WSP Global Inc. agreed to buy Parsons Brinckerhoff, designer of New York City’s first subway line, for $1.24 billion in cash from British builder Balfour Beatty Plc, extending the Canadian engineering company’s reach in the U.S. and Australia.

The agreement also calls for Montreal-based WSP to contribute $110 million that will be retained by Parsons Brinckerhoff, the companies said yesterday in separate statements.

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