Morgan Sindall creates new national construction business

The creation of new national construction business ‘Morgan Ashurst’ today (27 July) marks the end of an era for Amec Design and Project Services (DPS) and Bluestone. The news follows shareholder approval of construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall’s acquisition of Amec plc’s construction and civil engineering business, DPS, and its mixed-use urban regeneration business, Amec Developments. Morgan Sindall is buying both businesses for a total of £34 million, subject to final agreement of the net assets being acquired.

The deal significantly increases Morgan Sindall’s size and construction capability and accelerates the Group’s entry into the developing, large scheme, mixed-use urban regeneration market.

"This acquisition gives us a nationwide urban regeneration business, significantly strengthens our construction business and develops our already strong position in infrastructure services, says John Morgan, Morgan Sindall’s executive chairman. “We are strengthening three of our four divisions and responding to the needs of our clients who are increasingly looking for larger providers to meet their objectives. The acquisition is consistent with our strategy of building leading positions in our chosen markets and is expected to enhance earnings in our current financial year.”

DPS’ acquisition also sees the creation of a new construction brand for Morgan Sindall which has merged Bluestone, its construction business, with the building division of Amec DPS to form Morgan Ashurst. The new business has combined revenues of around £750 million.

DPS, whose clients include MoD, the Highways Agency and BAA, undertakes a wide range of projects worth from £5 million up to £320 million. With offices in Stratford-upon-Avon, Birchwood (Warrington), Darlington, Ipswich and Renfrew, its core expertise lies in the UK’s health, defence, industrial, utilities and transport sectors.

Bluestone focuses on projects under £30 million and complements DPS’ major projects capability. The business operates through a network of 26 local offices and has leading sector expertise in building for education and healthcare organisations. Its national clients include the Driving Standards Agency, BUPA, Norfolk Property Services and St Modwen.

Headquartered at Amec DPS’ former head offices in Stratford-upon-Avon, Morgan Ashurst will employ more than 2,150 people. John Moss, DPS’ former chief, will head up the new business as managing director. Graham Shennan, Bluestone’s former managing director, will run the company’s new Regional Construction division, and Nigel Brook who was DPS’ managing director for building in the North, will lead Morgan Ashurst’s Major Projects division.

The Amec DPS acquisition supports Morgan Sindall’s stated strategy to develop a market-leading position in its UK construction and infrastructure services divisions.

“The Morgan Ashurst brand brings together the best of both Bluestone and DPS’ construction expertise and represents a significantly enlarged construction business for Morgan Sindall with strong major projects and design capability,” explains John Moss. “Merging the two businesses almost doubles the size of the Group’s construction division and establishes Morgan Ashurst as a top UK construction player with the capability to serve large clients with complex project requirements across the private and public sector. This is great news for both our Bluestone and DPS teams who are now part of a market-leading business with enormous growth potential.”

While the DPS construction division moves to Morgan Ashurst, its civil engineering team has been integrated into Morgan Est, Morgan Sindall’s infrastructure services business. A new business, Morgan Professional Services (MPS), has also been formed from the design capabilities of DPS. MPS will provide professional design, construction and project management services to Morgan Ashurst and sister company Morgan Est.