COWI makes strategic acquisition

COWI acquires Mannvit hf. in Iceland with 280 employees and a stronghold in green energy. As part of the COWI Group, the ambition is to strengthen Mannvit’s position as the leading consulting engineering company in Iceland and partner with Icelandic customers in developing a green energy hub for various industries. With the acquisition, COWI takes the next step towards realising its growth ambitions and reinforces the company’s leading position in the green transition.

COWI acquires Mannvit effective of 31 May 2023. The acquisition will give COWI an even stronger market position in the Nordic region where investments in the green transition are accelerating. COWI and Mannvit share strongholds in energy, infrastructure, and industry and Mannvit’s employees provide new capabilities to accelerate COWI's growth ambitions. In addition, Mannvit’s 280 employees have broad experience in geothermal and hydropower, which are capabilities that are in high demand.

"We are excited to welcome Mannvit to the COWI Group. It's a perfect match, both from a business and cultural perspective. Both companies have employees with great technical capabilities, and we share values as well as a strong buy-in to work with our customers to co-create sustainable and well-designed solutions that improve the quality of life for people today and many generations ahead," says Group CEO of COWI, Jens Højgaard Christoffersen. 

Iceland as a green energy island

It is no coincidence that COWI now enters the Icelandic market. Thanks to its good access to renewables, Iceland has the potential to become a green energy hub for various industries. Iceland is already a front-runner when it comes to carbon capture and storage, which will be key in tackling the climate crisis. 

“Since the green transition is a core pillar in our strategy, it makes sense to enter the Icelandic market,” says Henrik Winther, Executive Vice President of COWI in Denmark, who will lead the integration of Mannvit and COWI. 

Significant growth potential

The Icelandic government has increased its investments in new infrastructure and green energy in recent years. The size and complexity of future infrastructure systems require an extensive team of skilled employees and relevant experience. As a part of the COWI Group, Mannvit will expand in terms of competencies and scale and be ready for most challenges. 

“By joining forces with COWI, we get the opportunity to develop Mannvit as a company while building on our legacy. From our collaboration on various projects, we know that there is both a technical and cultural fit between our companies. But most importantly, we share the same ambition for a sustainable future," explains Örn Guðmundsson, CEO of Mannvit. He continues:

“We see how requirements intensify, for example in our work with the bus rapid transit network in Reykjavík, which is why we teamed up with COWI. So, to strengthen our competitiveness, we have decided to tie closer bonds.”  

Following the acquisition, the ambition is to strengthen Mannvit’s position as a leading engineering company in Iceland in the coming years by expanding customer services.

“With our combined services and customer-centric approach, Mannvit now gets 7,500 specialist colleagues to help deliver quality engineering solutions, which will strengthen our value offer to our Icelandic customers. Being part of the COWI Group also creates additional career opportunities, making Mannvit an even more attractive workplace for current and future employees,” states Henrik Winther. 

As part of the transaction, Mannvit will become a fully integrated business unit in the COWI Group. Mannvit will change its name to COWI and operate fully under the COWI brand as of 1 January 2024. Until then, Mannvit will continue to operate under its own name and brand.

MAR Advisors has acted as financial advisor for Mannvits board and shareholders, and Arta has acted as legal advisor for the sellers. Lex Law Firm has acted as legal advisor, and KPMG as financial advisor for COWI. 

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COWI, Mannvit, Icelandm green, energy transition, market position, Nordic, infrastructure, renewables, carbon capture, hub, investment

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