Keller buying Canadian piling business for $227.5M

Keller buying North American Energy's piling unit in Canada for about $227.5 million

NEW YORK (AP) -- British engineering company Keller is buying a Canadian piling business from North American Energy Partners Inc. for about $227.5 million as it seeks to expand its business in the oil sands-rich region.

The piling business sets foundations for construction work.

North American Energy Partners Inc., a Canadian company, also said Tuesday that it will receive up to $92.5 million in proceeds over the following three years, depending on whether the piling division meets certain profit targets.

North American Energy provides construction, mining, and other services to energy companies in western Canada. It plans to use the proceeds to repay debt.

Keller said the piling acquisition would be "significantly earnings enhancing." The northern Alberta region has the world's third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

U.S.-traded shares of North American Energy Partners rose 18 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $4.44 in premarket trading Tuesday.