GVA announces merger with engineering giant Bilfinger

Exchange of contracts and completion is expected before the end of June, with Bilfinger Real Estate taking over 100% ownership of GVA shares

Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd Carl Potter, director and head of national offices at GVA
Carl Potter, director and head of national offices at GVA

GVA, which employs over 50 people in Newcastle, has announced Bilfinger, the €8.5bn-turnover global engineering and services group, as its merger partner.

A memorandum of understanding has been agreed that will, subject to outstanding legalities and a shareholder vote, transform GVA’s drive for major growth and significantly strengthen its ambitions to compete on the world stage.

Exchange of contracts and completion is expected before the end of June 2014. The transaction will involve a transfer of GVA’s existing shares to give Bilfinger Real Estate 100% ownership.

This transaction will allow LDC, the private equity investor with a 27.5% stake in GVA, to exit. LDC’s initial investment supported the company through a financial restructuring programme to help GVA secure access to external capital to undertake large acquisitions.

Bilfinger, which is based in Mannheim and listed on the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, employs 74,000 staff throughout its 14 divisions worldwide. The decision to work with Bilfinger Real Estate as GVA’s preferred strategic merger partner follows the completion of a review by investment bank Canaccord Genuity, which commenced in October 2013, into GVA’s options to enhance its medium to long-term growth.

Michael Cuthbertson, Regional Senior Director, GVA, Newcastle adds: “The service we provide our clients will very much remain the same. There will be no change to our team structures or to our office locations. Nor will our brand, which represents huge capital value, change immediately.

“Our brand will evolve over a matter of years, not months. However, it’s equally critical to convey that our partnering with Bilfinger Real Estate combined with LDC’s exit will offer a hugely exciting opportunity for clients and an unprecedented prospect for us to create a truly international dimension to our UK-facing business.”

Rob Bould, Chief Executive at GVA, said: “The strategic merger launches us onto the global stage, creating a partnership with Bilfinger Real Estate that immediately competes with the world’s biggest real estate advisers for global mandates.’’

Aydin Karaduman, chief executive at Bilfinger Real Estate, said: “This deal is part of a strategic plan to develop a leading international real estate consultancy and management offer with representation in every major commercial centre in the world.”

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