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hok and Lobb team up to form global sports power

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hok and Lobb Sports Partnership are merging to form the world's biggest sport architecture company, aiming for a £300 million turnover from 28 offices. The global set-up will employ more than 300 people in London, Kansas City and Sydney.

The catalyst for merger talks was the close relationship between the two firms on the new Wembley Stadium. Ron Labinski, hok sport senior vice president, said the new firm would have a portfolio of 450 sports projects in six continents including 50 league franchises and 25 European soccer and rugby clubs. Derek Walker, a Lobb director, said the deal was not a buy-out but a true merger. 'You have to be truly global to be able to tender,' he said.

Lobb, formed in 1935, is working on Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, Sydney's 2000 Olympic stadium and Manchester's Commonwealth Games Stadium.

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