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Exclusive | Peter Brett boss vows no job losses after takeover

reading green park

The boss of engineering consultancy Peter Brett Associates (PBA), which is to be taken over by Canadian consultancy Stantec, has vowed there will be no job losses due to the move. 

Stantec and PBA have signed a letter of intent for the takeover, which is set to be finalised in September. The amount Stantec paid for PBA, which in 2017 had a £60M turnover and £10M profit before tax, has not been revealed.

PBA chairman Keith Mitchell told New Civil Engineer that there will be no job losses as a result of the sale. He said: “What we are saying to both staff and clients is that we are very much focused on business as usual. That’s very important from our point of view as we have projects on going, we need to make sure we are very focused on that.”

However, Mitchell did admit that in time the Peter Brett name will be phased out. “It will go in time, we’re not doing a time scale around that, its quite relaxed.”

The 700-strong Reading-based PBA workforce, which has 14 offices in the UK and Europe, will join the 1,000-strong Stantec team in the UK, and 22,000 workforce worldwide.

Mitchell said that there were other parties interested in buying the firm, but Stantec was the best fit in terms of company culture and quality of work. He said that although they didn’t set out with the intention of selling the firm, it was an evolution of its strategic plan following a period of rapid growth in the five years up to 2016.

“We started to look at what our options were and working out how best to support that. We looked at ways we could raise money or whether we would join up with a strategic partner, which is what we have done,” he said.

PBA has 43 shareholders who unanimously voted for the takeover.  

Projects it is or has been working on include High Speed 2, Crossrail 2, Thames Tideway Tunnel, and Paradise Birmingham.

Pictured above is Reading Green Park Station, where PBA carried out the complete infrastructure design  and developed a flood relief scheme.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • UK clients now need to look very carefully at retaining previously UK owned companies for their design work. During the last few years we have seen large players like Atkins and Halcrow moving from consultant to contractor and PBA represents another loss of a large UK independent consultant to foreign ownership. UK clients should now be looking to reduce or exclude these companies from their commissions and place work with smaller consultants to build a replacement UK owned base of independent consultants.

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