Hydrock, P, Stantec Copy

Hydrock has been acquired by Stantec. Credit: Stantec

Stantec acquires Hydrock

The 950-person UK engineering design firm, which has offices in the North West and North East, has been purchased by the global giant with the terms of the deal remaining undisclosed.

Place North understands there are no plans to merge offices at this stage. Hydrock has offices in Manchester, Hale, Warrington, Leeds, and two in Newcastle.

Cath Schefer, Stantec’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for global, said: “Stantec has a strong presence in the North of England already, with our new Manchester office having just opened to accommodate future growth, as well as our UK head office in Warrington, and our new workplace in Leeds.

“With the addition of Hydrock, we will gain complementary skills and resources that will help us further support the North’s biggest built environment challenges, along with the rest of the country.”

National law firm Freeths advised the shareholders of BGF-backed Hydrock in a move which swells Stantec’s UK workforce by more than 30%.

Canada headquartered Stantec said it hopes the addition of Hydrock’s staff will provide added built environment expertise, particularly with regards to fire safety and energy.

The acquisition of Hydrock is the latest in a string of purchases which has seen Stantec add 2,700 team members to its global workforce in 2024.

In the opening months of this year the firm acquired Germany-based ZETCON, and Canada-based Morrison Hershfield.

Since 2016, Stantec has added MWH, ESI, Peter Brett Associates, and Barton Willmore to its roster.

The firm now has more than 30,000 people working from more than 450 offices worldwide.

Cath Schefer, Stantec, P, Stantec

Cath Schefer, Stantec’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Credit: Stantec

Stantec reaction

Gord Johnston, Stantec’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We look forward to welcoming the Hydrock team to Stantec.

“When combined with the strategic acquisitions of ZETCON and Morrison Hershfield, we will have grown our global workforce by over 2,700 people within the first four months of 2024, further strengthening our offering in line with market demands.”

Cath Schefer added: “The coming together of Stantec and Hydrock is an ambitious and compatible evolution for both our firms in the UK.

“Hydrock provides us with a highly complementary line of services and expertise which only reinforces our UK offering.

“Our combined experience, knowledge, and creativity, as well as our shared commitment to create better, more liveable places for people and communities, puts us in an exceptional position to deliver meaningful value for our industry-leading clients.”

Scott Elliott, Hydrock, P, Stantec

Scott Elliott managing director of Hydrock which has been acquired by Stantec. Credit: Stantec

Hydrock reaction

Dr Scott Elliott, managing director of Hydrock, now Stantec, said: “Hydrock’s people are united by a shared purpose to be a force for good. I’m delighted that this aligns so well with Stantec’s culture.

“Through our integration, we’ll be able to expand our reach and influence internationally, penetrate exciting new markets, and provide excellent new career opportunities for our people.

“Together, we’ll pioneer engineering solutions, drive energy resilience, and support this country’s vital transition to a low-carbon economy.

“I’d like to thank our retiring founder Dr Brian McConnell for his tireless efforts growing the business over the last 29 years into what is now a highly respected national brand. This is a pivotal moment in our company’s history and an exciting new chapter for our colleagues and our clients.”

The Freeths legal team was led by M&A and private equity director Mohammed Abbas, supported by Charlotte Collard, Emily Arnett, Max Pengilley, Stephen Jones, Alex Angelides, James Dyson, and Charlotte Beddows.

Mohammed Abbas said: “This is a landmark move for Hydrock, which has only gone from strength-to-strength since gaining funding from BGF in 2018. We are proud to have worked with Hydrock for as long as we have. Both our long-standing relationship with Hydrock and our involvement in this sale demonstrate our pedigree for working with private equity backed companies and supporting their growth.”

Mike Yiannis, Hydrock’s chief finance officer, added: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Stantec and, once again, the Freeths team have excelled in supporting us.  Over the years they have helped us make seven acquisitions and three fundraises, as well as this transformational deal with Stantec.”

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Isn’t Hydrock in Halton rather than Warrington?

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    We’ve got the office down as being at Birchwood Park in Warrington…

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