We bring insight and leadership to every assignment, helping our clients achieve important results.

Growing Through Acquisition

Growing Through Acquisition

Using acquisition as a tool for growth is a valid strategy, but one that requires adequate counsel. Acquisition of an inappropriate firm can cause financial and other stresses. A smart, methodical approach that brings together two well-matched firms can help a firm grow while providing richer resources from which to draw.


Challenge

A well-known architecture firm based in the Pacific Northwest wanted to expand its fledgling California office by acquiring another firm.

The firm had established a California office in 2008, shortly before the economy crashed and a multi-year recession devastated the architecture profession. To their credit, the leadership kept the office open through this period, but realized that they needed to acquire another firm in order to build a stronger presence and capitalize on its local reputation.

 

Insight

We went through a process to ascertain the qualities a candidate firm would require to be compatible with them, and conducted a thorough search of possible targets and sources for acquisition.

Cameron MacAllister worked with the client to reach out both to potential sellers and to other advisory practices in an effort to create a broad pool of candidate firms. The process identified candidate firms with an eye towards their markets, geographic reach, type of projects, profitability, ownership structure, and more.

We introduced our client to these candidate firms and orchestrated conversations to help understand more about them. The discussions were about each firm’s culture, and about financial expectations if an acquisition were to be made. Through this process, our client quickly singled out one firm with which to negotiate an acquisition.

Action

The firm negotiated an acquisition that has turned out to be successful for everyone involved.

Once the target firm had been identified, we helped our client issue a Letter of Intent and initiate a due-diligence process. The negotiations involved discussions about the name of the merged entity, the role of the incoming principals, leadership of the local office, valuation of the business, transaction terms, and integration planning.

The California office boomed, doubling in size in a few short years—helped by a recovering economy, the right leadership, and a collaborative practice with the Pacific Northwest home office.

We engaged Mark Cameron and John Bierly to help us develop an M&A strategy to strengthen our position in an important geographical market. After being approached by a strong candidate firm, John provided invaluable guidance, from initial discussions all the way through the final days of contract negotiations, and provided strategies for ensuring success of the merger post-transaction. Everyone involved appreciated his smarts and calm demeanor for ensuring success of the merger post-transaction.

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Our Clients

We think our clients represent the best of the design and construction community and are honored to serve as their advisors and partners.

  • AC Martin
  • Aditazz
  • Aedas
  • AIA - Large Firm Roundtable
  • AIA - Minnesota
  • AIA - LFRT
  • Alliiance
  • Andersen Construction
  • Anderson Brulé Architects
  • Anderson Krygier
  • Ankrom Moisan Architects
  • Architecture Resources Group
  • ArchitectureWorks
  • Aspect Consulting
  • ARTIK Art & Architecture
  • BAR Architects
  • Bassetti Architects
  • Bellecci & Associates
  • Best Practice Architecture
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Bora Architects
  • Brandow & Johnson
  • Brightworks
  • Bunton Clifford Associates
  • Cannon Design
  • Capital Engineering Consultants
  • CBT Architects
  • CDG Engineers
  • CDH Partners
  • CMG Landscape Architects
  • CO Architects
  • CTA Archtects Engineers
  • Dahlin Group
  • Dangermond Keane Architecture
  • Degenkolb Engineers
  • DES Architects Engineers
  • DesignMap
  • DLR Group
  • Dougherty+Dougherty
  • Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects
  • Dynamik Space
  • E-Cube
  • EHDD Architects
  • ELS Architects
  • ESA
  • Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
  • Feldman Architecture
  • Fentress Architects
  • Field Paoli Architects
  • Forell/Elsesser
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  • FXFOWLE
  • Ghirardelli Associates
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  • GLS Landscape Architecture
  • goCstudio
  • Gould Evans
  • Graham Baba Architects
  • Hacker
  • Harley Ellis Devereaux
  • Hennebery Eddy
  • HGA Architects
  • HH Fremer Architects
  • HKS
  • HNTB Corporation
  • Hoedemaker Pfeiffer
  • HOK
  • Holmes Group
  • Holmes Structures
  • Hybrid Architecture
  • Jensen + Partners
  • Jett Landscape Architecture + Design
  • Kate Keating Associates
  • Knight Cancer Institute
  • KPFF
  • Kuth Ranieri Architects
  • Lake|Flato Architects
  • Leddy Maytum Stacy
  • Level 10 Construction
  • LMN Architects
  • Lockhart | Suver
  • LPAS
  • M Moser Associates
  • Mahlum Architects
  • Manning Architects
  • McCall Design Group
  • McCarthy/Andersen, A Joint Venture
  • MEI Architects
  • Melendrez
  • Miller Hull Partnership
  • Mithun
  • Mutuus Studio
  • mwworks
  • Nacht & Lewis
  • nicholsbooth Architects
  • Noll & Tam Architects
  • O'Brien & Company
  • ODADA
  • OHSU Design & Construction
  • OHSU Facilities & Transportation
  • OHSU KCRB
  • Olson Kundig Architects
  • Opsis Architecture
  • PAE Consulting Engineers
  • PAEA
  • Page & Turnbull
  • Pankow Builders
  • Patano Studio Architecture
  • Paulett Taggart Architects
  • Perkins+Will
  • Plant Construction
  • Polytech Associates
  • Populous
  • Provost & Pritchard
  • Ratcliff
  • RDG Planning & Design
  • Rerucha Studio
  • RHAA
  • Richard Beard Architects
  • Ridley Company
  • RSP Architecture
  • Schacht Aslani
  • Schmidt Associates
  • Scott | Edwards Architecture
  • SERA Architects
  • Shepherd Resources Inc/AIA
  • Shepley Bulfinch
  • Siegel & Strain Architects
  • Silverman & Light
  • Skanska
  • SkB Architects
  • SKL Architects
  • SmithGroupJJR
  • SRG Partnership, Inc.
  • Steinberg Architects
  • STUDIOS
  • Suyama Peterson Deguchi
  • Swenson Say Faget
  • Swinerton Builders
  • Syska Hennessy Group
  • TEF
  • The Collaborative, Inc.
  • Theatre Projects Consultants
  • Tipping Structural Engineers
  • Trapolin Peer Architects
  • Truebeck Construction
  • Turner Construction
  • University of Idaho IDL
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Urban Planning Partners
  • Vanir CM
  • Walker Macy
  • Walker Warner Architects
  • Wallace Roberts & Todd
  • Webcor Builders
  • Weinstein A+U
  • Wilson Ihrig
  • Woods Bagot
  • Wallace Roberts & Todd
  • WSP
  • ZGF Architects