International consultancy acquisition is by design

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North West-based structural engineering design company DGP has been acquired for £14.1 million by international consultants Scott Wilson Group plc.

DGP provides design consultancy services in the high-growth petrochemical, nuclear, pharmaceutical, water, and waste markets.

Scott Wilson group plc is an international consultancy offering integrated professional services in the transport, property, environmental and natural resources sectors.

DGP was acquired as part of Scott Wilson’s strategy to obtain new skills in the nuclear, petrochemical and pharmaceuticals sectors, while strengthening its presence in the water and waste management sectors.

The acquisition also underpins Scott Wilson’s market presence in the North West and is the company’s fifth acquisition since it floated on the London Stock Exchange main list in March.

Formed in Manchester in 1973 as a civil and structural engineering consultancy, DGP retained strong roots in the North West, while expanding its service range to create a multi-disciplined offering.

The business was acquired by management in 1999 following a buyout backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), in which Mike Reeves, joint managing partner of Clearwater Corporate Finance, advised the management team.

In a strong example of Clearwater’s commitment to building long term relationships with clients, Reeves also advised the management and RBS on the sale to Scott Wilson group plc.

DGP operates in the UK from sites in Manchester, Warrington, Westlakes Science & Technology Park in Cumbria, and Thurso in northern Scotland.

Its 180 plus strong workforce comprises civil and structural engineers, mechanical and electrical building services engineers, architects, building surveyors, safety and risk management professionals, and process engineers.

Geoff French, executive chairman of Scott Wilson, says: “At the time of our flotation, the board set out a clear strategy for achieving sustained growth, both organic and by acquisition, in revenue, margins and shareholder returns by building on the group’s position as one of the leading international engineering consultancies. This announcement highlights further significant progress in delivering complementary acquisitive growth to the group.”

Clearwater’s Mike Reeves, who worked with assistant director Simon Henderson on the acquisition, adds: “With an increasing demand to secure quality and experienced staff in a growth industry, this acquisition is important to both DGP and Scott Wilson.

“We ran a competitive auction, and could have sold DGP to a number of international players. However, the shareholders believed Scott Wilson would be the best cultural fit and create the best opportunities for the staff.

Reeves added: “We expect to see a number of other consulting engineer firms going to market in the next six months, as the international players continue to search for quality businesses to acquire.”