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Arcadis buys EC Harris to form £1.45bn consultancy

Global consultancy Arcadis has bought EC Harris in a move that will create a £1.45 billion turnover consultancy.

Arcadis will take full ownership of EC Harris LLP in return for three million shares and an undisclosed cash sum, subject to EC Harris partner approval. The merger is expected to complete next month.

EC Harris chief executive Philip Youell will remain in his position and join the Arcadis senior management committee. Chairman Richard Clare will step into a wider strategic client development role in Arcadis, while remaining on the EC Harris board in an advisory capacity. 

The companies said there are no plans for any redundanciesl.  Overall, the merger will create a workforce of 19,000 and a €2.3 bn revenue (£1.45bn).

Mr Youell said: “This is a unique deal that will accelerate our vision and plans for growth and will enable us to deliver our clients’ goals as well as our own. Whilst we have been successful in winning some very large programmes of work and have many more in the pipeline, the demand from our clients is such that we recognised that we needed to grow and develop internationally, at a much faster rate than we are currently doing. 

“We have received a number of approaches from large international companies in the past, but Arcadis is the only one that has been right culturally and strategically for EC Harris, it is an exceptional fit.”

Arcadis CEO Harrie Noy said: “With EC Harris we get a leading position in project management and related services while their built asset consultancy approach perfectly fits our goal of expanding our services at the high end of the value chain. With the expansion of our footprint in the Middle East and Asia we can capitalise on the growth opportunities in these markets. Our strengthened position in the UK market will allow us to provide a wider portfolio of services to the clients of our combined firms.”

The pair will become a top five global leader in strategic built asset advisory and project delivery services, with a combined total of close to 6,000 staff in this area with particular focus in Europe, the US and Brazil. The move will bring Arcadis into the top five consultancies in the UK, while also boosting its Asia and Middle East presence.

Arcadis is a leader in the infrastructure, water, environmental and buildings markets, and is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The news comes three weeks after CH2M bought Halcrow for £124m. In August last year, Aecom completed a £200m takeover of Davis Langdon.

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