Sinclair Knight Merz completed the deal on Wednesday

Australian-based engineer and project manager, Sinclair Knight Merz, has bought 200-strong UK transport planner Colin Buchanan for an undisclosed sum.

The deal was completed on Wednesday this week following six months of talks between the companies, and will see the creation of a 900-strong UK consultant engineer and transport planning business with a turnover of more than £60m. The combined transport planning business will trade in the UK as SKM Colin Buchanan.

The total UK turnover will put the merged business in the top 30 of all construction consultants in the UK.

Andreas Markides, chairman of Colin Buchanan, said the deal will allow Colin Buchanan to use SKM’s infrastructure to fulfil its plans to expand overseas. He said Colin Buchanan had not been looking for a buyer, and had previously turned down a number of other offers for the business. There is no plan to cut operational jobs but the firms will consolidate offices.

Markides said: “We didn’t want the current stagnation of the UK economy to affect Colin Buchanan’s prospects in the future. This gives us the opportunity to grow.”

Michael Shirley, general manager for buildings at SKM, said: “Our firms have had a long-term relationship and there’s a strong cultural alignment.”