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Parsons boss gives insight into engineering mergers

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Parsons Brinckerhoff’s new Asia-Pacific head has given some insight into the recent trend of consolidation among engineering firms, saying higher demand for specialised project expertise is driving the change. </span> <p>Guy Templeton, who is heading up Parsons Brinckerhoff, and its new parent company WSP in the Asia-Pacific region, spoke with the Australian Financial Review yesterday on the recent trend of mergers and acquisitions in the global engineering industry.<br /><br />US firm AECOM in October acquired its rival URS for roughly US$4bn, and in the same month Dutch group Arcadis bought UK firm Hyder Consulting for roughly $566m.<br /><br />As reported last month by ABHR, UK firm AMEC has recently completed the acquisition of engineering and construction group Foster Wheeler for roughly $3.5bn.<br /><br />All of this year’s acquisitions of course follow on from the $1.3bn acquisition of Australian firm Sinclair Knight Mertz by US engineer Jacobs.<br /><br />Templeton told Fairfax the trend was the result of massive infrastructure projects around the world demanding more specialised skills.<br /><br />“The engineering market is becoming more global, and it takes specialist expertise to execute the largest and most complex projects,” Templeton was quoted as saying by the AFR.<br /><br />He said the partnership of Parsons and WSP combined Parsons’ expertise in horizontal infrastructure like road and rail projects, with WSP’s expertise on vertical infrastructure like skyscrapers.<br /><br />Templeton also gave some insight into the current state of the engineering projects market.<br /><br />“We are seeing good demand [for services] around project management and work to reduce the cost of delivery,” Templeton said.<br /><br />“There’s been a lot of demand for tunnelling, driven by the need to solve urban congestion while minimising impact on communities.&quot</p>