Birmingham-based civil and structural engineers Nolan Associates has been bought by the Erinaceous group in a #12.6 million deal.
It gives Erinaceous a company which has been a major player in the redevelopment of the new Birmingham and which is set to turn over #5.5 million in the current year.
Nolan Associates’ clients are like a Who's Who of the property world – they include Coltham, Maximus, MCD, Mucklow, Oakmoor Dealey, Prologis, Stockdale, St Modwen and Stoford.
It has worked on schemes such as King Edward’s Wharf, the Royal Mail Sorting Office in Newtown, Birmingham, and on the current reshaping of Rover’s former Longbridge factory.
The firm, which has an order book of more than #17 million, has done work on many Birmingham city centre pubs for M&B, is advising on Coventry’s Belgrade Plaza and on Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham.
The windfall, a cash and shares transaction part paid up front and part performance related over the next three years, will be split between chairman John Nolan, his wife Valerie, a director of the business, and fellow director Andy Williams.
There will be bonuses for the 60 staff employed by the company, which has offices in Birmingham and Leicester.
Erinaceous, a #325 million quoted company, has six divisions – insurance and residential lettings; residential management; property maintenance; professional services; commercial management and facilities; and building consultancy.
It made the initial approach and it then took three months to tie up.
Nolan Associates will go into the building consultancy division alongside a previous Birmingham acquisition, the Francis Graves surveying firm.
For Mr Nolan, a former Moseley rugby player, club vice president and chairman of the Old Players Association, it is the second time he has helped develop a company before seeing it taken over.
He quit consulting engineers Cameron Taylor in 1992 following a merger and what he describes as "a difference of opinion in terms of management direction".
Setting up Nolan Associates at around the time of the last recession, he and his wife worked for two years before first taking any income out of the business.
This time he is confident things will work out.
Saying it was about securing the future for Nolan Associates staff, Mr Nolan said: "We had got to a level where the next step in our growth would require enormous investment in infrastructure and offices.
"To make that jump would probably have put the business at risk.
"It made sense to join with somebody who had the resources to enable us to do that."
Mr Nolan said he had rejected a series of previous approaches from various major organisations because they wanted "to graft us onto a large tree which was already there".
He went on: "Erinaceous did not have that and they wanted something like us to build a new business area."
Saying the intention was for the current management team to remain in place, he added that Erinaceous was looking for the operation to grow organically, open new offices and look for possible acquisitions, both in the UK and overseas. Nolan Associates already does major schemes abroad and has worked on a new terminal for Moscow Airport, a cigarette factory in Serbia being rebuilt after collateral damage from an RAF attack, a large golf resort on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria and a fire service college in Jordan.
Erinaceous chief executive Neil Bellis said: "The acquisition of Nolan Associates reinforces the group's ability to provide a one-stop-shop for all property services needs."
Mr Nolan, a former chairman of the Midlands region of the Institution of Structural Engineers, was advised by Shoosmiths and Bloomer Heaven.
He also has a property company, Antringham Developments, where the Nolans are in partnership with managing director Tim Blairs. Erinaceous shares were up 2p at 330p.