Design and planning consultancy Halcrow, whose office locations include Warrington and Manchester, is to be acquired by US engineering and construction group CH2M HILL.
CH2M HILL will acquire the entire share stock of Halcrow, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The deal is expected to conclude in November.
Halcrow employs 6,000 staff in 98 offices around the world and had a turnover of £500m and pre-tax profit of £16.3m in 2009. CH2M HILL is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and employs 23,000 people.
Peter Gammie, Halcrow's chief executive, said: "The board's decision to approach CH2M HILL to discuss the sale of Halcrow is the culmination of a business relationship going back many years. We have worked together on many occasions and have become very much aware of each other's strengths and working practices. The consolidation, which reflects an increasing trend in our industry, will create a very significant value proposition for clients. We are very complementary in terms of our skills and our markets so, where we share geographies, we are reinforcing one another rather than duplicating.
"CH2M HILL shares the same culture, the same commitment to delivering excellent work, the same dedication to clients; and the same focus on integrity, honesty and respect. CH2M HILL is an ambitious and progressive company with strong growth plans, and I see great opportunity for employees and for Halcrow as a business.
"We are currently in the process of sharing this news with our employees and industry partners. We also remain fully focused on our clients and on their day-to-day requirements for the delivery of their projects."
Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL chairman and chief executive, said: "This acquisition is a game changer for our clients. Our global footprint will be deeper and our bench strength will be even more robust. By combining our resources and leveraging our collective technical know-how, we will set a new standard for the marketplace. Best of all, our two firms are ideally suited in terms of cultures, markets, geographies, and we have a shared long-term vision for the future."