Company makes first acquisition since private equity firm pumped £40m into business in spring

Oxfordshire consultant Ridge is using its newly acquired financial strength to push into the data centre and London commercial markets with a deal to buy London project manager and cost consultant Concert for an undisclosed sum.

Earlier this year, London private equity firm Horizon Capital pumped more than £40m into Ridge to take a “significant” stake in the business. At the time, Ridge senior partner Adrain O’Hickey admitted: “This will enable investment in people and acquisitions.”

Concert can trace its origins back to 1974 when it originally began trading as Bruce Shaw. The Dublin based arm of Bruce Shaw rebranded to Linesight five years ago with the remaining Bruce Shaw business split into two organisations – Concert, based in London, and Skope, based in Belfast.

sky pool

Source: Shutterstock

Concert worked as cost consultant on the Embassy Gardens development in London’s Nine Elms, best-known for its Sky Pool

Concert, which has an office in Southwark, has around 30 staff and a revenue of £5.5m.

Ridge said it had bought the firm for its access to the data centre and commercial markets which it said “have been identified as key growth areas in Ridge’s strategy”.

Concert’s clients include data centre firms Ark Data Centres, Colt DCS and Green Mountain while clients in the commercial sector include JP Morgan and Nuveen.

It also worked as a cost consultant on Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens residential deal in London, which became best-known for having a swimming pool suspended between two of the three buildings 115 feet above the ground.

Speaking about the Concert deal, O’Hickey said: “Concert is well established in two of our target growth sectors. This acquisition will also strengthen our offering in the competitive London market.”

Ridge said the deal for Concert, which will continue to be led by managing director Rennie Dalrymple, was for 100% of the business with the name remaining for now ahead of it disappearing next year.

Ridge, which employs around 1,100 staff, is forecast to have a fee income of £110m this year.

The firm bought Projex, a project and cost management business based in Leeds and Birmingham, two years ago, while the year before it bought Manchester structural and civil engineer Scott Hughes.