Copenhagen, Denmark — The Ramboll Group has entered into an agreement to acquire the U.S. engineering and design consultancy OBG. The acquisition of OBG is a step forward in Ramboll’s strategic ambition to grow in the U.S. and strengthen its portfolio within water, energy and environmental services, making Ramboll a multidisciplinary player in the U.S. and adding 900 experts within water, energy, environment and advanced manufacturing with effect of Jan. 1, 2019. With the acquisition, Ramboll now has 2,000 experts in the U.S. and 15,000 globally.
“We are very excited to be welcoming OBG’s 900 experts to Ramboll,” says Group CEO Jens-Peter Saul. “Growing in North America has been a strategic priority for us since we established our US presence in 2014 with the successful acquisition of ENVIRON.”
“Together with OBG we can build on the platform we have developed in the US. By combining our analytical and consulting-oriented business in the U.S. with the strong project execution capabilities of OBG, we will be able to deliver full-scale, integrated solutions to our clients – from front-end consulting work to back-end execution,” Jens-Peter Saul says.
OBG is also culturally a perfect match for Ramboll he adds. “Like Ramboll, OBG is a highly purpose-driven company with strong fundamentals. The strong commercial and cultural fit makes me confident that we will be able to leverage the many synergies between our companies to the benefit of our clients and colleagues.”
“We see joining forces with Ramboll as a tremendous opportunity to widen our client base in the U.S. as well as extend our client relationships globally,” says OBG CEO Jim Fox. “Additionally, this brings together world-class thought leadership and the capacity to solve the challenges caused by global megatrends such as urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity. I have full confidence that this combination will result in more growth opportunities for our talented people and innovative solutions for our clients.”
There was strong support from OBG’s shareholders with more than 91 percent of OBG shares cast in favor of the acquisition, clearly reinforcing the strategic and cultural fit.
Founded in 1945, OBG has delivered integrated engineering solutions within water, energy, environment and advanced manufacturing for more than 70 years. The company has extensive client relationships in both the private and public sectors, and a particularly strong position in the eastern half of the United States.
OBG is working on a number of significant projects such as one of the world’s largest advanced wastewater treatment plants located in Washington, D.C., an ambitious program to help New York State agencies increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, and on the restoration of the natural beauty and value of Onondaga Lake and surrounding habitats in the state of New York, recognized as one of the largest lake restoration projects in North America.
At the time of the acquisition, the combined revenue of Ramboll and OBG amounts to US$2 billion.
New business unit for Americas
During the last five years Ramboll has grown substantially in the U.S. At the end of 2014, Ramboll acquired the US-based global consultancy, ENVIRON, adding more than 1,500 environmental and health science specialists globally, with 800 of those in the U.S. During the last year alone, Ramboll has grown organically by 9.5 percent in the U.S, which is now one of the company’s fastest growing and most profitable regions.
With the new acquisition doubling its size in the U.S., Ramboll is establishing a new Principal Business Unit for the Americas covering the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil with services in water, energy, environment and health. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the business unit will be led by OBG CEO Jim Fox as Managing Director. The ambition is for the unit to grow from the current 2,000 employees to 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. employees in four to five years.