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
  • Aedas
  • AIA - Minnesota
  • AIA - LFRT
  • Anderson Brulé Architects
  • Anderson Krygier
  • Ankrom Moisan Architects
  • Architecture Resources Group
  • ArchitectureWorks
  • Aspect Consulting
  • ARTIK Art & Architecture
  • BAR Architects
  • BNBT Builders
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • BORA Architects, inc.
  • Capital Engineering Consultants
  • CBT Architects
  • CDH Partners
  • Christner Inc.
  • CMG Landscape Architects
  • CO Architects
  • CTA Archtects Engineers
  • Degenkolb Engineers
  • DES Architects Engineers
  • DesignMap
  • DLR Group
  • Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects
  • Dynamik Space
  • E-Cube
  • EHDD Architects
  • ESA
  • Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
  • Feldman Architecture
  • FME Architects
  • Frederick Fisher and Partners
  • FXFOWLE
  • Ghirardelli Associates
  • Gould Evans
  • Hacker
  • Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum
  • Hennebery Eddy
  • HGA Architects
  • HKS
  • HNTB Corporation
  • Holmes Group
  • Holmes Structures
  • Interface Engineering
  • Jett Landscape Architecture + Design
  • Kate Keating Associates
  • KPFF
  • Kuth Ranieri Architects
  • Lake|Flato Architects
  • Leddy Maytum Stacy
  • LMN Architects
  • Mahlum Architects
  • Manning Architects
  • McCall Design Group
  • Miller Hull Partnership
  • Mithun
  • M Moser Associates
  • Nacht & Lewis
  • Noll & Tam Architects
  • O'Brien & Company
  • Olson Kundig Architects
  • Opsis Architecture
  • PAE Consulting Engineers
  • PAEA
  • Page & Turnbull
  • Perkins+Will
  • Petra ICS
  • Plant Construction
  • Polytech Associates
  • Populous
  • Ratcliff
  • RDG Planning & Design
  • RHAA
  • Ridley Company
  • RSP Architecture
  • Rutherford & Chekene
  • Schacht Aslani
  • Schmidt Associates
  • SERA Architects
  • Shepherd Resources Inc/AIA
  • Shepley Bulfinch
  • Siegel & Strain Architects
  • Silverman & Light
  • Skanska
  • SmithGroupJJR
  • SRG Partnership, Inc.
  • Steinberg Architects
  • STUDIOS
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  • Syska Hennessy Group
  • TEF
  • The Collaborative, Inc.
  • Theatre Projects
  • Trapolin Peer Architects
  • Turner Construction
  • Vanir CM
  • Walker Macy
  • Walker Warner Architects
  • Wallace Roberts & Todd
  • Webcor Builders
  • Wilson Ihrig
  • Woods Bagot
  • WSP
  • ZGF Architects