FCC case study
London & Partners has a very good reputation for supporting Spanish companies, especially when they come to London for the very first time.
Rafael Foulquié Echevarría, UK & Ireland Director, FCC
The FCC Group’s origins date back over a century. In recent years FCC has diversified into a multinational with core business in civil infrastructure, water and waste management and renewable energy. FCC’s activity spans over 50 countries worldwide, employing more than 90,000 people and generating global revenues of US $17 billion in 2011 of which more than 50% was obtained outside Spain. The company is listed on the Madrid stock exchange – IBEX and is one of ten Spanish companies on the Fortune 500 list of Companies. FCC Construction is the group’s construction division. FCC acquired Alpine, the largest construction company in Central and Eastern Europe, in 2006. Alpine is involved in two Crossrail projects in Central London – Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.
FCC sought to expand its global client base by generating new business in the UK and Europe. Although it had offices in regional cities around the UK, it wanted a base for senior management in central London in order to target the city’s major infrastructure projects and to drive growth across Europe.
London & Partners services
- Connections to service providers including legal, property and construction partners and potential new business leads
- Guidance on setting up a new office
- Insight into market trends and opportunities
Business success in London
On the back of a number of recent successful projects including the £270 million Enniskillen Hospital PFI project, two road projects in Ireland and the International Broadcast Centre for the 2012 London Olympic Games, FCC Construction was keen to further develop its UK presence. The move is in line with the wider FCC Group strategy to expand into new geographical markets as part of its ambitious international growth plans. As a result, FCC plans to open a new London office in 2012 - a senior management and new business hub, targeting opportunities in rail, road, healthcare and renewables.
In their own words
What advice would you give a company trying to expand to London?
“The UK and London are traditionally perceived as mature markets. Therefore, they haven’t been heavily targeted, particularly by Spanish companies because of that perception. But the reality is that it’s open to new companies and there is a good chance of success.”
Which sectors are you targeting in London and why?
“There are great opportunities in rail and tunnelling, particularly with the approval of the UK’s new high-speed rail network HS2. We are already involved in London’s new railway line - Crossrail. In the longer-term we are also targeting healthcare, renewables and nuclear power.”
What difference did the business team at London & Partners make?
“They have given us great support and good advice. When you come to a new city you need a whole range of guidance: from legal, operating a new office to networking. They have been extremely helpful.”
What is FCC?
“We started out as a construction company in Spain in 1893 and have diversified into renewable energy and urban services such as waste and water management. Through mergers and acquisitions and organic growth, we now operate in 52 countries. In fact, FCC in the UK goes beyond construction. FCC started working in the UK environmental services market in 1989 via its subsidiary Focsa. Then in 2006 FCC acquired Waste Recycling Group, one of the top five companies in the UK waste management market.
How will opening in London help you achieve your strategic ambitions?
“Just a few years ago, our turnover was 80% in Spain and 20% overseas. This year, the balance is close to 45-55%. Our aim is to make it 80% from outside Spain. We’re targeting Europe as our strategic growth region. We started in the Republic of Ireland ten years ago, we have worked in Northern Ireland and are now expanding across the rest of the UK.”
London & Partners is helping a range of Spanish companies. What is its reputation in Spain?
“London & Partners has a very good reputation for supporting Spanish companies, especially when they come to London for the very first time.”
London has been rated Europe's top city for easy access to markets, transport links and city improvement. Did this influence your decision?
“The location could not be better. Firstly, for travelling around the UK and Europe and secondly, all partners and contacts are based in London.”
London & Partners has hundreds of contacts in the private and public sector and in Government. It also hosts numerous networking events every year. How have you harnessed this?
“London & Partners are extremely good networkers. We are attending as many networking events as possible.”
The London 2012 Games generated major opportunities for companies. Were you involved?
“Yes. We won the contract to fit out the International Broadcast Centre, which was used by thousands of journalists during the Games. We’re extremely proud to have been involved.”
The UK government published its National Infrastructure Plan in 2011, making commitments to large-scale transport and energy projects across the UK. What difference has this made to your business?
“This is extremely important for us. We are now targeting infrastructure projects and other large schemes which have been approved by the Government. We are very optimistic.”
Rafael Foulquié Echevarría, UK & Ireland Director, FCC