QS buys Indian and Australian consultant Padghams and reveals Chinese alliance

Quantity surveyor Cyril Sweett has paid £1.3m to buy Australian and Indian consultants Padghams.

The cost will be paid with £807,000 of cash up front and by the issuing of new shares dependant on the performance of the firm and its subsidiary Padghams Cost Management over the next few months. Sweett said in the best case the cost would not exceed £1.5m.

The firms provide QS services to the health and education sectors in Australia and a broad range of sector in India, with 12 fee earners in Australia and 43 fee earners in India. Most of its staff are engineers by training. Cyril Sweett will combine its existing operations in Australia with the firm immediately.

The news came as Cyril Sweett announced an alliance it said would allow it to gain a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market. It is to form a joint venture company and broader global alliance with asian QS Widnell Ltd. It said Cyril Sweett and Widnell will co-operate together to develop business opportunities in the region, and the joint venture will trade under the brand name Widnell Sweett Limited.

Widnell is an independently-owned firm with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Macau.

Dean Webster, chief executive Officer at Cyril Sweett, said he was “delighted” with the Padghams deal as international expansion was core to Cyril Sweett’s strategic plan.

He added: "We are pleased to have partnered with such a reputable firm as Widnell as they have such a strong market position. Their strength in the north of the region, combined with ours in the south and in India, will undoubtedly deliver synergies between the two companies. This alliance is a clear sign of our commitment to our international clients, as well as the Asia Pacific market."