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Jacobs crackers


I was very interested in your article about Jacobs' purchase of Babtie (NCE 1 July) for its assertion that US-UK mergers bring no benefits.

I beg to differ!

NCE's Consultants File itself shows MWH to be in a leading position in water and wastewater. We could not have achieved this in the UK without the joint benefits of US know-how from former JM Montgomery and understanding of the UK water industry's needs from Watson Hawksley.

Since these two companies amalgamated in 1992 we have offered worldwide specialist expertise in water, wastewater and environmental work, and our operations have gained.

Your statement in the accompanying highlight box that 'Harza bought Montgomery Watson in the 1990s' unfortunately misleads. The forming of MWH was not a purchase but an amalgamation of staff and assets; and energy and hydropower specialist Harza was the smaller entity.

The reason for the merger was to strengthen, not lose focus on, our core environment and water sector specialisation.

So the fact that we have, in your words, 'stuck to these sectors ever since' is a compliment that all is on track, and not a failing of the grouping at all.

Ken Farrer (F), managing director, MWH UK, Terriers House, 201 Amersham Road, High Wycombe HP13 5AJ

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