British building giant Mace acquires Kenyan QS firm YMR

Mace COO Jason Millett (right) and MaceYMR boss Simon Herd.  Photo: Courtesy
Mace COO Jason Millett (right) and MaceYMR boss Simon Herd. Photo: Courtesy
UK construction giant Mace has acquired Kenyan-based quantity surveying firm YMR, forming a new company – MaceYMR – which will offer project management services across East Africa.

According to Mace chief operating officer Jason Millett, the deal, whose value is yet to be disclosed, offers a unique proposition to the East African construction market that will combine Mace’s global expertise with YMR’s local knowledge and reputation.

“By combining YMR’s excellent local knowledge and Mace’s global scale, resource and expertise, we can transform our service offering in East Africa. We’ll be able to offer existing and potential clients a one-stop shop for high quality construction consultancy services,” Mr Millett said in a press statement.

YMR has previously undertaken some of the most prestigious projects in the region among them Tatu City, Garden City, Two Rivers, and The Hub Karen in Nairobi.

The quantity surveying practice was also involved in several regional projects, including the World Bank office in Juba, South Sudan, Acacia Plaza in Uganda, and the Kigali City Tower in the Rwandan capital.

On its part, Mace is currently involved in some of the world’s most notable development projects such as Kingdom Tower in Jeddah – touted as the tallest skyscraper in the world – Battersea Power Station in London, and the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The company that employs over 5,000 people across five global hubs recorded a turnover of £1.97bn (Sh267 billion) in 2016.

The acquisition of YMR comes after Mace bought a significant stake in South African quantity surveying company, MMQS, late last year – forming a new entity, MMQSMace, which serves the South African building and construction market.

“We will continue to explore the potential to expand our offering across our global hubs through the strategic acquisition of niche consultancy firms with reputations for high quality services in order to strengthen our market position and provide an augmented offer to clients,” Mr Millett said.

Global construction firms are increasingly expanding into Kenya, a country whose construction sector is forecast to expand by 8.5 per cent in 2017 and at 6.2 per cent annually between 2018 and 2026.