Stantec set to expand UK presence with the acquisition of Peter Brett Associates

Another major Canadian consultant is moving into the UK market as Stantec is set to buy Peter Brett Associates (PBA). PBA has signed a letter of intent to join international consultancy Stantec, which will see the Canadian-headquartered engineering giant grow its UK presence by acquiring the consultant which currently employs 700 staff across 17 offices in the UK and central Europe.

PBA say the move will fulfil its strategy to grow and diversify its business and says that Stantec “shares PBA’s growth ambitions in the UK and Europe, strong values and focus on community”. Earlier this year Stantec fully integrated with the MWH UK and MWH Treatment businesses in the UK, following a £623m acquisition of MWH’s international business in March 2016.

In the UK, Stantec are market leaders in the water infrastructure sector - they also have a presence in energy and environmental services.Stantec’s strategy is to grow in the UK and Europe and their plan is to diversify into the community development and infrastructure market. PBA said the deal was “a great fit with PBA’s strategy of diversification and growth, and both firms see the potential that could be unleashed”.

Commenting on the proposed move, PBA chairman Keith Mitchell, said: “Joining forces with Stantec will enable us to provide our clients with greater insights and expertise from the wider Stantec team, and allow PBA to capitalise on the opportunities it is creating in the development and infrastructure markets. We are excited about the opportunities that can flow from joining a team which shares our values and approach to client relationships and that has demonstrated its track record as a great place to work.”

From its base of more than 22,000 team members worldwide, Stantec currently has over 1,000 professional services staff based across the United Kingdom. The deal is the latest example of a major Canadian consultancy buying into the UK market and follows SNC Lavalin’s purchase of Atkins in May 2017 for £2.1bn.

Gord Johnston, Stantec president and CEO, said: “As we further invest our presence and reach across the UK and Central Europe, the talented team members from PBA bring the depth of experience, expertise, and passion for community that aligns ideally with our values and mission.” He added: “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 £4.4bn in new and refurbished schools, a robust university upgrading initiative, and a major national investment program in UK infrastructure. These programs, paired with the existing role PBA is playing in projects like High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2, position us well for continued growth together."

The deal to acquire PBA is expected to be completed in September.

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