Engineering change: WYG sells Adams Kara Taylor and Ramboll buys Gifford

1 April 2011

The directors of high tech office specialist Adams Kara Taylor have agreed a £3.75m management buy out from White Young Green, Building reported.

The cash raised by the sale will bring in funds for the struggling engineer, Construction Enquirer reported, after it emerged that WYG was in talks with financiers over long-term funding following half-year losses of £22m.

The management buy out comes only five years after WYG bought AKT for £10.5m. But David Wilton, WYG finance director, said that that AKT had never been fully integrated into the business.

“It doesn’t sit comfortably within the corporate structure,” he said. “It’s a pretty self contained business. We’re opening up the group so there’s a lot of cross working,” he said.

The buy-out, which is backed by Swedish engineering group Tyréns, will see AKT become a 117-strong independent firm. A statement from AKT said Tyréns “will work with AKT to develop globally,” but that AKT will remain independent of it.

AKT director Hanif Kara said the deal was designed to reverse the global trend for consolidation. “This atypical but wilful step is designed to reverse the trend,” he said. “Our global reach will be strengthened and developed with Tyréns,” he added.

Meanwhile Building reported that Danish firm Ramboll has bought fellow engineer Gifford to create one of the biggest engineering and consultantancy groups in the UK.

Gifford, which has a strong public sector focus, brings expertise in transport, marine and environmental work while Ramboll’s UK business boasts a strong track record in commercial building, Construction Enquirer reported. The combined group will have around 1,000 staff.

Ramboll’s UK managing director Charles McBeath, said: “If we had designed a perfect fit, we could not have achieved better than this. The synergy between the two organisations is uncanny – client base, people, skills, disciplines, approaches and expertise all complement each other.

“Ramboll in the UK is traditionally strong in the private sector and Gifford has an established reputation in the public sector.  Even office locations around the UK balance really well.”

Both firms are currently working together on the preferred design team for the Forth Replacement Crossing.

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