August 29, 2016 / 7:52 PM / 3 years ago

Canada's SNC-Lavalin says it is mulling offer for French business

A pedestrian walks past the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., headquarters in Montreal, May 7, 2009. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian construction and engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO) said on Monday it is weighing an offer for its entire business in France, which has about 1,100 employees and manages 17 regional airports in the country.

The offer, for an undisclosed amount, comes from a partnership comprising private French companies Impact Holding and Ciclad Gestion, SNC spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said by email, confirming a report last week in Canada’s La Presse newspaper.

Paquin said the company started a consultation process on Aug. 22 with employee representatives in France over the potential sale.

“We intend to consider this offer as it is consistent with our efforts to align our activities with our global business strategy,” he wrote.

In a note to clients last week following the La Presse article, Desjardins analyst Benoit Poirier wrote he believed the French division could command a higher price tag than the C$45 million ($34.6 million) SNC received when it sold its Canadian real estate facilities management business earlier this year.

“We believe the sale could have positive implications for consolidated margins given the tough competitive landscape in the French market,” Poirier wrote.

SNC Lavalin stock was down 26 Canadian cents to C$55.94 in Toronto trading on Monday afternoon.

($1 = 1.3010 Canadian dollars)

Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Alan Crosby

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