When diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton completed its acquisition of electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries, it was the largest acquisition in the 101-year history of Eaton. Cooper’s global assets and services included over 140 manufacturing facilities for utility power distribution, smart grid, lighting, lighting controls, wiring devices and safety solutions.
WSP has been working with Eaton for more than 20 years and has maintained a long and successful relationship providing environmental, health and safety (EHS) services worldwide. Due to our global footprint, technical expertise and past performance in successfully delivering similar projects, Eaton engaged WSP to undertake a post-acquisition EHS due diligence assessment of Cooper’s facilities.
WSP developed a scope of work collaboratively with Eaton technical staff and legal counsel. A phased assessment approach was outlined to systematically prioritize the facilities and sites in terms of potential EHS risks and to then apply relevant types of Phase I investigation ranging from desktop evaluations to full Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), EHS Compliance Audits and Asbestos Surveys. We appointed regional project team leaders to facilitate staffing and local technical review and to ensure information moved quickly and smoothly back and forth between WSP and Eaton.
At the completion of Phase I, we performed the first wave of Phase II ESAs at 16 priority sites in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico using a consistent assessment protocol and reporting format. The scope of work included intrusive sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater for potential chemicals of concern. Subsequent ESAs were also performed, including five sites in Asia, as part of the continual integration between Eaton and Cooper.
Using the depth of WSP’s technical expertise and broad global footprint of offices and operations, EHS risks and issues were effectively identified and consistently reported. Close collaboration with the client ensured the project ran efficiently.
As of 2019, WSP continues to provide ongoing follow-up site investigation, remedial engineering, asbestos management, utility surveys and some divestiture support to Eaton in relation to the Cooper sites. We also continue to provide mergers and acquisition support services for other transactions being considered by Eaton, leveraging the protocols and approach developed, refined and proven successful on the Cooper acquisition project.
* This work was performed by Golder professionals who joined WSP in an acquisition completed in 2021.