Consultant Atkins and privately owned M&E company NG Bailey both bought specialist engineering firms this week.

Atkins has acquired Advantage Business Group, a defence and systems consultancy, for £19.4m. Advantage will be integrated into the design and engineering solutions business, stepping up the consultant’s capacity to offer engineering and project management support on defence projects. Advantage employs about 180 staff, primarily in Farnham, Surrey, and Bristol.

Ivor Catto, managing director of design and engineering solutions at Atkins, said: “Our vision is to create the independent systems engineer of choice in the defence sector.”

NG Bailey has acquired Integrated Control Systems, of Wokingham, Berkshire, an engineer specialising in building management systems, with a turnover of £8m. ICS employs 100 staff and works for contractors such as Bovis Lend Lease and Skanska. It provides the design, installation and maintenance of building management systems.