WSP expands its UK transportation interests with acquisition of Mouchel Consulting


One of the world’s largest multi-disciplinary consultancies, WSP Global Inc., will now get even larger following an announcement that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire leading UK consultancy Mouchel Consulting, the engineering consulting services business of Mouchel, which was owned by Kier Group.

The Canada-based consulting giant has agreed a purchase price of approximately £75m (US$91.5m) for Mouchel Consulting, which has approximately 2,000 employees, mostly located in offices across the UK and Ireland, as well as a presence in the Middle East.

The company is recognized for its broad expertise in the public transportation and infrastructure sectors, particularly in highways and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). It provides a range of services across the project life cycle, including policy development, planning, and design and performance monitoring, principally in the transport, environmental and water sectors.

Mouchel has been involved in many significant infrastructure projects, including: the strategic study for the Trans-Pennine Tunnel, which was one of the most ambitious road schemes undertaken in the UK in more than 50 years; and data collection and interpretation for the National Traffic Information service, the world’s largest traffic information system.

WSP believes that Mouchel is an attractive acquisition as:

It strengthens WSP’s presence in the UK public infrastructure sector and more specifically in highways design, ITS and the regulated water industry, where it was looking to increase its presence; It strategically positions WSP to benefit from upcoming opportunities in the UK public sector, driven by factors such the recently announced government commitment to the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan spend, of which £414bn will be invested in infrastructure projects to 2020/21; It complements WSP’s world-class transportation expertise in roads, highways and rail services, by adding ITS and land referencing know-how to its global team.

“We are pleased to join forces with Mouchel Consulting, which is recognized as a highly successful firm in the UK, with a particularly strong public sector presence in transportation,” explained Mark Naysmith, managing director for WSP in the UK.

“Our combined expertise across the public and private sectors will enhance our design capabilities, providing greater depth and diversity in related skill sets. This will position us as trusted advisors, enabling us to deliver our clients’ projects across their whole life-cycle. Together, we will now be a top-tier player for local and national government transportation projects, as well as in local authority markets.”

Miles Barnard, managing director of Mouchel Consulting, commented, “We are pleased about the prospect of joining WSP, as our cultures are aligned and our operations are complementary, which should create new opportunities for our employees and clients. We also anticipate playing an active role in the development and growth of WSP’s multi-disciplinary activities in the public sector in the UK and Middle East, and look forward to offering a wide range of additional services to our respective clients.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).