British engineering firm Amec has made a $3.2bn cash-and-shares offer to buy Switzerland-based engineering firm Foster Wheeler as part of its strategy to boost its geographical presence and revenues, especially in faster-growing regions.

Foster Wheeler shareholders would receive 0.9 new Amec shares and $16 in cash, valuing the Swiss firm at $32 a share.

Amec plans to fund the acquisition through a combination of existing cash and new debt financing.

Commenting on the deal, Amec chief executive Samir Brikho noted that the combination of the two businesses would be financially and strategically attractive.

"As well as positioning us across the whole oil and gas value chain and providing scale in our growth regions, we would expect a double-digit earnings enhancement in the first twelve months. I believe it would be a compelling proposition for our shareholders, customers and employees."

Once the deal is complete, Amec plans to list in the US; Foster Wheeler is registered with Switzerland and is listed on Nasdaq.

Following the completion of the transaction, Wheeler will hold 23% of the shares in the merged entity.

Amec offers services and equipment for the oil, gas and mining sectors. Foster Wheeler has agreed not to seek alternative offers until 22 February.

Nri energy