US-based construction giant buys Australian-based Sinclair Knight Merz, which works in the UK, for £760m

money cash

US-based construction giant Jacobs is set to acquire Australian employee-owned consultancy Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) for close to Aust$1.3bn (£760m) in cash.

According to Reuters, Jacobs said yesterday it had been looking for new projects in the oil and gas and chemicals sectors and has historically turned to acquisitions to expand its market presence.

It has bought six other companies in the last three years.

In a statement Jacobs said: “Our capabilities and geographies have little overlap, enabling the combined companies to continue to expand client relationships and provide significant opportunities for employees,”

SKM, which has operations in Australia, Asia, South America and the UK, serves clients in sectors ranging from mining to power plant construction, had Aust$1.2bn (£700m) revenue in 2012.