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Cardiff work snapped up

Brunswick acquires £10 million worth of Davies Middleton Davies contracts from former partner

A CLUTCH of joint venture contracts worth £10 million involving failed civil engineering specialist Davies Middleton & Davies has been snapped up by South Wales-based Brunswick Holdings.

The firm has acquired the jobs from Italian giant Impregilo after its joint venture with DMD was scrapped following the financial collapse of the Cardiff-based firm in February.

The newly formed firm, Brunswick (IDL), will take control of four contracts on the Cardiff Gate development. It is understood that about 12 former DMD employees have been taken on board.

Brunswick chairman Terry Greenhaf said: 'We anticipate that the takeover will open up new opportunities flowing from the relationships developed by Impregilo-DMD over the past 10 years. It's a perfect fit into the group.'

The contracts will involve finishing work on the Cardiff Gate Motorway service area, the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the Julian Hodge Bank and three office blocks.

The work will boost the Brunswick group's order book by £10 million.

An industry source said: 'The collapse of DMD hit everyone hard because the joint venture with Impregilo had been very successful. We are a bit surprised that Impregilo has sold the contracts on but we understand the firm was made a very good offer. It is also looking to move away from traditional contracting and focus on areas such as Private Finance Initiative work because the risks are easier to assess.'

DMD was thrown into financial turmoil after losing an estimated £12 million on a troubled bridge-building project on the A13 in east London. The collapse led to nearly all of the 160 DMD staff losing their jobs.

Design problems on the project, based in Dagenham, were blamed for pushing up the costs and blowing the firm's budget for the scheme. Tarmac was the main contractor.

Receivers are understood to be still pursuing a legal claim on the problematic job.

But a spokesman for accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, appointed as administrative receiver, said he could not confirm whether a writ had been served.

sean.barry@construct.emap.com