09/04/2008 - 22:00

UK firm buys Koltasz Smith

09/04/2008 - 22:00

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More than 20 years after it was established in WA, Burswood-based town planning and project management firm, Koltasz Smith, has been bought by UK-based environmental consultancy RPS Group plc.

UK firm buys Koltasz Smith

More than 20 years after it was established in WA, Burswood-based town planning and project management firm, Koltasz Smith, has been bought by UK-based environmental consultancy RPS Group plc.

To be known as RPS Koltasz Smith, the local firm will join two other WA companies in the RPS group – consultancy RPS Environment, formerly known as BBG, and RPS Energy.

Under the new structure, Koltasz Smith founder Gene Koltasz will join a WA board of directors from the other divisions.

Mr Koltasz said RPS Group approached him last year, having previously worked with the firm’s local environmental consultancy, and felt its growth strategy would provide opportunities for his company.

 "(RPS) has a philosophy of merging firms with theirs and allowing those firms to continue to operate with a high degree of autonomy. That’s good for us as it means there’s more of a seamless transition," he said.

"We’ve also got the backing of a publicly listed company, which will help us service our clients with any future growth."

Mr Koltasz said the planned expansion of RPS into the eastern states and South-East Asia would help the planning firm to pick up new clients, and provide opportunities for existing clients, which include Lester Group, Iron Bridge Holdings, Satterley Group and Aspen.

RPS Koltasz Smith – which has offices in Busselton and Bridgetown as well as Perth – is currently preparing master plans for developments in Caversham, West Swan, Byford, Busselton and Margaret River.

It has also worked on major residential projects in the South West, including Satterley’s Provence estate and Lester Group’s Ambergate project.

RPS Group, which paid $6.5 million for Koltasz Smith, will have a total of 300 staff in WA, including the planning firm’s existing staff of 32.

Koltasz Smith made a profit before tax of $1 million last year, on revenue of $4.8 million.

Its acquisition follows last year’s merger of national town planning company, Urbis, with local landscape architecture firm, TRACT (WA).

The latter has been involved in several major urban development projects for the state government, including the East Perth redevelopment and the Midland railway heritage project.

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