Turner & Townsend and Capita Symonds prepare to make a string of acquisitions

Turner & Townsend and Capita Symonds are preparing to make a string of acquisitions, as the trend for bolt-on purchases takes off in the consultancy sector.

Building understands Turner & Townsend is closing in on deals in Canada and Russia, which would see the firm acquire two more overseas cost and project management firms.

Capita Symonds is also thought to have four purchases in the pipeline in addition to the acquisition of process engineering firm Multi-Tech Contracts, announced this week. It is thought to be homing in on a small environmental consultancy.

A source said: “It’s all about helping the company move into different markets. One of those is sustainability. Anyone with any cash at the moment is going to be doing the same.”

The purchase of 150-strong Multi-Tech, for an undisclosed sum, is the firm’s sixth buy in 20 months and aims to boost Capita’s presence in areas such as the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. It has offices in Warrington, Bridgend, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Its turnover is £7.2m.

Two weeks ago, Gleeds bought £3m-turnover Locus Consultants, its first substantial acquisition in eight years, and said more deals could follow.

Meanwhile, engineering consultant Aecom this week told staff it is to cut about 350 job in the UK and Europe.