03 October 2018
Acquisition marks launch of global bridge centre of excellence. SYSTRA is transforming its global bridge engineering capability with the acquisition of International Bridge Technologies (IBT), a world-renowned bridge design company. Following today’s acquisition, SYSTRA will establish a global bridge centre of excellence that will offer clients best-in-class specialist bridge design expertise. By combining with IBT, SYSTRA aims to become one of the top 10 international bridge specialists in the world. This is SYSTRA’s first acquisition in a specific engineering discipline, marking a significant strategic move for the company and enabling it to offer deep technical expertise across the full spectrum of bridge design services.

Joining forces with IBT expands a core capability for SYSTRA, a world leader in transportation and mobility. Bridges are a vital component of transportation infrastructure, facilitating the efficient movement of people and goods. More than 60 percent of bridges globally are part of rail projects*, SYSTRA’s core business. SYSTRA is ranked in the top two mass transit and rail international design firms and, prior to the acquisition of IBT, was placed at number 14 globally in bridge engineering**. The acquisition confirms SYSTRA’s position as a global specialist in bridge engineering, particularly in the field of international design & build projects.

The two companies have complementary technical expertise and their combination offers a broad and specialised service in bridge design. Combining IBT’s renowned expertise in segmental and cable-stayed bridges with SYSTRA’s specialised expertise in suspension bridges, truss and arch bridges, metro and high speed rail bridges and viaducts, amongst others, will enable the Group to provide clients with deep technical knowledge across the full spectrum of bridges.

Combining to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ service for design & build projects

IBT will now be called SYSTRA IBT. Together, SYSTRA and SYSTRA IBT will provide clients with high-end technical expertise in bridge design combined with high-quality production capabilities that can be rapidly mobilised to meet clients’ requirements.

SYSTRA and SYSTRA IBT’s new global bridge centre of excellence will offer contractors an expanded, highly differentiated one-stop-shop service for design & build projects, enabling them to be more competitive in terms of cost, time, constructability and delivery.

More than 80 percent of IBT’s projects are design & build. This experience with large design & build projects in an international environment will augment SYSTRA’s existing design & build offering, where 70 percent of its bridge projects have been developed in partnership with contractors. SYSTRA’s bridge projects include Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway in Kuwait, one of the largest maritime causeways in the world, and Chacao Suspension Bridge in Chile, which will be the longest suspension bridge in South America and a world record for two-span suspension bridges.

Pierre Verzat, CEO, SYSTRA, said: “We are delighted to welcome IBT’s talented team of bridge engineering specialists to the Group and we are committed to preserving, nurturing and developing this technical discipline. By combining the complementary bridge engineering expertise of both companies through our new global bridge centre of excellence, we will offer clients the full range of services in this field. SYSTRA and IBT value technical excellence, innovation and quality and share an unwavering commitment to safety and ethics.”

Jean-Charles Vollery, Senior Vice President, SYSTRA, who leads the company’s design & build offering, added: “Clients will benefit from an expanded range of specialist skills, delivered by world-renowned bridge engineering experts. Our ability to offer high-end technical expertise with high-quality production cements our capabilities in design & build, particularly in multidisciplinary and international environments. Our mission is to deliver world-class expertise and technical excellence that achieves project success for our clients.”

Dan Tassin, Senior Technical Officer, SYSTRA IBT, said: “Joining SYSTRA will reinforce our capabilities in bridge engineering and our ability to deliver services for large projects. We have been impressed by SYSTRA’s accomplishments in the field of rail transportation as well as complex bridge design. A number of senior engineers for both companies have worked in the past under the leadership of Jean Muller and, as a result, we share the same design values.”

Mike Smart, CEO, SYSTRA IBT, added: “Having long respected SYSTRA as a leading competitor in the global bridge engineering market, we are thrilled to join forces. Stronger together, this team will deliver exceptional expertise to clients seeking success on bridge projects with lasting functional and visual value.”

Expanded global bridge engineering footprint

Through acquiring IBT, SYSTRA will double its geographic footprint in bridge design, increasing its proximity to clients by providing them with a bespoke blend of global and local knowledge through its new global bridge centre of excellence. SYSTRA will gain bridge design centres in the US, Canada and Dubai, complementing the company’s existing bridge design centres in France, Korea and India.
The combined company is well positioned to enter new markets and geographies with its broad, expanded range of specialist technical expertise in the field of bridges.

SYSTRA has been present in North America for 30 years through its subsidiaries SYSTRA Consulting and CANARAIL. This acquisition bolsters SYSTRA’s investment in North America, a major international market for the company. By joining forces with IBT, the SYSTRA Group will be able to extend its presence in the region and offer an expanded range of services to North American contractors and clients.

*SYSTRA research
**Engineering News-Record (ENR), December 2016

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