Australia-based consultant sets out expansion plans after Mouchel Rail buy

Consultant Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) is targeting becoming a “global transport brand” after the acquisition of Mouchel Rail.

SKM confirmed the acquisition of £13.6m-turnover Mouchel Rail from its ailing parent company for £3.4m cash on Wednesday.

The Australia-based consultant denied Mouchel’s recent difficulties had affected the sale price, although analysts said the sale was much “cheaper” than it would have been 18 months ago.

SKM’s UK rail business has grown ten-fold in just five months, from 25 people to over 250. It is the Australian firm’s second acquisition in the UK rail market, after it bought £60m-turnover UK transport planner Colin Buchanan in June.

John Pike, area manager for SKM’s Europe Middle East and Africa region, said the firm would target further expansion in the sector following the acquisitions.

Pike said: “Rail is a strategic priority for us in this region. The rail business has grown ten-fold in five months and the next three years we expect it to grow significantly more.”