Ottawa, Ontario-based SHL Systemhouse Inc hopes to redefine the facilities management and systems integration market, with its purchase of London-based Planning Consultancy Ltd. SHL paid $21m – ú13.5m – in cash and shares for Planning Consultancy, which provides corporate personal computing, network technology and facilities management for desktop computing in the UK. We recognised the need to achieve a critical mass said John Oltman, SHL chairman and chief executive officer in order to be able to compete for the big global customers. Planning Consultancy chairman and co-founder Graham Summers said his company had been looking to expand for some time, and felt that the acquisition by SHL would benefit customers of both companies. Summers becomes managing director of the combined UK operation. The move gives the combined companies a turnover of more than ú120m turnover and 1,000 employees in the UK alone. SHL will close its Manchester distribution centre, and merge it with Planning Consultancy’s Heathrow operation, and the companies estimate a total of 5% or 6% job losses overall. SHL has been on the acquisition trail since 1989, and said it will continue to grow by both acquisition and through strategic alliances in Europe, particularly in France and Germany. Summers said once the two had been fully integrated, he intended to expand the business agressively. He said the combined resources would enable SHL to bid for very large, global service-based contracts, from customers with turnover in excess of $1,000m.
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