Currie & Brown gazumps WSP PB offer for Sweett Group

The proposed purchase of Sweett Group by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff for £24m is now off, with the Sweett board of directors recommending to shareholders that they accept a higher £29m bid from Currie & Brown. The new offer of 42p per share, reported by Construction News, has been made with Currie & Brown, a UK subsidiary of the multi-national Dar Group, providing a facility to finance Sweett Group's debts.

Sweett Group announced a £19.1m loss at the beginning of June, partly as a result of the firm's withdrawal from the Middle East market and financing necessary to cover £2.3m in fines and £1.4m in investigation costs after the company was found guilty of bribery malpractice. It was also reported at the time that Sweett needed to pay a further £1.3m adjustment to Currie & Brown, which had previously purchased Sweett's India and Asia Pacific business.

Commenting on the Acquisition, Currie & Brown group chairman David Broomer said: "This transaction will bring together two well-respected businesses to create a leading construction advisory business and deliver a key element of Currie & Brown's strategy – to provide a quality offering to global and local clients alike. The acquisition of Sweett will create a business of substantial scale in the UK, which will provide a compelling offer to clients and significant opportunities for all our people to develop."