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Amey scoops surprise Owen Williams takeover

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CONSULTANT OWEN Williams was this week bought by support service provider Amey for an undisclosed sum.

Amey targeted Owen Williams for its strengths in roads and railways. It will use the takeover to make a step change in its capacity to offer white-collar services alongside its blue-collar maintenance activities.

Owen Williams' 700 technical staff will join Amey Infrastructure Services' 500 strong professional services team to create a skills base on a par with firms like Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hyder. The new team will trade under the name Owen Williams to maximise the brand value of the consultant.

Owen Williams was named NCE/ACE major consultant of the year 2004 and scooped the major project award at the 2005 British Construction Industry Awards for its work on the complex strengthening of the Tinsley Viaduct on the M1. Its revenues totalled £47M in the last financial year and the company made pre tax profits of £3.0M.

Amey Infrastructure Services managing director Chris Webster said the move would strengthen Amey's bid for major projects such as Birmingham's £2.2bn highway maintenance PFI, the £4.5bn M25 DBFO, future Highways Agency MAC contracts and local authority outsourcing contracts.

Owen Williams chief executive Richard Williams will step down and act as a consultant to the new company.

Staff were being informed yesterday about the takeover and a six month staff integration programme will begin immediately.

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