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Acquisitions key for Atkins

Consultant Atkins has not ruled out bidding for Parsons Brinckerhoff, the former’s UK and Europe chief executive David Tonkin said this week.

Contractor Balfour Beatty put the US-based consultant up for sale last month with an expectation of at least recouping the £380M it paid for it in October 2009.

Atkins has a stated strategy of adding shareholder value by driving up margins to 8% or more from just under 7% today, reducing dependence on the UK market to less than 25% of revenues, and growing organically and by acquisition.

And Tonkin told NCE that his firm was “always” looking out for international opportunities.

“We have active teams that are always looking at active possibilities, and have done for the last three years,” he said.

“All through the year we look at lots of international opportunities and we do make some lovely acquisitions.”

In October the firm added Singapore-based Confluence Project Management to the Group.

And last week it said it was in the final stages of regulatory approval for the acquisition of US-based energy consultant Nuclear Safety Associates.

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