May 29, 2007

URS to buy Washington Group for $2.6 billion

East Bay Business Times - 1:08 PM PDT Tuesday, May 29, 2007
by Steven E.F. Brown

URS Corp. will buy Washington Group International Inc. for $2.6 billion in cash and stock.

The new company, which will have some 54,000 employees, will be called URS Corp.

San Francisco-based engineering and construction giant URS (NYSE: URS) is led by CEO Martin Koffel and has about 29,500 workers. Washington Group (NYSE: WNG), based in Boise, Idaho, has about 25,000 workers.

Washington Group is part of the groups managing Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for the U.S. Department of Energy. San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. and the University of California are also part of those two management groups. The Livermore group takes over management of the lab in October, though some changes have already started there.

Washington Group -- founded in 1912 in Boise as Morrison-Knudsen Corp. -- has a major division that does nuclear cleanup and remediation for the Department of Energy. The company is working as a subcontractor for Bechtel at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington. Morrison-Knudsen merged with Washington Construction Co., a Montana company, in 1996 after forcing out CEO William Agee, who had come to Morrison-Knudsen from Bendix.

The company focused on heavy civil engineering projects, including Tarbela Dam on the Indus River in Pakistan, one of the largest earth-filled dams in the world.

URS will pay Washington Group stockholders $43.80 in cash and 0.772 shares of URS common stock for each Washington Group share.

Together, the two companies are at work on projects in 50 countries.

San Francisco Business Times


Anonymous said...

No doubt adding LANL and LLNL to the stable helped.

Anonymous said...

From the Los Alamos Monitor (May 30, 2007), Roger Snodgrass...

"In an e-mail Tuesday, Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, an arms control organization, pointed out that two of URS' principal shareholders are Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and the Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington, D.C. investment firm."

Richard Blum is also the Chairman of the UC Board of Regents.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. When each one of these companies sells out to another does that mean that the contract has to be negotiated and if so do these other firms have any interest in the pension plan? If these other firms have no interest in the pension plan then why did they split us off from UCRP at all? What benefit was it to any of the workers? This entire privatizing is mind boggling. Can any one please explain it.

Anonymous said...

"What benefit was it to any of the workers?"

You gotta be kidding, right? You didn't really ask that question expecting a serious response, did you? Benefit workers?

Anonymous said...

4:50 PM (quoting):

"In an e-mail Tuesday, Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, an arms control organization..."

LASG is hardly an "arms control organization." It is one guy (Greg Mello) with an anti-nuclear, and anti-LANL, agenda.

Anonymous said...

But is Mello correct?

Pinky and The Brain said...

From the URS 2006 Form 10-K it seems that Mello had old information.


On January 19, 2005, affiliates of Blum Capital Partners, L.P. (collectively, "Blum Affiliates") sold 2,000,000 shares of our common stock in an underwritten secondary offering, pursuant to a registration statement that we previously filed in accordance with the terms of an existing registration rights agreement. The general partner of Blum Capital Partners, L.P. was a member of our Board of Directors.

On October 21, 2005, according to the terms of the registration rights agreement, Blum Affiliates requested that we register their remaining 3,580,907 shares of our common stock, which they sold on December 6, 2005."

Anonymous said...

Just in case you were curious.. I checked the historical stock price for URS on those days... Jan 19 '05 it closed at 28.30 so the sale was worth $56.6 Million to Blum Affiliates... on Dec 6 '05 it was 41.89 and the sale brought in $150 Million and change.