Aukett Swanke seeks UAE expansion with Shankland Cox purchase

Aukett Swanke Group Plc, the international group of architects and interior designers, has acquired the entire share capital of Shankland Cox Ltd (SCL), a firm of architects and engineers operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and incorporated in the UK.

The total consideration for SCL is £3m ($4.34m).

The vendor of SCL has agreed to remain with the company for at least two years post completion and will chair our enlarged Middle East operation. 

SCL’s staff of 106 will boost Aukett Swanke’s workforce to 146 in the Middle East and 483 worldwide.

Announcing the deal on 11 February Aukett Swanke said its Middle East operation has "lacked the critical mass to successfully bid for some of the larger and more prestigious projects available".  

SCL was established in the UK in 1962 and began operating in the UAE in 1986. 

SCL has delivered a number of major projects including the Dubai Etisalat HQ Building and the Dubai Campus of the Sheikh Zayed University. 

In the year to 31 March 2015 SCL made a pre-tax profit of £34,000 on revenues of £4.6m and had net assets of £3m, According to Aukett Swanke. 

"We have been seeking to augment our Middle East offering for some time," said Nicholas Thompson, Aukett Swanke chief executive.  

"The addition of SCL to our operation is therefore significant. It demonstrates our long term commitment to the region and creates an enterprise of 146 staff making us a major player in the UAE professional services market." 

Photograph: Dubai skyline: Shankland Cox has been active in the UAE since 1986 (Nino Verde/Wikimedia Commons)

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