Quanta Sells Environmental Business to WSP Group

Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd. announced that it has completed the sale of Environmental Strategies Consulting LLC (ESC) to WSP Environmental Holdings, Inc., a division of the U.K.-based management and consulting firm WSP Group plc.

Quanta, which is in runoff, except for its Lloyd’s operation, indicated on Friday that it was pursuing a sale of ESC (See IJ Website May 26, Sept. 15). The Company said “the sale resulted in proceeds of $11.3 million in cash plus forgiveness of intercompany debt of approximately $1.0 million, subject to certain post closing adjustments.”

James J. Ritchie, the Company’s Chairman commented, “The sale of ESC represents a successful first step in the pursuit of harnessing value for our shareholders, generating proceeds in excess of ESC’s tangible book value. While Quanta’s insurance companies have ceased writing environmental policies that complemented ESC’s ongoing environmental consulting business, we believe ESC is well positioned to enjoy good business opportunities as part of WSP Environmental Holdings. I want to thank the employees of ESC for their hard work with Quanta and wish them every success.”

WSP Group’s bulletin called the acquisition “an exciting development for their environmental business.” ESC specializes in environmental consulting and remediation business from is U.S. headquarters in Reston, Va. WPS noted that it has”10 major offices in the United States employing over 120 staff,” with a “strong brand recognition amongst a broad range of both international and domestic clients.”

WSP also indicated that it has “secured the long term commitment of the existing four principal members of the ESC Management Team, who have each been with the Company for more than 10 years.” It added: “ESC provides WSP with the critical mass to expand its Environmental activities in the United States and with ESC’s strength in the property sector WSP sees considerable opportunities for cross selling services. In addition, the international nature of WSP’s existing Environmental business will provide ESC with a worldwide footprint to provide their clients with global coverage.”

Commenting on the transaction, Chris Cole, WSP’s CEO, stated: “We are absolutely delighted to secure this deal which substantially increases our Environmental capability in the important US market. This strategic acquisition forms part of our ongoing plan to build a major Environmental business which can compete in the global market. ESC brings new blue chip clients to the WSP Group and will support our other activities in the Region.”