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    GHD set to buy Woodhead and strengthen position in Australian architecture industry

    Nathan Johnson

    Just weeks after its takeover of Canadian firm Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA), engineering consultancy GHD has added the revered Australian architecture firm Woodhead to its portfolio. 

    The acquisition of Adelaide’s Woodhead, born one year before Melbourne’s GHD in 1927, furthers the engineering consultancy’s move into architecture which began with the purchase of Australian Construction Services in 1997.

    According to The Australian Financial Review, the deal will be announced next week but the terms are not immediately clear, with both businesses not commenting publicly.

    Woodhead is one of three Adelaide-born firms that have expanded globally. Along with Woods Bagot and Hassell, the firm was one of the first in architecture to expand into China.

    The Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre at Deakin University was recently completed by Woodhead. Image: Woodhead

    The merger is in line with the recently reported trend for consolidation among Australian architectural businesses.

    In 2011,Woodhead restructured its director board, appointing Mr Di Marco as MD, and Karl Traeger and Jacqui Preshaw new executive directors, along with existing director Jim Williams.

    According to the most recent results filed with corporate regulator ASIC, this re-structuring has proved effective, with Woodhead’s posting far better profits in 2012 than in 2011.

    The company, which employs 137 people, posted a profit of $1.4 million after a loss of almost $476,000 in its previous year. 

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