From left: Duncan Firth, Jon Sime, Jim Hamann, chief executive of Otak, Dez Walker, John Setra managing director of K2.

US firm takes majority stake in Walker Sime 

Oregon-based Otak, part of the HanmiGlobal Group, has taken a controlling stake in the Manchester-based construction consultancy with a view to growing its UK presence. 

The Walker Sime deal comes three years after Otak, a design and project management firm, acquired a majority stake in London-based consultancy K2. 

Now, Walker Sime and K2 will merge operations under the Walker Sime name, creating a team of around 130 with a national focus. 

Walker Sime’s headcount could grow to between 200 and 300 in the next three to five years, it is understood. 

“This partnership will allow us to accelerate our portfolio and expand our geographic footprint,” said Walker Sime managing director Duncan Firth. 

“It will allow us to remain focused on our core business and through the expertise and presence of Otak and its parent company HanmiGlobal, we will have the opportunity to contribute to winning and delivering projects of significance in advanced manufacturing and the low carbon economy.”

The value of Otak’s investment was not disclosed. 

“Walker Sime has built an incredible reputation and culture deeply rooted in its people and its success with clients,” said Jim Hamann, chief executive of Otak.

“It is a tremendous benefit to Walker Sime’s clients for Duncan and his team to draw on a broad set of expertise and experience as they take on some of the most exciting projects in the UK.”

Walker Sime has been on a growth trajectory for several years. Its end-of-year financial results for the last three years show a continually improving equity position. In 2021, the company reported £2.2m of total equity, up from £1.8m in 2020 and £1.4m in 2019.  

Projects Walker Sime is currently involved in include Network Space’s 200,000 sq ft industrial scheme in Altrincham and the £54m Glass Futures in St Helens.

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Well done to Jon and Derek – well deserved guys! You can now spend more time improving your golf??

By Paul J

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