Sinclair Knight Merz expands UK operations with purchase of engineer that built Waterloo International Terminal
Australian consulting engineer Sinclair Knight Merz has completed the takeover of UK structural and civil engineer Anthony Hunt Associates.

The company will now be called SKM Anthony Hunt and will have more than 200 staff.

Paul Dougas, SKM's chief executive, said the decision to buy was taken only after considerable research, which indicated that the market viewed it favourably.

Dougas said that SKM clients would reap many benefits from the merger. He said: "Among these are improved national coverage across the UK and the ability to draw on the global expertise of the firm, which covers capabilities in all aspects of the built environment, including transportation, the environment and energy."

Dougas added that his aim was to make SKM one of the leading structural engineering designers in the UK.

SKM was formed in Australia in 1964 and has revenues totalling close to £160m a year. The group has more than 3500 employees with offices across the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, the Pacific and South America.

Anthony Hunt Associates was founded in 1962 by Professor Anthony Hunt. It is one of Britain's leading structural and civil engineering consultants.

Clients will see many benefits including an improved national coverage across the United Kingdom

SKM chief executive Paul Dougas

Projects that have been carried out by Anthony Hunt Associates include Barajas airport in Madrid, the Eden Project in Cornwall, the Community Super Stadium in Hull and, in London, the Empress State Building in Earl's Court and Waterloo International Terminal (pictured).

Alan Jones, chairman of Anthony Hunt Associates, said the new company would enhance the capabilities and expertise that could be offered to clients.

He said: "Our objective is to continue to not only deliver the best engineering solutions, but also to provide the most direct and personal service to our clients."

Jones said that both practices shared a common ethos of designing elegant and economical structures.

He said: "This ethos is based on early collaboration with all members of the design team and the intuitive understanding of structural systems and material constraints."

Stephen Campbell will lead the building and property operations for SKM in Europe. He joins SKM after working for WSP and Faber Maunsell in the UK.

An industry insider said SKM's takeover of Anthony Hunt was the first in a series of acquisitions that it was planning.