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Hyder seeks specialist buys, not major takeovers

HYDER CONSULTING last week said it would use its newly acquired stock market listing to finance small specialist acquisitions rather than major takeovers.

Chief executive Tim Wade said that when appropriate the company would sell small amounts of newly issued shares to fund these deals.

Last week Hyder announced that it had secured a stock market listing after its shareholders took control of Firth Holdings, a listed company which has not traded for two years (NCE 19 September).

'We are not contemplating major acquisitions, ' said Wade. He ruled out the type of buying spree that characterised the expansion of consultants like WSP and Atkins.

Hyder is Britain's 10th largest fee earner among consulting engineers. Its annual fee income is £108M, ranking it just below Scott Wilson. Atkins is the largest earner, with fees of £523M.

Wade said the firm was also keen to build up its portfolio of contracts to work as technical advisor for clients and DBFO consortia on privately financed infrastructure projects.

Internationally, Hyder plans to consolidate its presence in Britain, the Middle East, Hong Kong, South East Asia and Australia, having shut down small operations in the US, India and Turkey where it had a presence.

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