Halcrow bought by CH2M Hill

By Sandy Guthrie28 September 2011

Lee McIntire, chairman and CEO of CH2M Hill.

Lee McIntire, chairman and CEO of CH2M Hill.

UK-based Halcrow is being acquired by engineering and construction firm CH2M Hill for approximately £124 million (€142.4 million).

Halcrow, which was founded in 1868, offers planning, design and management services, specialising in transport, environmental and other infrastructure developments worldwide.

CH2M Hill is a US-based global engineering firm with expertise in consulting, design, operations and programme management.

The two companies have entered into an agreement which will see CH2M Hill buy 100% of the issued and to be issued share capital of Halcrow Holdings. The acquisition is subject to approval from Halcrow's shareholders and the High Court in the UK, and is expected to close in November 2011.

Peter Gammie, Halcrow's chief executive, said the board's decision to approach CH2M Hill to discuss the sale of Halcrow was the culmination of a business relationship going back many years.

He said, "We have worked together on many occasions and have become very much aware of each other's strengths and working practices.

"The consolidation, which reflects an increasing trend in our industry, will create a very significant value proposition for clients. We are very complementary in terms of our skills and our markets so, where we share geographies, we are reinforcing one another rather than duplicating."

He added, "CH2M Hill shares the same culture, the same commitment to delivering excellent work, the same dedication to clients - and the same focus on integrity, honesty and respect. CH2M Hill is an ambitious and progressive company with strong growth plans, and I see great opportunity for employees and for Halcrow as a business."

Halcrow has 6,000 employees and is owned by the Halcrow Trust and employee shareholders. Among its signature projects are High Speed 1 in the UK (also known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link), the Chongzun Expressway in China, and Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. Halcrow reported revenues of £465 million (€533.8 million) in 2010, and has 98 offices around the world.

CH2M Hill's chairman and chief executive, Lee McIntire, said, "This acquisition is a game changer for our clients. Our global footprint will be deeper and our bench strength will be even more robust.

"By combining our resources and leveraging our collective technical know-how, we will set a new standard for the marketplace. Best of all, our two firms are ideally suited in terms of cultures, markets, geographies, and we have a shared long-term vision for the future."

CH2M Hill said the combination of the two firms would help advance its leadership in water, environmental, transportation and other markets. With the addition of Halcrow's operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America, CH2M Hill said it would more than double its international presence to almost 30,000 employees globally, including over 11,000 outside the US.

CH2M Hill projects include the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Panama Canal expansion programme, the sustainable Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, the Singapore Deep Tunnel Wastewater programme, and the management of The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site in the US - described as one of the most complex nuclear decommissioning and environmental cleanup programmes in the world.

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