth sectors, including defence and security. PA said it will gain access to Jacobs’ larger client base, particularly in the United States.

Under the deal, which resulted from almost two years of discussions between the two companies, Jacobs will obtain 65% of PA and PA employees will own the rest. The Carlyle Group, the US investment firm that has been PA’s majority shareholder for the past five years, will end its involvement.

Jacobs plans to fund the acquisition through a mix of cash on hand and debt, and almost half of its investment will take the form of a loan to PA to fuel its growth. When the transaction closes, which is expected by March, PA will operate as a standalone entity within Jacobs.

Based in London, PA has 3,200 employees and estimates it will generate USD715 million in revenue in 2020. Its defence work includes helping the UK Ministry of Defence improve its supplier management and understand the impact of new technologies.


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