SNC-Lavalin sells off French operations

Engineering and construction multi-national SNC-Lavalin (TSX: SNC) says it’s selling its activities in France and Monaco, including operation and maintenance of 19 regional airports.

The operations, which employ about 1,100 people, are not sufficiently profitable, “despite restructuring and improvement efforts over the past few years,” head of infrastructure Ian Edwards said in a statement. The deal includes 13 offices that cover several markets such as industry, agribusiness, transportation and cities.

Ciclad and Impact Holding are the acquirers. The agreement does not include SNC-Lavalin’s TC Dome S.A.S. capital investment, a 5.3-km tourist mountain railroad on a large lava dome in Puy-de-Dome, west of Lyon. That will be governed by a different sale agreement with a separate set of closing conditions, and is expected to close at a later date.

The price will be disclosed in March with the release of quarterly results.

“The sale is consistent with our focus on operational excellence and our efforts to align our activities with our global core business strategy,” Edwards said. “This was the best economic option for our business and stakeholders going forward, and provides for continuity of operations for clients and employees in France and Monaco, who will transition to new owners.”

The airports are located in smaller French cities such as Reims, Dijon, Toulouse and Tours, along with the Caribbean island of Saint Martin and the French territory of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. One airport is located in Castellon in Spain.

The sale is part of the company’s efforts to improve its profitability by focusing on its four core business sectors: oil and gas, mining and metallurgy, infrastructure and power.

In June, SNC-Lavalin announced the sale of its real estate facilities management business in Canada, along with 1,100 employees, to Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions for $45 million.

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