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Allott & Lomax deal fills gap in Babtie portfolio

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SCOTTISH CONSULTANT Babtie has taken over Manchester-based consultant Allott & Lomax.

The move makes the Babtie Group the UK's ninth largest civil engineering consultant with around 3,000 staff and a turnover expected to exceed £120M in 2000. Allott & Lomax will retain its name but operate under the Babtie board.

Allott & Lomax chairman Alan Smith said his company had recognised the need to be part of a larger company for some time. 'Major projects are moving to different procurement methods such as PFI or prime contracting, which bring together packages of work to create large contracts,' he said. 'It is no longer acceptable to compete in the middle.'

Babtie chairman Henry Perfect said Allott & Lomax filled several key geographical and commercial gaps in the Babtie Group portfolio. It is the latest in a line of high profile names acquired by the firm which took over Harris & Sutherland in 1997 and only two weeks ago bought quantity surveyor Kensalls.

'There are major opportunities in the UK nuclear and defence procurement sectors and it is larger players who will take them,' said Perfect. 'Babtie's record has been on the heavy civils side, while Allott & Lomax is stronger in building so this adds greater breadth and depth to our operation, particularly in nuclear, defence and building services.'

The two companies will spend the next two to three months finalising the operational detail, such as whether Smith will join the Babtie Group executive board. The Allott & Lomax chairman said there were unlikely to be any job losses.

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