3 September 2007

Opus International Consultants, the New Zealand based global consultancy announced today that it has acquired the large Australian based infrastructure consultancy Qantec McWilliam Consulting Engineers. This more than doubles the number of employees Opus presently has in Australia to 300.

In announcing the acquisition, Opus Chief Executive, Dr Kevin Thompson said that the acquiring of Qantec McWilliam will significantly increase Opus’ presence in the Australian market and provide it with added strength and the capability to manage growth particularly in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and in New South Wales.

“Qantec McWilliam is one of Australia’s largest privately owned engineering consultancy practices with over 80 year’s experience,” says Dr Thompson. “It has 12 offices throughout the three states and the Northern Territory and will be able to adopt our proven and successful model of working locally with clients and understanding their needs. They are well respected by their clients for developing innovative solutions to solve complex engineering problems.  The company works in the commercial, education, government, residential, retail and tourism sectors.”

Some of the most significant projects that Qantec McWilliam has been involved with include the design of the civil and structural work for the new 12 storey, 108,000 sq metre Royal Brisbane Hospital; the new 40 storey Brisbane Square commercial complex facing the Brisbane River; the Tennyson Riverside Apartments; the Swanbank Enterprise Park - a large industrial sub-division near Ipswich; Dreamworld Whitewater World theme park on the Gold Coast; Viridian Noosa - a new residential lifestyle complex on the Sunshine Coast; and the new technology based Soil Aquifer Treatment Ponds at Alice Springs.

“This acquisition will provide us with a greater stake in the Australian market,” says Dr Thompson. “It also gives us an opportunity to spread into the Northern Territory, where we do not currently have an office. In 2007/08 alone it is estimated that there will be approximately A$16 Billion spent on consulting engineering in Australia and we want to have a slice of that.”

“We are delighted that the Qantec McWilliam team has agreed to join with us and become part of our global consultancy. This acquisition means that we will now be better placed to provide a stronger service to our expanding Australian client base,” he says. “Our existing operations in Australia, together with these ‘new’ offices will allow us to provide a wide range of support services to regional councils, shires and other infrastructure authorities in Australia. We expect this work to continue to grow given the ongoing need for infrastructure development there.”

Qantec McWilliam Managing Director, Dennis Sheehan said that becoming part of Opus was an important development for their business.

“It will give us the ability to share in leading international developments and already we have identified a number of business opportunities where our combined capability will offer us greater strength in the Australian market place,” says Mr Sheehan.

“Our involvement with Opus will allow us to continue using our expertise while adding considerable value to our existing client base,” he said.

The company will initially trade as Opus Qantec McWilliam and will work alongside the other Opus offices already established in Brisbane and Toowoomba in Queensland, Sydney in NSW, and Perth, Albany and Bunbury in Western Australia.

This acquisition by Opus follows their recent acquisition of another Queensland based engineering and architectural consultancy last month (Group 42). Other recent acquisitions by Opus have included consultancies in Canada and the UK, bringing the total number of offices to 37 in New Zealand, 19 in Australia, eight in the UK, seven in Canada and one in the USA, with a total staff complement of just over 2200.

For further information and comment contact:

Dr Kevin Thompson
Chief Executive
Opus International Consultants
Tel: +64 04 471 7022
Mob: +64 21 669 254