EC Harris-parent acquires £79m turnover Davis Langdon & Seah

EC Harris’ parent company Arcadis has bought 2,800-strong consultant Davis Langdon & Seah, thought to be the largest cost and project management firm in Asia.

Davis Langdon & Seah, founded in 1934, shares its corporate identity with Davis Langdon and has a long history of collaboration with the UK quantity surveyor, but is independent from it and was not part of Aecom’s 2010 takeover of the firm.

Davis Langdon & Seah has a turnover of £79m (USD$125m), taking Arcadis’ global revenue to just short of £2bn (€2.4bn). Arcadis now has a workforce of 3,500 people in Asia and 21,000 people worldwide.

Arcadis said it had financed the merger by issuing 2.2 million shares to Davis Langdon & Seah partners, in addition to an undisclosed cash amount “through existing credit facilities”. The shares have a lock-in period of 12 to 36 months.

Arcadis said the deal was part of its strategy to become a world leader in project management. After its acquisition of Davis Langdon & Seah and UK consultant EC Harris last year, the firm has 8,000 project managers worldwide.

Davis Langdon & Seah has 37 office locations including mainland China (14 offices, 1,050 people), Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, India and affiliates in Malaysia and Brunei.

The company claims to hold number one or two market positition in its field in all the countries in which it operates.

Davis Langdon & Seah was owned by 15 international partners and 42 local partners, which will all stay with Arcadis.

The firm’s chief executive Joseph Lee will also join Arcadis’ senior management committee. The other partners will continue as regional and country directors.

Arcadis chief executive Harrie Noy said: “This merger meets our long-standing strategic ambition of expanding our presence in Asia and brings an excellent and well-known brand with substantial experience in the region.

“We now have an established and highly successful platform for further expansion of our business in Asia. The strong urbanization and social infrastructure development in this part of the world are major drivers for growing demand for services in all our business lines.”

Joseph Lee, DLS chief executive added: “This opportunity is unique as Arcadis brings us additional capabilities and experience, which allows us to further expand our business by diversifying our service offering.

“This will benefit our clients, as well as our staff. In addition, we obtain access to new multinational clients that seek to invest in the countries where we are well established.

“We are confident of the success of this merger because of our similar values, cooperative culture and our joint commitment to service excellence, staff development and financial performance.”

Neil McArthur, Arcadis executive board member, who will succeed Noy as chief executive upon his retirement in May, said: “This merger creates a strong platform for growth with ample opportunities for synergies for the benefit of our combined clients throughout one of the most dynamic regions in the world.

“DLS’s rich history and long track record of success fit well with Arcadis. I welcome all of the DLS leaders and staff and look forward to our combined future.”