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Drees & Sommer accelerates AA Projects acquisition

Following an initial minority investment in March 2022, European real estate consulting company, Drees & Sommer SE, has announced it is bringing forward its full acquisition of UK property and construction consultants, AA Projects, a year ahead of its original plan.

Originally expected to take two years to complete, the working relationship and integration of the two businesses has been so successful that as of 1 April 2023, AA Projects will be a fully owned entity of Drees & Sommer SE, operating as ‘AA Projects – Part of Drees & Sommer’. The next phase of the integration will see AA Projects and Drees & Sommer UK come together as Drees & Sommer Ltd from early 2024.

The two businesses have already realised benefits from the partnership in being able to deliver a broader base of specialisms, and effectively combining delivery models, allowing new projects to be targeted and secured which directly support strategic goals. Clients across the hospitality, high-tech, logistics and infrastructure sectors have experienced increased capabilities and credibility from the joint offering, which, combined with the open and transparent cultural integration, has driven the decision to accelerate the deal.

As ‘AA Projects – Part of Drees & Sommer’ the business is now looking to further integrate. Specialist teams are working across operations and culture to ensure the ongoing transition runs smoothly and that all stakeholders are bought into the overarching goal of making Drees & Sommer a key player in the UK market. The business will now focus on a shared vision for energy efficiency, the road to zero carbon and sustainable building – issues at the forefront of thinking for today’s property and business clients.

With 4,500 staff over 51 locations, spread across Europe, the Middle East, China and the Asia Pacific, Drees & Sommer hold expertise in all aspects of project and construction management, real estate consultancy, sustainability, design and engineering, alongside a range of specialist services focused on cradle to cradle, technology and smart buildings. In 2021, Drees & Sommer reported their annual turnover to be c£508 million.

AA Projects is a highly respected UK property and construction consultancy in six locations across the UK, with over 200 employees.

Through the acquisition of AA Projects, Drees & Sommer says it will be provided with opportunities for greater access to the UK and Irish markets complementing AA Projects’ existing business plan, and the joint organisation will be better able to focus on geographic expansion to the North American market. The new combined workforce within the UK will be over 230. Drees & Sommer 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.  

Kenneth Wood, Managing Director, AA Projects commented: “This partnership has already delivered significant benefits to the business and to our clients. The acquisition will allow us to further integrate our operations and teams so that we can further grow our footprint in existing sectors, but will also allow us to extend our excellent reputation into new markets and geographies. Since partnering with Drees & Sommer, we have been able to work together and build a joint vision that will deliver long term stability, growth for our business and career progression for our people. We are excited about this next step.”

Steffen Szeidl, CEO, Drees & Sommer added: “This exciting integration brings together two design and consultancy businesses with shared goals and a natural fit – both well-established with a strong reputation and respected client bases in both private and public sectors. The successful merger of AA Projects and Drees & Sommer allows us to expand our service offering in the UK and Ireland, with over 230 employees in 7 UK locations, combining automotive, logistics, data centre, healthcare, education, residential and hospitality expertise and more. Already we’re seeing our clients profit from the collaboration of both companies on joint projects and strategic advisory.”

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