SNC Lavalin sell operations in France as it exits regional airports business

MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) has sold its operations in France and exited the airport management and maintenance business with the sale of 19 regional airports.

The Montreal-based engineering and construction firm announced that it has signed and closed an agreement to sell its ongoing activities in France and in Monaco to Ciclad and Impact Holding for a nominal amount. The price will be disclosed in March with the release of its quarterly results.

The deal includes 13 offices that cover several markets such as industry, agribusiness, transportation and cities.

About 1,100 employees are being transferred to the 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.

While the company has held the operations in France since the mid 1990s, they have not generated the expected profitability, infrastructure president Ian Edwards said in a news release.

“Even with this deal, nothing prevents us in the near future to work on a project in France,” added SNC spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin.

The sale excludes SNC-Lavalin’s investment in TC Dome S.A.S., a 5.3-km tourist mountain railroad on a large lava dome in Puy-de-Dome, west of Lyon. The company is hoping to complete the sale of this asset in 2017.