Whitbybird has merged with Danish engineering giant Ramboll to create an international consultancy with more than 6,000 staff

The combined company will have a turnover of about £410m, and will have a presence in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, the Middle East and India.

The move is the latest major example of consolidation in the engineering consultancy sector, following White Young Green’s acquisition of Adams Kara Taylor last year.

Under the deal, in which Ramboll paid Whitbybird shareholders an undisclosed sum for the company, the UK arm of the engineering consultant will be branded Ramboll Whitbybird. Ramboll, which is working on several off-shore wind farm developments around the UK, did not previously have a permanent presence here.

Mark Whitby, the Whitbybird founder and chairman, will become chairman of Ramboll Whitbybird and current Whitbybird chief executive Mike Crane remaining in his post.

Whitby said the deal had been triggered by the growing internationalisation of the industry. He said the company had been looking at opening more international offices before the deal.

He said: “There are more and more international opportunities, and increasingly we are being asked to cover all aspects of engineering on a project as lead consultant. It has sometimes been difficult to take those opportunities as Whitbybird.”

He added that the company would seek to bring Scandinavian expertise on sustainability to the UK, particularly in areas such as waste-to-energy technology.

Ramboll, which has 5,800 staff, operates in the infrastructure, buildings, industrial processes, energy, water and IT sectors.

Arcadis, the Dutch engineer that owns AYH and recently bought architect RTKL has reported a 19% rise in profit to £9.5m for the second quarter of 2007.