* Analyst sees more international acquisitions (Adds details, analyst comment, share price)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec 22 - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO) said on Tuesday it had bought an engineering business in Brazil, an acquisition one analyst expects will be followed by others as Canada's biggest engineering company dips into its sizable cash pile.
Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin said it had bought Marte Engenharia Ltda, a 1,000-employee company that designs power lines and electrical substations in Brazil and Latin America. No price was given for the acquisition.
The announcement comes a day after SNC said it had won a C$630 million ($594 million) contract for an iron ore project in the West African country of Mauritania.
SNC's stock was up C$1.26, or 2.4 percent, at C$52.81 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
SNC, which has projects in about 100 countries, has an estimated C$800 million in cash, said Genuity Capital Markets analyst Maxim Sytchev.
We fully expect the company to utilize its cash balance for additional concession investments and M&A (merger and acquisition) opportunities, Sytchev said.
New concession investments, where engineering and construction companies take stakes in projects they design, build, operate and maintain, are likely to be in Canada or France. Acquisitions are more likely outside Canada, possibly again in Brazil, he said.
($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson)