MONTREAL - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. shares climbed more than 15 per cent since Monday after a regulatory filing showed Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd. became one of the engineering giant's top three shareholders.

The stock price jumped 50 cents to $18.42 in mid-afternoon trading Wednesday to mark the highest point in six weeks for SNC, which has seen its stock price fall by about 60 per cent since the start of the year.

Investment management firm Jarislowsky bought up 17.9 million shares in late August to hit 18.97 million total, boosting its stake in SNC to 10.8 per cent.

Quebec pension fund manager the Caisse and RBC Global Asset Management Inc. are the only two investors with a bigger slice at 19.9 per cent and 16.6 per cent, respectively.

Jarislowsky chief executive Maxime Menard said in a statement that the move followed a "disciplined investment process," adding that his clients are "well-diversified."

Shares in SNC, which continues to feel heat amid a newly launched federal election campaign that follows a political scandal, hit successive 15-year lows after it reported a second-quarter loss of $2.12 billion and a credit rating downgrade last month.

The Quebec company, which is also on the brink of an upcoming criminal trial on corruption and bribery charges, has reported losses for three consecutive quarters and slashed its financial forecast three times since January, when its market capitalization stood at more than twice its current value, now at roughly $3.24 billion.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC)

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Recommended for you