Consultant Mott MacDonald is to increase its global presence through an alliance with Australian engineer Connell Wagner.
The new grouping, which will be called Connell Mott MacDonald, will be based in London. It aims to attack the building engineering markets in Europe, Asia and Australasia. Profit from contracts will be shared.

The alliance's managing director, John Leuchars, said the arrangement would allow it to take on competitors such as Arup. He said: "Arup is obviously our major target but it would be fair to say we're trying to emulate it as well." He said the link-up was not a merger but a way of giving the firms access to each other's staff. This would allow them to call on more than 800 building engineers around the world.

Leuchars added: "By doing this, we hope to expand throughout the world. This is the way I think a lot of companies will go. Clients want international expertise locally available and this will allow us to do that." The firms considered a merger but decided it would be too bureaucratic. The alliance does not include Mott MacDonald's civil engineering and infrastructure divisions.

The firms are acting as design engineers for Wembley stadium and have worked on Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport.