Architect to keep name after takeover by Nippon Koei

BDP is ending more than 50 years of independence after being bought by Japanese engineer Nippon Koei.

The news was confirmed this morning in a statement which will see the firm pay £102.2 million for the entire BDP business, which last year had a turnover of £81 million and employs 950 people.

The practice has six studios in the UK as well as a number dotted overseas including the Netherlands, China and India.

The statement said: “While both companies will retain their existing operations and their own brand identity, their complementary geographical footprints and technical skills mean that they will be able to work collaboratively to win and deliver integrated design solutions across international markets.”

John McManus, the chief executive of BDP, said: “We believe that this strategic international alignment will deliver huge benefits to our clients and will offer exceptional prospects for our people to develop both professionally and personally.”

According to BD’s latest WA Top 100 survey BDP, which was set up in 1961 and eight years later completed work on one of its best-known projects, Preston bus station, the subject of a fierce listing battle a few years ago, is the third biggest UK architect behind Foster & Partners and Atkins.

Nippon Koei was set up in1946 and listed on the Japanese Stock Exchange eight years later.

The firm’s president Ryuichi Arimoto said: “The combination of NK’s 70 years of experience in social development and infrastructure together with BDP’s 55 years of experience in the education, health and commercial sectors, will create significant opportunity to add value for our clients and, I am confident, will lead the group to become the world’s leading integrated architecture, engineering and design company for the next generation.”

The company employs around 3,200 people and had a turnover of £430 million last year. It has over 30 offices in Japan and the rest of the world – although none in Europe and North America.