WSP buys Australian mining sustainability firm Calibre for $275 million

06 April 2023 2 min. read
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Continuing a string of international environmental consulting acquisitions, global engineering giant WSP has purchased Western Australia-headquartered services provider Calibre for $275 million.

Commenting on the deal, WSP chief executive officer and president Alexandre L’Heureux said the acquisition would strengthen the Montreal-headquartered firm’s ability to support mining clients with their decarbonisation agendas.

“This transaction will further position WSP to play a leading role in assisting with the green transition of the mining industry both in Australia and globally,” stated L’Heureux, who kicked off his career with Deloitte. “Our combined business will further increase our technical capabilities and provide opportunities to serve as the partner of choice for mining companies with strong ESG commitments.”

WSP buys Australian mining sustainability firm Calibre for $275 million

Founded more than two decades ago, Calibre provides services across the full asset life cycle for blue-chip mining companies, with a focus on rail, infrastructure, rehabilitation, and renewable projects. The firm has approximately 800 professionals spread across offices in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and says that it has completed more than $30 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

“This is a significant milestone for our company,” said recently appointed executive general manager, Adrian Chapman. “Our combined service offering, increased capacity and global reach will provide us with leading capability. We believe that this acquisition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees, and we are confident that our combined strengths will drive continued success.”

Calibre had earlier this year sold off its Built Environment business to another international engineering and consulting player, Egis (which also recently snapped up Omrania in the Middle East), while WSP has been going big in recent years to build up its sustainability offering – beginning with the $1.5 billion purchase of Golder in 2020 to create what was described as the world’s largest environmental consultancy within the built environment.

That deal was followed by a major scoop in the United Kingdom. In June last year, WPS purchased the environment and infrastructure business of John Wood Group for around US$1.9 billion.

In Australia, the Calibre acquisition sees its headcount expand to beyond 6,000 professionals across the country.

WSP noted the Calibre acquisition positions the firm to “seize significant opportunities” related to mine closure and rehabilitation as well as water management, while also taking place against a backdrop of increased demand for resources essential to the energy transition and locally abundant, such as iron ore for wind and solar projects and other metals like lithium and cobalt, which will require mining services capability.