Making its first-ever international expansion, Denver-based Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping will acquire three companies in the U.K. that provide concrete-pumping services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The three firms—Camfaud Concrete Pumps Ltd., Premier Concrete Pumping Ltd., and South Coast Concrete Pumping Ltd.—will continue to operate under their own brands, with a management team that reports to Brundage-Bone.

The acquisitions will add 240 employees to Brundage-Bone’s existing head count of 750 and, more important, expand its total fleet size to a combined 850 pieces of equipment. 

The firm currently provides concrete-pumping services to locations across the U.S. but has been looking to expand internationally for some time, according to Bruce Young, president and CEO of Brundage-Bone. “We had looked at other opportunities that were not as attractive, but once we met these teams and had the chance to talk to them, we knew that we could work with them,” he told ENR.

“Brundage-Bone is a natural fit for the U.K. businesses, given our shared values and strengths,” said Tony Faud, managing director of Camfaud, in a press statement. 

In further conversation with ENR, Faud outlined the strategy for the three firms going forward. "The U.K. concrete pumping market is very fragmented with a number of small local hirers, so we will explore some opportunities for consolidation within the market, particularly in areas where we do not have a very large presence," he says.

The 'Brexit' vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union has some observers concerned about the future health of the U.K. construction industry, but Faud says the effects have yet to be felt. "Concrete Pumping continues to be relatively strong in the U.K.," he says. Many observers expect at least short-term slowdown in U.K. construction as a result of Brexit, but this "may be offset slightly by the increase in Infrastructure & housing spend. The long term view is less clear as the U.K. begins to negotiate its exit from the E.U."

Young says that, in addition to breaking into new markets, the acquisition will give Brundage-Bone access to concrete-pumping technology used by the U.K.-based companies. “In tunnels in the U.K., they put their concrete-pumping equipment on a rail system and pump three to four miles at a time,” says Young, noting that these methods could aid in U.S. infrastructure work. Brundage-Bone’s experience in pumping concrete for high-rise construction also could be of use in U.K. projects, he adds.

“Infrastructure spending is a much higher share in the U.K. than in the U.S., so their work is much more focused on that,” says Young. He expects that infrastructure spending in the U.S. will grow in the next few years and considers the acquisition of concrete-pumping companies with a larger infrastructure focus to be a timely investment. “I think the U.S. is shifting over time. With new transportation bills, we expect to see new investment in infrastructure,” he says.

The text of this article was updated to include new comments from Tony Faud of Camfaud.