SNC-Lavalin reshuffles leadership ranks, restructures amid poor performance – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 29, 2019)

Amid the political furor dominating news headlines, SNC has been suffering through its own, separate business drama

As the political furor over whether SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. received special treatment from the Prime Minister dominates national headlines, the Montreal engineering and construction company has been suffering through its own, separate business drama — reshuffling much of its executive lineup this year in the face of losses and mishaps.

On Thursday, the Montreal-based engineering company announced an official restructuring of its business, and made three leadership changes adding to earlier turnover in its ranks.

The company framed the changes as an attempt to “de-risk” its business by consolidating certain business segments. It follows several damaging mishaps, including the loss of a $350-million contract in Chile earlier this month, and a cloud that moved over its oil and gas business particularly in Saudi Arabia, both of which led to major writedowns and earnings revisions.

“This new organizational structure will position us for further improving project delivery, driving sustainable growth and more consistent cash flow generation,” Neil Bruce, chief executive of SNC, said in a press release.

The company has twice slashed its profit forecasts this year and last month it reported a $1.6-billion loss for the fourth quarter. That prompted Standard & Poor’s Ratings agency to downgrade its credit from BBB to BBB minus, the lowest investment grade rating for its bonds to still be eligible for bank investment.

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