Ground engineer Keller plans to integrate new acquisition but Phi managing director stays on.

Ground engineering firm Keller Group has acquired specialist groundworks contractor Phi Group for £5m.

Keller plans to integrate Phi, which specialises in slope and excavation retaining wall systems, into its exisiting earth retaining business.

Phi reported a turnover of around £10m for the year ended 31 March 2006. In its new structure it will continue to be led by managing director John Wilkinson.

Justin Atkinson, chief executive of Keller, said: "We expect continuing cost and environmental pressures to drive a growing demand for earth retention, as an alternative to traditional but more expensive solutions.

"The acquisition of Phi positions Keller as the leading provider of earth retention systems in the UK and will enable us to take full advantage of future opportunities in this growing sector."