Environmental consultancy CRA rebrands as GHD

01 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

CRA Europe, an environmental consultancy with offices in Nottingham and Liverpool, has – in line with CRA’s global integration strategy – rebranded as GHD. Looking ahead the UK-based management team expects the joining of forces to pave the way for further expansion, building on the combined strengths and heritage of both firms.

In July 2014, Canadian-headquartered Conestoga Rovers and Associates (CRA) and Australia-based Gutteridge Haskins and Davey (GHD) merged, turning two mid-range players into one of the top 20 players in the global environmental consulting sector. At the time of the merger, GHD (founded in 1928) boasted a workforce of over 5,500 staff across a network of 100 offices worldwide, while CRA (founded in 1976) had 3,000 professionals operating from 100 offices across North America and 2 in the UK. After closing of the merger, the firms had a combined revenue of nearly $1.5 billion.

Closer to you throughout the UK

Exactly one year after the deal’s closing, on 1 July 2015, upon completion of the integration phase, CRA adopted the GHD brand. “This is one of the largest true mergers to have occurred in our industry. We have added significant growth and scale to our business, while retaining the advantages of our private, employee-ownership business model for creating value for our clients and people. We are positioned for further growth, as we continue to expand our services across our clients’ asset value chain,” said Ian Shepherd, CEO of GHD at the time of the announcement.

Three months later the European business of CRA, which has offices in Nottingham and Liverpool, has followed suit and per 30 September rebranded as GHD. The CRA professionals based in the two offices will tie up their collaboration with GHD’s existing UK network, with key hubs in London and Leeds – jointly they employ 250 individuals across 10 offices. John Dutton, GHD’s UK Director, says: “We are positioned for further growth, as we continue to expand the range of services we offer in the UK. The GHD brand is renowned for client service and a culture of safety. Our reputation and ability to perform are based on the technical leadership of our people and their commitment to high standards of safety, quality and ethics.”

Our combined people around the world

Nigel Leehane, GHD’s UK Environment Director and formerly CRA Europe’s Managing Director, adds, “Our progressive integration process has focused on maintaining continuity of service and a high level of responsiveness to clients. As part of GHD’s connected network of offices throughout the UK and around the world, we are able to bring greater innovation and efficiency to our clients’ projects.”


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”