COWI acquires on 28 April 2017 Stockholm-based Projektbyrån, which specialises in project management services. The acquisition is part of COWI’s strategic focus on strengthening its position in Stockholm and driving further growth in Sweden and in COWI’s other core markets.
The acquisition strengthens COWI’s competencies in management of large, complex urbanisation projects, which will make up COWI’s growth engine in the coming years.
Lars-Peter Søbye, CEO of COWI, is excited about the new strong position in Stockholm and the opportunity to offer customers within the construction and urban development sectors an even broader range of competencies: “Projektbyrån boasts a strong brand in the Swedish capital, and in our experience, high awareness and a strong presence in terms of size are what it takes to be considered a serious player in Stockholm – and in the Swedish market in general,” he says, and continues: “Sweden is COWI’s home turf, as is the rest of Scandinavia. We have a strong presence in Sweden with more than 1,000 employees in our offices in Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm, to mention a few, and now we’re adding another 100 employees in Stockholm. We’ve already seen our growth in Stockholm double in the last three years, and we recently won the complex urban development project Östlig Förbindelse, which is an important link to complete the ring road around Stockholm. The potential for further growth is enormous.”
Strong project management skills in demand
Projektbyrån is specialised in project management and has developed special systems for, e.g., financial and time resource management that can be used on building projects as well as on urban development projects involving a wider range of disciplines.
Søbye explains: “Projektbyrån’s strong project management competencies strengthen COWI’s position in an increasingly important discipline. These years, projects continue to grow in size and complexity. Not only do they require multidisciplinary technical competencies, but also an extremely high degree of project management and monitoring. If we are to succeed, it is quite simply crucial that deadlines and budgets are kept, that all cooperation partners on a project are managed, and that we’re able to help the customer navigate an often complex composition of stakeholders.”
Competencies to benefit across markets
The investment in the Swedish company is not only an investment in the Swedish market. In 2016, COWI’s new business strategy, One Step Ahead, was launched, one of the central focal points being the integration of competencies across sectors and borders.
“When we bid for larger infrastructure and urban development projects both in Scandinavia and the rest of the world, it is crucial that we set the right team. A team can consist of colleagues from Sweden, Denmark and India, each contributing with their expertise in, e.g., infrastructure, environment, energy and buildings. Consequently, we expect that the competencies of Projektbyrån will be brought into play in COWI’s entire portfolio and thereby strengthen our entire business,” says Søbye and concludes: “We continue to keep an eye out for new acquisitions. However, we only target the right companies: To COWI, acquisition is not a matter of boosting volume; It’s a matter of strengthening the company by adding the right competencies.”