Infrastructure consultancy PLC Consulting joins Ricardo

15 July 2019 3 min. read
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Two months after acquiring Transport Engineering, Ricardo has also added Australian firm PLC Consulting to its ranks. The deal, valued at A$9.6 million, sees a team of around 20 professionals join Ricardo’s Australian operation.

Founded in 2016 by a team of experienced consultants, led by Deane Ellwood, who previously spent fifteen years at engineering consultancies SMEC and Meinhardt Group, PLC Consulting is a firm that provides technical advice across the full project life cycle. The Melbourne-based consultancy supports clients with among other masterplanning, business case setup, procurement, design, construction and operation.

Over the past years PLC Consulting built a successful track record in advising and delivering major infrastructure projects in the resources, transport, environmental infrastructure and property sectors for both government and private sector clients. Clients the consultancy has served over the past 12 months include Cleanaway, Suez, and Veolia. The firm positions itself as a player that focuses on sustainability – “We are driven by the application of sustainability principles to all forms of infrastructure investment,” explained Ellwood. 

After operating independently for three years, privately-held PLC Consulting has decided to join Ricardo, an international engineering consulting player with 2,700 employees globally. “It is very exciting to be joining Ricardo. We are delighted to bring our environment and planning expertise to join forces with the multi-disciplinary capabilities of Ricardo.”

Infrastructure consultancy PLC Consulting joins Ricardo

From its base in Brisbane, Ricardo has been active in Australia for years. The bolt-on of Transport Engineering, an Australian engineering consultancy, in May this year added offices in Sydney and Melbourne to its footprint. The purchase of PLC Consulting significantly ramps-up Ricardo’s expertise in energy and environment, both locally as well as in Asia, where Ricardo has 13 offices (of which 6 are in China). 

“The opportunities that this acquisition will provide in helping us continue to grow our environmental services in Australia is very exciting,” said Dave Shemmans, CEO of Ricardo. Tim Curtis, Managing Director of Ricardo’s Energy & Environment division, added: “We have seen significant demand for our services in the Australian market. With PLC Consulting on board, we can offer an increased range of technical disciplines to our collective client base within the Asia Pacific market.”

As part of the integration, all of PLC Consulting’s employees will join Ricardo, with the deal expected to complete on 31 July 2019. The PLC Consulting brand will be retired, however, current leader Ellwood will continue to lead the business.

The move comes at a time when demand for environmental expertise in the infrastructure sector is booming. Public pressure for more ambitious action on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and growing awareness of the risks of climate change are driving up demand for sustainability across all segments of infrastructure and real estate. “Our energy and environment experts help to mitigate the worsening impacts of climate change, the reduction of waste and the conservation of the world's scarce resources,” concluded Curtis.