Mace gains regional foothold in Kenya through YMR acquisition

28 December 2017 3 min. read
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UK-based construction consultancy Mace has expanded its presence in Africa with the acquisition of a significant stake in YMR Partners, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The deal reflects strong regional growth in the construction sector, and comes around a year after the firm’s purchase of South African consultancy MMQS.

Construction activity across East Africa remains relatively robust, as regional economies perform strongly and inward investment – from Chinese companies, among others – continues to rise. In Kenya, a recent construction boom has seen growth of 8.5% projected for 2017, while annual growth of 6.2% to 2026 is forecast – even in light of current regional political uncertainties. Meanwhile, UK-based consulting firm Mace has been steadily executing an expansion campaign of global proportions. As the group seeks to consolidate its presence in markets across its global hubs, it has placed key emphasis on the acquisition of “niche consultancy firms,” which have established themselves in their respective local markets.

One such local company, situated in Nairobi, Kenya, is the YMR Partnership. The company, founded in 1985, has since grown to six partners and more than 20 staff, with an additional office in Kampala. Operating in the construction and consultancy space, the company has a number of high-profile projects under its belt, including Nairobi projects, Two Rivers, Garden City and the Hub Karen, as well as East African projects, such as World Bank Office in Juba, South Sudan; the new Kigali City Tower, Rwanda; and the Acacia Plaza in Kampala. Its expertise covers construction consultancy in the area of urban and rural development, building construction and civil engineering, among others.Mace gains regional foothold in Kenya through YMR acquisitionMace’s purchase of the firm, the value of which has not been disclosed, sees the consulting firm acquire a significant stake in YMR. The deal will allow Mace to extend its footprint into the region, through YMR’s local knowledge and reputation, while expanding the latter’s capabilities and resources to help tackle large regional projects. Following the acquisition, YMR and Mace will operate under the brand MaceYMR.

Commenting on the deal, Jason Millett, Mace’s Chief Operating Officer for Consultancy, said, “The acquisition of this stake of YMR is the next step forward in Mace’s strategic regional expansion plans. By combining YMR’s excellent local knowledge and Mace’s global scale, resource and expertise, we can transform our service offering in East Africa. We’ll be able to offer existing and potential clients a one-stop shop for high quality construction consultancy services.”

Simon Herd, Managing Director for East Africa at MaceYMR, said, “This is the natural next step for YMR and will open up a huge range of opportunities for growth – for our existing clients, our business and all of the team here. We will be able to provide our existing clients a suite of new services delivered by Mace, as well as offering new customers a strengthened proposition that can’t be matched by anyone else in East Africa.“

The deal reflects Mace’s increased interest in access to the African continent. Last year, the company acquired South-Africa-based MMQS, while its longer-term strategy, according to Millett, is the “strategic acquisition of niche consultancy firms with reputations for high quality services in order to strengthen our market position and provide an augmented offer to clients.”