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Grontmij snaps up French consultant

Grontmij’s €120M (£99M) purchase of French consultant Ginger last week has made the group Europe’s fourth largest consultant.

The move will help the company build links with strong French players in the energy sector, said group director Lawrence Hughes.

Ginger is the second largest consultant in France employing over 2,600 staff. They will now join Grontmij’s 8,000 strong workforce and give the group combined revenues of £909M.

“From the UK perspective this is especially good for us in the energy market,” said Hughes. “Ginger has strong links with [energy giant] EdF for instance and hopefully there will opportunities for us to build on that French connection.”

UK business expected to grow

Overall the UK business is expected to grow, he added. The company has won more water framework deals for the current AMP spending period than in the previous five year period.
It has won contracts with Severn Trent, Yorkshire, Anglian, Welsh, Wessex and Scottish Water.

“We expect workload to be at least similar to previous years and probably more,” said Hughes.

For the wider group the purchase of Ginger confirms Grontmij’s position as a leading European consultancy. “If you want to talk about being a European firm you need a French business,” Hughes said.

“It is a big and relatively strong economy and less likely to get aggressive in terms of public spending cuts as in other parts of Europe.” Other purchases could follow, he hinted. “There will be fewer but bigger, engineering consultants around. Our goal is to be one of the few and one of the biggest.”

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