Stantec to acquire Morrison Hershfield
By Adam FreillBridges Construction Infrastructure
Acquisition of firm with specialization in transportation, buildings and environmental services to grow Stantec’s Canadian workforce.
Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, with headquarters in Edmonton, has signed an agreement to acquire Morrison Hershfield, a 1,150-person engineering and management firm headquartered in Markham, Ont.
Founded in 1946 and employee-owned, Morrison Hershfield has earned a strong industry reputation for its work in transportation, buildings and environmental services. The company has offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States, and one office in India. With a particularly strong presence in Canada, Morrison Hershfield will increase Stantec’s Canadian workforce by approximately 10 per cent.
The acquisition, which is being completed by way of a court approved plan of arrangement, is subject to Morrison Hershfield shareholder approval, court approvals, and certain regulatory approvals. It is expected to close later this quarter. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
The acquisition of Morrison Hershfield expands Stantec’s presence in most major Canadian markets, and further strengthens its presence in buildings engineering in the United States. In a statement announcing the purchase, the company explained that Morrison Hershfield is one of the few large Canadian-based engineering firms with core strengths, business lines, and clients that are additive to Stantec’s presence in multiple key growth markets, including the Greater Toronto Area. Similarly, Stantec’s global market presence and client relationships will accelerate Morrison Hershfield’s business line growth opportunities as part of Stantec.
“We are thrilled to bring a firm of Morrison Hershfield’s stature into the Stantec fold,” said Gord Johnston, president and chief executive officer at Stantec. “Our firms have shared a mutual admiration over many years. Stantec and Morrison Hershfield have a similar history from our roots in the Canadian market, growing and diversifying services both by geography and service line. And, importantly, our values and culture are very well aligned.”
The addition of Morrison Hershfield’s Horizontal Infrastructure business is expected to double Stantec’s transportation presence in Ontario, bolstering the firm’s bridge, highway, construction administration, program management, and inspection services in what it views as a key growth market. The company added that Stantec’s strong market presence in Western Canada will be further solidified with the addition of Morrison Hershfield’s diversified transportation services, which it says will position the combined practice well for upcoming significant infrastructure project opportunities.
Additionally, Morrison Hershfield adds capacity in the high-growth mission critical and data centre market space, which is expected to further complement Stantec’s recent acquisition of Environmental Systems Design Inc.
“Joining the Stantec family marks a historic moment for our 78-year-old company. Stantec is a highly successful firm that shares our corporate values and mission, with a unique culture that complements our own,” said Anthony Karakatsanis, president and chief executive officer, Morrison Hershfield. “With access to Stantec’s depth of renowned experts, resources, and cutting-edge technology, we will be able to provide our employees with exciting and meaningful work, growth, and professional development for the long term. This acquisition provides us with access to many high-profile North American and global projects and markets in the communities where our employees live and work.”