US project and programme management firm Hill International is planning a raid on one of the UK’s few remaining independent cost consultants, NCE has learned.
Hill International president David Richter told NCE that the 3,100-strong firm wanted to buy a UK firm to beef up its cost consultancy capability.
“The one piece of our puzzle missing is a cost management arm and the best firms are British,” he said.
Likely targets for takeover by Hill are Sweett, Turner & Townsend and Gardiner & Theobold after the acquisitions last year of Davis Langdon and EC Harris by US giant Aecom and Dutch giant Arcadis respectively.
“We have missed out on a couple of firms recently,” said Richter. “But in the next couple of years we will have a major QS firm as part of our business. We have our eye on two. It is about picking the right firm, with the right culture at the right time.
Hill International provides programme management, project management, construction management and construction claims and consulting services through 100 offices worldwide.
Its current focus is on markets traditionally seen as out of bounds such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
Turner & Townsend employs 2,000 staff working in 70 offices in 30 countries worldwide. Sweett employs 1,200 staff in offices across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Asia Pacific and Australia. Gardiner & Theobold has 900 staff working across 50 countries.
n Full interview with David Richter, p20.