In a move designed to bulk up its presence in the United States and other markets and push further into the transport sector, one of the world’s top 20 design and engineering service firms is set to acquire a significant rival in a deal worth more than $US1.2 billion.

In its latest announcement, Montreal based engineering and construction outfit WSP Group said it had entered into an agreement with UK based infrastructure giant Balfour Beauty Plc to acquire the entire stock of New York based building and infrastructure group Parsons Brinckerhoff and its subsidiaries for an enterprise value of…