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UK engineering and design consultancy WS Atkins on Monday confirmed it had received a preliminary offer from Canadian engineering services group SNC-Lavalin.

Shares in Atkins jumped nearly 28 per cent to 1,984 pence after the company’s board confirmed an offer price of 2,080 pence in cash for each Atkins share

It also said it would be prepared to recommend the deal to its shareholders as it believes the offer “would deliver value” as long as they could reach an agreement on other terms and conditions.

The companies are in discussions on other terms of the offer and SNC-Lavalin is required to announce a firm intention to make an offer to Atkins on May 1.

Atkins’ shares are now up nearly 34 per cent so far this year, while SNC-Lavalin shares are down nearly 10 per cent year-to-date.

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