How Partners 2017
How's leadership team, from left: Richard Woodford, Neil Lucas, Gary Halman, Jon Suckley and Richard Barton

GVA in talks to buy How

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

GVA and Manchester-based consultancy How Planning are in early stage negotiations over a possible company acquisition, it has emerged.

Gary Halman, managing partner of How, confirmed to Place that he had had an “approach from GVA” over the potential acquisition, but said talks were too early to divulge details.

“We are in negotiations, the approach from GVA represents an interesting opportunity and there would be lots of positives, but it is still very much in the early stages,” he said.

A How takeover by GVA would make the Manchester planning practice one of the largest in the North. There are more than 30 staff working in How’s Peter Street office, which, alongside Halman, is led by partners Richard Barton, Jon Suckley, Neil Lucas, Richard Woodford.

“GVA has a great regional network, a strong pedigree and a like-mindedness to our company,” continued Halman. “But any decision moving forward has to be done in the best interests of our company and staff first, and what is best for their progression.”

GVA has 135 staff in Manchester, including six new hires last month. The office is headed up by senior director Chris Cheap.

The planning division has suffered some senior departures over the years. Director Ian Griffiths left for CBRE earlier this year. In 2015, head of planning Iain Jenkinson moved to CBRE, alongside director Chris Argent, shortly followed by associate director James Sheppard. Later that year, GVA beefed up its planning department with a team of three from Knight Frank and a hire from Pegasus. The planning and development team is led by director Nicola Rigby.

GVA declined to comment.

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Senior departures last year speaks volumes. Be careful How.

By Paul

Strange this has gone public, especially with acquiring party declining to comment?

By Didsbury Dave

The classic reservoir dogs PR shot. The guy second from right also looks like he’s levitating.

By Twilight zone

I always wondered what happened to Fred Dinenage,Bunty James, Jon Miller and Jack Hargreaves after their TV careers ended.
Now I know.

By Barry Chuckle

School Leavers’ Ball

By Monty Con

Barry Chuckle. You have to be of a certain vintage to get that joke.A bit like remembering the Clangers and the White horses.

By Elephant

Bring back Nick Whipp.

By Morse

Why the publicity about this? Sounding out clients?

By Will