Consultant WSP has shown its confidence in London’s booming skyscraper market by buying New York-based high-rise engineering specialist Cantor Seinuk Group for £8m.

CSG has engineered many of the world’s tallest buildings including the 850 ft Trump World Tower in Manhattan and the 57-storey Torre Mayor in Mexico City.

The firm, which employs 140 staff, has 20 in London. They will join WSP in pitching for work. The company has already worked on a number of major buildings in London’s Docklands including Canada Square and Heron Quays.

WSP managing director Chris Cole said the acquisition of CSG would help it win work, as an increasing number of US firms use the UK as a beachhead for European expansion.

“US clients tend to favour US businesses so the CSG acquisition will do us no harm,” he said. “None of the UK companies have high-rise expertise because there hasn’t been any such development here for years until now.”

In the year to 31 December 1999, CSG turned over about £9m and made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £730 000. It has an order book worth more than £13m.

WSP is planning to announce a larger acquisition in the USA’s building services sector very soon. In the past year WSP has made acquisitions in Africa and the Far East in a bid to obtain toeholds in these markets.

It emerged this week that Westminster council may be about to relax its opposition to high-rise buildings.