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Programme manager says civils firms are looking to mergers for survival

Programme manager Turner & Townsend chief executive officer Vincent Clancy has said civils businesses are looking to mergers and acquisitions to help them survive the economic downturn.

“In the current tough economic times, there is … a sense of strength in numbers, and that by cutting their joint overheads, firms can ride out the sluggish market,” he said.

Clancy said international consultant Arcadis’ purchase of cost consultant EC Harris this week was the latest example of a continuing trend for consolidation and aggregation. Globalisation is another driver behind the trend, he said. “For both the merging parties it is a chance to globalise and better serve their clients.

“What began as a trickle of mergers and acquisitions in our sector is now looking more like a flood. Many of the major engineering firms have now merged with project managers, and several well-known UK names have disappeared. Clancy said the EC Harris deal had left Turner & Townsend as the largest pure project manager in Britain.

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