Tampa, FLA. — The PBSJ Corporation (PBSJ) has entered into a definitive merger agreement by which WS Atkins plc, the world’s 11th largest design firm, will acquire PBSJ in an all-cash transaction for $17.137 per share of PBSJ. Atkins is headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK).

The transaction is expected to close in the early fall and is subject to approval by PBSJ’s shareholders and standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

“We are fortunate to have maintained solid performance even during the recent, challenging economic climate,” states PBSJ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Paulsen. “But we wanted to grow the company in a way that employee ownership alone could not support. At the same time, we wanted to keep our strong culture, founded upon the principles of technical excellence, client service, and sense of family. We believe that becoming a part of Atkins will allow us to accomplish both of these goals. It’s an exciting opportunity for our shareholders and employees!”

According to Atkins Chief Executive Keith Clarke, “This is an important acquisition for Atkins and forms part of our plan to grow our business through a multi-skill, multi-local strategy. PBSJ operates a business model we understand and complements our business superbly, enhancing our skills in environmental, transportation, building design, and program management disciplines. PBSJ has an experienced management team and a strong, long-standing reputation for technical excellence and quality, which underpins its deep client relationships. These are all important criteria for a successful acquisition, which will provide us with a strong platform for growth and enable us to drive significant value for our shareholders.”

Once the transaction has been completed, PBSJ will operate as a national business of Atkins in the U.S. and will be led by current PBSJ CEO Robert Paulsen, reporting directly to Atkins’s chief executive.

PBSJ’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the agreement and recommended that PBSJ’s shareholders approve the merger.