Canadian firm North American Energy Partners Inc. (NAEP) recently announced the sale of the company's piling division to Keller, the U.K.-based ground engineering specialist.

"This sale is consistent with the broad strategy that I set out upon joining the company last year," said NAEP President and CEO Martin Ferron. "The proceeds from the transaction will enable us to pay down a significant portion of our debt, providing a strong financial footing. ... We believe that our improved financial strength and capacity will be a competitive advantage as we continue to compete for heavy civil contracts on oil sands, resource mining and other industrial construction projects across Canada."

The purchase will need the approval of Keller's shareholders and to pass anti-trust muster in some markets. It is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, and includes all NAEP's piling-related property, plant and equipment.

NAEP said in a release that net proceeds at the closing of the sale are expected to be about $206 million in U.S. dollars. Keller also agreed to pay further proceeds to NAEP based on anticipated earnings for the piling business during the three years.

North American Energy Partners provides mining, construction and other services to oil, natural gas and other companies, with a focus on Canada's oil sands. Its website says it "maintains one of the largest independently owned equipment fleets in the region." For more on NAEP, visit

 Keller—a market leader in the U.S. and Australia—touts itself as the world’s largest ground engineering specialist offering foundation solutions to the construction industry. It has more than $2 billion in annual revenue and about 7,000 employees worldwide. For more information about Keller Group, visit