Stantec plans to acquire UK engineering consultancy PBA

03 September 2018 Authored by Consulting.ca

Canadian engineering and design consulting firm Stantec has signed a letter of intent to acquire British engineering consultancy Peter Brett Associates. The planned acquisition is the latest in a string of firms the Canadian company has acquired in the UK in recent years.

Edmonton-based Stantec has been growing its presence in the UK through a recent campaign of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In 2016 , Stantec acquired engineering consultancy MWH Global – which employed thousands of British staff – for $795 million. Earlier this year, the firm acquired UK-based environmental specialist ESI Consulting and its team of 50 environmental, geological, and engineering experts.

Stantec has now signed a letter of intent to acquire Reading-based Peter Brett Associates (PBA). The deal, which is expected to close in September, will see Stantec add PBA’s 700 staff and 17 offices across Britain and Europe to its global workforce. The transaction will see the Canadian firm’s employee base in the UK swell to over 3,000 people. Stantec currently has approximately 22,000 employees across 400+ global locations.Stantec plans to acquire UK engineering consultancy PBAPBA is currently working on several commercial and infrastructure projects in Britain, including the Birmingham Parade Circus and Tideway. The firm is also part of the teams working on High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2 rail infrastructure projects – part of the UK’s efforts to revitalize its lagging transportation infrastructure.

Stantec’s decision to acquire PBA was fueled by the UK’s engorged backlog of infrastructure and building projects, according to the firm’s president and CEO Gord Johnston. “Regionally, the project landscape is promising, with the UK government’s policy to build 300,000 new homes per year, a five-year program to invest £4.4 billion in new and refurbished schools, a robust university upgrading initiative, and a major national investment program in UK infrastructure,” commented Johnston.

The slated deal between Stantec and PBA is the latest in a number of British acquisitions by a trio of Canadian engineering consultancy giants. In 2016, Montreal-based WSP bought Woking, UK-based management and infrastructure consulting firm Mouchel for £75 million. Last year, Montreal-based SNC Lavalin made a massive $3.6 billion deal for Atkins, the UK’s largest engineering consultancy at the time.

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