Canadian engineering firm Stantec Inc. has agreed to purchase MWH Global, a water resources infrastructure company based in Colorado, for $793-million in cash.

Stantec said the acquisition of MWH, which has 6,800 employees worldwide, would make it a global leader in water resources infrastructure, increasing its presence in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America, Europe and the Middle East.

“MWH brings a global presence and reputation in water infrastructure that will advance Stantec’s position as a top-tier design firm within the highly attractive global water market,” Stantec chief executive officer Bob Gomes said.

Stantec said the acquisition would be financed by a combination of an equity financing and new credit facilities and is expected to generate annual cost savings of about $25-million.

The deal is subject to the approval of at least two-thirds of MWH shareholders at a special meeting to be held this month.