Consolidation in the consultancy sector looked set to accelerate this week with the promise of more acquisitions by two prominent players

Baqus, which floated last December after the merger of Boxall Sayer, Denley King and Fletcher McNeill in August, said the move had given it a £1.7m war chest for more deals.

Raouf Ghali

Clive Sayer, the chief executive, said it planned to merge with two QS firms each year for three years and to boost turnover from £7m to £20m by January 2011.

He said: “We want people to come to join the Baqus family.” Baqus has 115 staff, of which 75 are QSs and building surveyors.

US consulting firm Hill International also announced its intention to make more acquisitions following the purchase of £2.4m-turnover QS practice John Shreeves Holdings last week.

Raouf Ghali, president of project management at Hill International, said the acquisition formed part of a wider push to expand into the UK market.

He revealed a 15-25% growth target over the next year, focusing on QS and project management deals in the UK public sector. He said: “Our main UK activities at the moment revolve around smaller project management projects to enter the UK market.”

The takeover of Shreeves comes 18 months after Hill acquired UK construction dispute company JR Knowles for £7m.

Ghali said: “We are not speaking to any other companies, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the right firm comes along.”

Alan Crane, director of consultancy 3Cs, said the trend was due to the changing landscape in the consultancy sector. He said: “QSs have realised that they are a dying breed and that they have to get into the wider consultancy business to survive. Clubbing together is a natural move.”