Europe, Middle East and Africa arm will vote next month on deal with £3.8bn-turnover US firm

Davis Langdon partners will vote next month on a proposed takeover by £3.8bn-turnover US consulting giant Aecom.

It is understood the deal could be completed shortly after 70 voting partners in the Europe, Middle East and Africa arm of the cost consultant decide whether to approve the takeover by the 45,000-strong firm.

Building understands the Davis Langdon & Seah Asian arm of the business, which has 33 offices and employs 3,000 people in 13 countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines and China, has already given the deal the green light. Sources close to the situation said the Seah part of the business was keen to do a deal with Aecom because the US firm was already a well-recognised name in the region.

It follows three months of relative quiet since Building revealed in February that both Aecom and fellow US firm Jacobs were vying to take over the £336m-turnover QS, which employs 5,000 people worldwide.

Since then, it is understood that talks between the firms have centred on issues such as who will lead the business and whether the Davis Langdon name will remain. It is understood the name will be retained, although some speculate it could eventually disappear, as Aecom rebranded its previous acquisitions, including QS firm Faber Maunsell and architect EDAW.

The lack of firm news has led to uncertainty among staff on both sides, with one senior Aecom employee saying: “We just want to know what is going on. The uncertainty is not helping us out in the market.”

Despite concern from some in the industry that a renowned UK firm will be swallowed by an American multinational, Davis Langdon senior partner Rob Smith has previously talked about a need for consultants to operate on a larger stage and indicated the strong desire of US firms such as Aecom and Jacobs to penetrate emerging markets like China.

Neither firm would comment on the latest reports.