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BDP has confirmed that it will be combining forces with Japan’s leading engineering practice, Nippon Koei, to form an integrated design group of genuine international reach.

The boards of BDP Holdings Ltd (BDP) and Nippon Koei Co Ltd (Nippon Koei) announced today that the two companies have exchanged contracts on a deal in which Nippon Koei has acquired the entire shareholdings of BDP for the sum of GBP£102.2m.

Sharing a philosophy which places an emphasis on design integration and community impact, the new group offers a unique combination of deep technical skills in engineering, architecture and the full range of design disciplines.

While both companies will retain their existing operations and their own brand identity, their complementary geographical footprints and technical skills mean that they will be able to work collaboratively to win and deliver integrated design solutions across international markets.

BDP is a leading UK-based international practice of architects, designers and engineers, with six UK studios, as well as offices in Ireland, the Netherlands, the Middle East, China and India. The firm employs 950 people and had a turnover of over GBP£81m in 2015.

Originally established in 1946 as Japan’s first independent engineering consultancy, Nippon Koei’s primary strength is in civil engineering, although it offers a range of services to both Japanese and international clients. A significant proportion of Nippon Koei’s work is associated with infrastructure development funded by the Japanese Government and the World Bank in developing economies across Asia, South America and Africa. In coming together with BDP, the company wishes to expand its current international offer in the rapidly expanding Asian commercial markets.

Nippon Koei employs around 3,200 people and had a turnover of GBP£430m in 2015. The company has been listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1954.

The two companies have a vision to be the world’s leading integrated architecture, design and engineering firm, delivering world-class design solutions which enhance the communities they serve.

John McManus, Chief Executive of BDP, said:

The alliance with Nippon Koei heralds an exciting new era in BDP’s evolution. Although separated geographically, our two firms share common values and have highly complementary strengths in terms of professional offer and sector expertise. By uniting the two firms, we are creating an organisation which genuinely has the potential to be greater than the sum of its parts. We believe that this strategic international alignment will deliver huge benefits to our clients and will offer exceptional prospects for our people to develop both professionally and personally.

Ryuichi Arimoto, President of Nippon Koei, said:

As a leading architecture and design firm in the UK, BDP’s participation in the NK group will mark a great turning point in both of our histories. We will join forces on a global basis and provide solutions together to the many urban development problems from both an engineering and an architectural perspective.

The combination of NK’s 70 years of experience in social development and infrastructure together with BDP’s 55 years of experience in the education, health and commercial sectors, will create significant opportunity to add value for our clients and, I am confident, will lead the group to become the world’s leading integrated architecture, engineering and design company for the next generation. I also believe that the synergies between us will not only advantage our projects but will be of enormous benefit to our staff from a human resources perspective.

Leeds Arena hailed as civic success

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The Leeds Arena site has been handed over from Leeds City Council to the operators, SMG, to start the interior fit-out process, marking the end of the construction phase. Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

We want Leeds to be the best city in the UK and delivering this hugely-imaginative and highly-ambitious project on time and on budget in an incredibly-challenging economy demonstrates without doubt that we mean business.

Our arena project is a superb example of the pivotal role a local authority can play in enabling a city’s transformation. It is bringing jobs, investment and visitors to our city and I cannot speak highly enough of the dedication, flair and sheer hard work that have been the hallmark of the Leeds Arena scheme, from inception right through to completion.

SMG will now manage the task of equipping Leeds Arena with bars, restaurants, staff and ticketing offices and star facilities, preparing the arena to welcome visitors, beginning with one Bruce Springsteen in July.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.


Companies involved in the project include BAM, Arup, Populous, IPW and Davis Langdon. Arup defined the acoustic envelope solution, a significant factor in the technical and commercial viability of the project. Leeds Arena is surrounded by sensitive residential accommodation, creating unusually tight constraints on environmental noise breakout for a venue of this type. Arup’s multi-disciplinary team developed a high performance yet cost-effective facade and roof system to minimise low-frequency noise breakout.

Arup also provided planning services direct to Leeds City Council along with a technical audit role to tender, and delivered full engineering services including: civil and structural, MEP, acoustics, fire, BREEAM and specialist lighting.