The UK’s second largest architectural practice BDP has been sold to a Japanese company for £102m.
Nippon Koei, the technical and engineering consultancy giant with an annual turnover of £450m, has agreed a cash purchase of the UK company.
BDP, which employs more than 800 people, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Koei in a move that was “unanimously” agreed by the board of directors at the 55-year-old practice.
Nippon Koei will acquire 100 per cent of the shares of BDP “by paying the share price to the existing shareholders”.
The deal was announced today in an open letter posted online.
The document says the acquisition will, among other things, see Nippon Koei take advantage of BDP’s significant BIM knowledge and allow the UK practice to expand its business into Japan.
BDP posted significantly improved trading figures last year, with its 2014 accounts hailing a “turning point” after a “particularly challenging period”.
The company made a £2.1m profit in the 12 months to 31 December 2014 – a 125 per cent increase on a “comparable period” during the previous 18 months.
Its staff headcount swelled by 100 to 832 over the same period, according to its accounts, which this year switched from recording financial performance over an 18-month period to the more conventional calendar year.
The firm’s improved performance allowed a £1.75m dividend payment to its shareholders during 2014. Shareholders received no dividend payments in 2013.
At the time, BDP chief executive John McManus added that the “particularly challenging” years leading up to 2014 had led to a focus on “re-establishing stability and a sustainable level of turnover in a highly competitive market”.