MOUCHEL PARKMAN signalled its intention to compete with Capita for London's congestion charging contract with its acquisition last week of trafc management specialist Trafc Support for £26.3M.
Last week's buying spree by Mouchel Parkman included water consultant Ewan Group for £11M and project and programme manager Hornagold & Hills for £11.4M. These purchases put the consultant in the top three in the water sector and bolstered its ambition to take on Turner & Townsend and Mace in project management.
'Traf Support takes us into a new market, ' said chief executive Richard Cuthbert.
'The roads market is all about squeezing capacity. And this purchase gets us into road charging.
I'd like to take the congestion charging contract off Capita.' Acquisition of Hornagold & Hills trebled the size of Mouchel Parkman's edgling programme management group, and gives it the critical mass to compete for major contracts, Cuthbert said.
Mouchel Parkman's purchase of Ewan Group brings the consultant work with each one of the water companies, just as the Amp 4 market is set to boom.
Mouchel Parkman staff numbers rose by nearly 500 to 6,800 following the buying spree. And the new businesses add £30M to the company's 2005/06 turnover of £374M. Analysts expect the share price to rise from 415p to 464p over the next year.
Cuthbert said he has another £100M to spend on acquisitions.
Target growth by 2012 is for 15,000 staff, a turnover of £1.2bn and margins up from 7% to 8%.