Drees & Sommer takes stake in AA Projects in prelude to full merger
Leading European real estate consulting company sets sights on rapidly expanding in the UK and Ireland to meet demand for project and cost management expertise in a market driving towards a zero-carbon future. This partnership enables the company to service clients across 7 locations in the UK.
Drees & Sommer, a market leader in the European property and construction markets, has secured an initial minority investment in UK construction consultants AA Projects in its bid to reinforce its services in the UK and expand into Ireland.
From March 2022, AA Projects will join forces with Drees & Sommer, under the new tag “AA Projects-Delivering Excellence with Drees & Sommer.” As part of this agreement, Drees & Sommer intends to complete the 100% purchase of the share capital in AA Projects by the end of the 2023 calendar year. This graduated approach will enable both businesses to further develop their working relationship, enabling an eventual successful and smooth transition into a merger with Drees & Sommer.
Drees & Sommer has 46 locations in Europe, the Middle East, China and the Asia Pacific, with over 4,000 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of €517.2 million (£429.8 million) in 2020. It has expertise in all aspects of project and construction management, real estate design and engineering consultancy, alongside a range of specialist services focussed on technology and smart buildings.
The company prides itself in being at the forefront of the European digitisation and sustainability agenda and has developed the “Cradle to Cradle” design principle for the sector combatting raw material scarcities, ultimately paving the way towards a circular economy. It has a strong client base in private sectors, like the automotive, ICT, life sciences and property companies, with key clients including household names such as Mercedes, Siemens, Nokia, Roche and BMW.
AA Projects is a highly respected UK property and construction consultancy in six locations across the UK, with 200 employees. Through its investment in AA Projects, Drees & Sommer will be provided with opportunities for greater access to the UK and Irish markets complementing AA Projects’ existing business plan.
Drees & Sommers will also benefit from AA Projects’ strong UK reputation and respected client base in both the private and public sectors, including in education, residential and healthcare industries. Historic and current clients include DHL, Starwood Capital Group, UK Parliament, University of Manchester, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Oxford.
The tie-up will enable the two businesses to integrate not only their service lines and sector expertise through synergies, but also their disciplines in energy efficiency, the road to zero carbon, sustainable building, modular building and smart buildings – issues at the forefront of thinking for today’s property and business clients.
Steffen Szeidl, CEO, Drees & Sommer said, “We already have two offices in the UK, but our investment in AA Projects will provide significant opportunities to expand our UK business. With this merger, our clients will gain the best of both worlds-the German heritage for quality, precision and engineering combined with the UK’s reputation for flair and innovation in a respected regulated environment. This will cement our position as a leader in sustainability and digitisation, providing opportunities for clients on both sides of the Channel and
Kenneth Wood, Managing Director, AA Projects said, “This partnership will provide us with the springboard to expand in existing sectors and markets in the UK where we already have an excellent reputation. It will also enable us to combine our strong public sector expertise with Drees & Sommer’s high reputation in the private sector, not only in mainland Europe but across the world. Drees & Sommer has a set of values and a vision aligned with our own, together with the opportunity to provide long term stability, growth for our business and
career progression for our people. We are excited about the opportunities ahead.”
Michel De Haan, Partner, Drees & Sommer said, “We have already delivered successful projects in energy efficient and zero carbon buildings across Europe and our smart and energy plus HQ in Stuttgart is a benchmark in cutting edge technological and ecological solutions. We are keen to bring our know-how in Taxonomy and ESG to the English-speaking markets and to find new partners who will benefit from our expertise to create buildings that are ready for a rapidly evolving built environment.”