Contractor Willmott Dixon has expanded into the M&E services sector with the purchase of Japanese company Shimizu Property Services.
Parent company Shimizu Europe has agreed to transfer the business interests of Shimizu Property Services to Willmott Dixon Property Services at the end of February.

Colin Enticknap, Willmott Dixon's group chief executive, said the acquisition of an engineering maintenance business was a key element of the group's growth strategy. He refused to disclose how much Willmott Dixon had paid for Shimizu.

He said he was confident the business would fit into Willmott Dixon's strategic, operational, and cultural strategy for the future.

Enticknap said: "Ultimately it will enable Willmott Dixon to provide a more comprehensive and better integrated service proposition."

The firm will be incorporated into Willmott Dixon's property division and will be overseen by chief operating officer Duncan Forbes.

Forbes said Shimizu had an order book of £15m and would initially operate in London and the South-east. He said it was likely that over the course of the next three years, Shimizu would start to operate nationally.

Forbes said: "The Shimizu company employs around 100 staff, who will transfer to Willmott Dixon to become a third operating arm in the property services division."