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Fri July 19 2024

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Stantec takes over Hydrock

1 May Stantec, a Canadian consulting engineer listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has grown its UK workforce by more than 30% through the acquisition of Hydrock.

Hydrock has been acquired by Stantec [©Rebecca Faith]
Hydrock has been acquired by Stantec [©Rebecca Faith]

Stantec completed its takeover of UK consulting engineer Hydrock on 30th April 2024. The terms have not been disclosed.

Hydrock was founded in Bristol in 1995 and now has 950 staff across 22 UK offices. Its services include fire safety, energy and sustainability, civil and structural, building services, transport, environmental and geotechnical services.

Hydrock Holdings generated turnover of £74m in the year to 31st March 2023, up 40% from £59m the previous year, and made a pre-tax profit of £2.7m. Turnover was boosted by the acquisitions during 2022 of 3e Consulting Engineers, Complete Design Partnership and SPL Track.

Hydrock founder Brian McConnell sold a majority stake in his business in 2018 to BGF (formerly Business Growth Fund), an investment company owned by a group of banks to provide venture capital for small and medium-sized businesses in the UK and Ireland.

With the sale to Stantec, and recently having turned 60, McConnell has now retired from the business.

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“The coming together of Stantec and Hydrock is an ambitious and compatible evolution for both our firms in the UK,” said Stantec’s executive vice president Cath Schefer. “Hydrock provides us with a highly complementary line of services and expertise which only reinforces our UK offering. Our combined experience, knowledge, and creativity, as well as our shared commitment to create better, more liveable places for people and communities, puts us in an exceptional position to deliver meaningful value for our industry-leading clients.”

Hydrock managing director Scott Elliott said: “Hydrock’s people are united by a shared purpose to be a force for good. I’m delighted that this aligns so well with Stantec’s culture. Through our integration, we’ll be able to expand our reach and influence internationally, penetrate exciting new markets, and provide excellent new career opportunities for our people. Together, we’ll pioneer engineering solutions, drive energy resilience, and support this country’s vital transition to a low-carbon economy.”

He added: “I’d like to thank our retiring founder Dr Brian McConnell for his tireless efforts growing the business over the last 29 years into what is now a highly respected national brand. This is a pivotal moment in our company’s history and an exciting new chapter for our colleagues and our clients.”

Hydrock’s acquisition follows a period of both organic and acquisitive growth for Stantec. In the first four months of 2024, its staff numbers have grown by more  than 2,700 team members to more than 30,000 through the acquisitions of Zetcon in Germany, Morrison Hershfield in Canada, and now Hydrock.

Its previous UK acquisitions, all made in the past eight years, include Montgomery Watson Garza (MWH), ESI, Peter Brett Associates and Barton Willmore.

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