Rumours of another mega-deal in the engineering consultancy sector have been circulating for weeks.
The Times reported that the deal is at least partly motivated by 50,000-strong Jacobs’ ambitions to raise its profile of work in the major league UK infrastructure sector where CH2M has proved successful.
A deal could create a global consultancy business on a level footing with rival AECOM, which turns over $17bn.
Jacobs Engineering is the largest of the two businesses operating out of 240 locations worldwide and turns over nearly $11bn. CH2M employs around half the staff operating in more than 50 countries, with around $6bn revenue.
Earlier this year CH2M approached Atkins about a possible £3bn merger deal that failed to develop concrete proposals but later saw Atkins bought by Canadian engineering SNC-Lavalin.
Most recently CH2M was awarded a contract to manage the £4bn restroration of the Houses of Parliament.
CH2M is also facing challenging pension liabilities stemming from its 2011 entry into the British market when it bought Halcrow.
Neither company would comment on the rumours