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Company Background and History
Our Safety & Risk Management business was originally spawned as the UK office of the US
engineering business Impell Corporation (part of Combustion Engineering) providing seismic
qualification expertise for the design of THORP (nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield). The
office opened in 1982 in Warrington in Risley at the heart of the UK nuclear design industry. The
business was subsequently bought as part of the whole Impell business by ABB in 1990 and then
by Pacific Nuclear Inc. in 1994. Pacific Nuclear and Impell Corporation merged to form Vectra
Technologies Inc. with Vectra Technologies Limited being the wholly owned UK subsidiary.
Following and unsuccessful attempt at a management buy-out (MBO) in 1995, the UK business
was sold to AMEY plc in May 1996 along with worldwide use of the trading name except for the
nuclear business in the US although the Vectra Technologies Inc business has since ceased
trading. The company name changed to AMEY Vectra Limited in 1999. Once again after an
unsuccessful aggressive MBO attempt and the associated removal of the Managing Director,
coinciding also with the decline of the AMEY business, the AMEY Vectra was sold in 1992. After a
very close shave associated with a BIMBO (Buy-In MBO) fronted by John Springate, the eventual
acquirer was Volvere, the venture capitalist investor, with the company being renamed Vectra
Group Limited. In November 2007, Volvere accepted a cash offer of £6m for the Vectra business
from ARCADIS. Vectra Group Limited and the associated Vectra (Middle East) Limited business
became wholly owned subsidiaries of ARCADIS (GMI) Limited in the UK. In January 2010, all UK
based subsidiaries of ARCADIS, including Vectra Group Limited, became part of ARCADIS UK
Limited (AUK) and a trading name of ARCADIS Vectra was established within the environmental
business line of the AUK organisation. In 2011, the Vectra tag was dropped and branded internally
as Safety & Risk Management (SRM) becoming part of the Infrastructure & Water Division (I&W) in
March 2011. In June 2011, I&W along with the whole of the AUK business was restructured in a
matrix management style splitting out the functions of operational delivery, client development and
TKI (technical knowledge and innovation). The Vectra entity effectively failed to exist following this
restructure. In November 2011, the Warrington office will close after nearly 30 years.
“The Future Starts Today” or the end of an era depending on your point of view !
The turbulent history of the business is quite graphically presented by the turnover data below.
Gross Revunue (£) Gross Revenue (£) (Rebased)
EMS / ARC