Burj Al Arab designer Atkins buys Kenyan engineering firm

Atkins CEO Uwe Krueger.
Atkins chief executive officer Uwe Krueger. PHOTO/COURTESY
British design firm Atkins has acquired Howard Humphreys East Africa as it looks to expand its consultancy business into East Africa.

Atkins, which designed Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, said Thursday that it had acquired Nairobi-based Howard Humphreys in a move that makes the Kenyan capital its African base for property, energy and infrastructure deals.

Howard Humphreys (EA) – founded in 1931 – has a robust presence in the regional market and it provides engineering consultancy and project management services in the property, transportation and water sectors.

“This acquisition provides an excellent platform from which to develop our presence in the region and is in line with our strategy of targeted expansion into new geographies,” said Atkins’ CEO Uwe Krueger.

Atkins, which has a turnover of about Sh200 billion, is eyeing government projects such as construction of highways, airports and energy plants.

The UK firm said it will firstly continue operating as Howard Humphreys, but will later change the name to Atkins, “which is globally recognized.”

The two firms did not disclose the value of the deal, which is anticipated to be completed in about three months.

Howard’s managing director Kanwal Syan said the local firm has a turnover of Sh1.2 billion meaning the takeover could be worth billions of shillings.

The firm has undertaken consultancy jobs for projects such as Two Rivers Mall, Garden City, Britam Towers and Times Tower in Nairobi and energy projects such as the Olkaria geothermal plants in Naivasha.