One of Australia's oldest architectural firm, Peddle Thorp & Walker (PTW), has been acquired by China based China Construction Design International as of New Year's Day.
Consulting firm KPMG’s head of China practice Doug Ferguson told BRW:
“I think that is going to be an increasing trend across a range of professional services,” he said.
“There is a genuine intent from the Chinese regulatory bodies that cover a range of professional services to build very strong domestic firms that can act internationally and advise Chinese outbound investors, be that in law, accounting, architecture, design and so on.”
John Bilmon, PTW chief executive, wouldn't confirm with BRW the reported sale price of $15 million, however he said that the deal will help to step up its regional expansion and will also "resolve cash flow problems in a tight market that are affecting a number of firms".
Wharfs 8-10. Two-stage waterfront development for Pyrmont Bay in Sydney Harbour
“In Australia I do know that there are financial considerations which are very serious now for most major professional firms,”
“Cash flow is very tight and I would not at all be surprised if there were more mergers.”
There were 116 acquisitions of Australian companies by Chinese investors between 2006 and 2012 which added up to $US45.1 billion however only $147 million of that total can be attributed to architectural acquisition.
The firm was established in Sydey by James Peddle in 1889 and has since gone on to develop much of the land surrounding Sydney Harbour and has been operating in Asia for 28 years.
The announcement will have no impact on Peddle Thorp Melbourne.
Design Director Peter Brook said Peddle Thorp Melbourne and PTW are not related companies, despite the similar names.
“Peddle Thorp Melbourne will continue to operate in the same manner, with the same ownership.”
"It will have no impact on our offices in China, India, the Middle East or in related ventures around Asia and New Zealand. The sale relates only to PTW."
“The sale will have no impact on our operations at any level,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing our long and successful relationship with our many clients.”
Images courtesy of PTW.