Consultant White Young Green has snapped up London-based project management consultancy Trench Farrow in a £4.5m acquisition, with the possibility of further deals between now and next summer.

John Purvis, chief executive of White Young Green, said the merger was part of a move by the consultant to further integrate itself in the London and South-east markets and to expand its project, property and cost management services.

He said: “The South-east and London are the largest markets in the UK. There is a lot of activity and it’s a very buoyant market.” Purvis added that, for the first year at least, the two companies would remain relatively autonomous. “Trench Farrow will continue working on its principles at their end and we will not be changing its management team at all. They will stay where they are and all the principle players have signed two-and-a-half year contracts with us.”

Purvis hinted that expansion would not stop here and that there is an allowance available to make further acquisitions. He said: “It is quite possible there will be further acquisitions before July next year.”

David Trench, chairman of Trench Farrow, said the merger was a good fit. He added that it had come at an ideal time, as the company had travelled as far as possible on its own: “Trench Farrow is fairly small and so, beforehand, the staff had no real career path – now they do.”

Trench Farrow is fairly small and, beforehand, the staff had no real career path – now they do

David Trench, chairman, Trench Farrow

However, he also added that the process would take a while before it was properly bedded down. “We don’t know if they really understand what they have bought into and we don’t really understand what they are, so it will take time.”

WYG paid £2.25m for the business in cash and the remainder in shares. It may pay a further £1.4m, depending on Trench Farrow’s financial performance in the first year.

The combined company will have an estimated turnover of more than £170m.