Driver Group has boosted its infrastructure business with the appointment of former transport minister Steve Norris as a director, and the acquisition of capital investment outfit Initiate Consulting.
Norris is a director and shareholder of Initiate, and his appointment to the Driver board was part of the deal.
The acquisition of Initiate has cost Driver £5.3M. For the year ended 30 April 2014, Initiate reported turnover of £7.5M and an operating profit of £730,000. The firm provides advice on capital investment to major infrastructure clients, including Network Rail and Transport for London.
Driver has also reported its financial results for the year ended 30 September 2014, which showed revenue up 7% to £39.1M (2013: £36.6M). Pre-tax profit was £3.1M, up from £2.9M the previous year. Driver is primarily a cost consultant and project manager, operating globally in markets including energy, infrastructure, marine, mining, and oil and gas.
Norris, now aged 69, was a car dealer before entering Parliament in 1983 as the member for Oxford East, and later Epping Forest. He was made transport minister in 1992, overseeing the troubled Jubilee Line Extension.
On leaving Parliament in 1997 he became a candidate for Mayor of London in 2000, but lost to Ken Livingstone.
Norris pursued a business career throughout his political life, and was a non-executive director of Jarvis at the time of the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002.
Driver CEO Dave Webster said: “I am delighted with this acquisition as it provides a tremendous opportunity to provide a broader offering in the very important infrastructure market both in the UK and overseas. I would like to welcome Initiate’s CEO, David Law, to our executive board and Steve Norris to the Group Board and very much look forward to working with them to grow Initiate’s services across the global footprint we have established in Driver Group.”