£29.9m acquisition of project manager puts outsourcing firm Capita into top 10 UK construction consultants
Symonds Group chairman Chris Booy this week pocketed slightly more than £10m after his company was sold to quoted outsourcing firm Capita for £29.9m on Monday.

Booy, 51, who led a management buyout of the project management and consultancy group just over four years ago, had a 36% stake in the £51m-turnover business. He will become non-executive chairman of Capita's new project consultancy arm, Capita Symonds.

Booy stressed that the deal was not a case of him cashing in. He said: "I do not do things for money. There are also 120 of our staff that own shares – a lot of guys are going to make reasonable money out of this, which is what it's all about."

He added that he had put a substantial amount of his own money into the 1999 buyout, which was rumoured to have cost £6-7m Booy said he would now spend more time on his other business and personal interests – he became a non-executive director of Dalkia, the former parent of Symonds, last summer. He is also involved in the consortium taking over Bristol Rugby Club and has local charity interests.

He said his role at Capita Symonds would be similar to that before the acquisition: "I will be looking after the strategy, clients and the big jobs."

Booy said the firm had received "a lot of unsolicited offers" for about two years, but he started seriously considering selling only in the autumn of last year. He said: "We needed to be part of a bigger group to maximise the great people we have in the business."

The deal will create a £150m-turnover group with 2700 staff, propelling Capita into the top 10 UK construction consultants.

A lot of guys will make reasonable money out of it, which is what it’s all about

Chris Booy, chairman, Symonds

Capita Project Consultancy told Building last July that it was planning to double its turnover to £200m by 2005, and that this would be partially driven by acquisition.

Managing director Richard Marchant said the acquisition was an ideal fit in geographical terms – Capita is strong in the North, whereas Symonds operates mainly in the South. He said it would also give Capita more major projects experience.