The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that in a surprise move, SNC-Lavalin said on Tuesday it will sell its oil and gas unit to UAE-based Kentech. The Globe's Nicolas Van Praet writes that no firm purchase price was disclosed, but SNC said it expects to book a small gain on the sale when the transaction is finalized after taking a fair-value writedown of $260-million to $295-million on the value of the asset. "Selling the oil and gas business takes a big chunk [of risk] away, and we're down to what I would call a manageable level of issues," SNC chief executive officer Ian Edwards told analysts on a call. "Our intention here is to be absolutely confident of the provisioning that we've made against all these risks so that we can smoothly go forward." One year after striking a deal with federal prosecutors to settle a criminal corruption scandal centred on past business dealings in Libya, Mr. Edwards is trying to reshape SNC into a company that delivers predictable profits. The sale to Kentech is a full retreat from oil and gas for SNC, which made a big bet on the industry by buying Kentz Corp. for $2.1-billion in 2014. In 2019, SNC took a $1.24-billion writedown on the value of the oil and gas division.
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