Supply Side: Stantec/Morrison Hershfield, Egis

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor, Railway Age
Morrison Hershfield, the owner’s engineer on the Confederation and Trillium lines of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system, is slated to merge with Stantec, a global design and engineering firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo: Courtesy, City of Ottawa)
Morrison Hershfield, the owner’s engineer on the Confederation and Trillium lines of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system, is slated to merge with Stantec, a global design and engineering firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo: Courtesy, City of Ottawa)

CANADA, U.S. and FRANCE – Stantec will acquire Morrison Hershfield, a Markham, Ontario-based engineering and management firm. Also, McIntosh Perry, a consulting engineering company in Toronto, Ontario, and Beam Longest & Neff, LLC (BLN), an infrastructure engineering firm in Indianapolis, Ind., have rebranded as Egis, their French parent company, effective Jan. 1.

Global design and engineering firm Stantec on Jan. 9 reported signing an agreement to acquire Morrison Hershfield, a 1,150-person firm with offices in Canada, the United States and India. According to Edmonton, Alberta-based Stantec, the acquisition will expand its presence in most major Canadian markets, boost its Canadian workforce by approximately 10%, and further strengthen its U.S. presence in buildings engineering. It noted that Morrison Hershfield was owner’s engineer on the Confederation and Trillium lines of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system, providing services for preliminary engineering and procurement and for the implementation and construction phases.

The acquisition is being completed “by way of a court approved plan of arrangement,” and is subject to Morrison Hershfield shareholder approval, court approvals, and certain regulatory approvals, Stantec reported. It is expected to close in first-quarter 2024. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The addition of Morrison Hershfield’s Horizontal Infrastructure business will double Stantec’s transportation presence in Ontario, bolstering the firm’s bridge, highway, construction administration, program management, and inspection services in a key growth market,” Stantec said. “Morrison Hershfield’s capabilities, geographic strengths, and client mix are complementary to Stantec’s, and combined will result in a formidable player in transportation throughout Canada’s largest province. In Western Canada, Stantec’s strong market presence will be further solidified with the addition of Morrison Hershfield’s diversified transportation services, well positioning the combined practice for upcoming significant infrastructure project opportunities. The firms share an understanding of market dynamics and client needs, which will help foster early and immediate collaboration on projects.”

Stantec reported that Morrison Hershfield’s building and facilities engineering design capabilities “align with and augment” Stantec’s Buildings business in several of its growth markets, including advanced manufacturing, transit facilities, and industrial building design. Additionally, Morrison Hershfield will add capacity in the “high-growth mission critical and data center market space,” Stantec said, which will further complement Stantec’s recent acquisition of Environmental Systems Design Inc. Stantec also said that Morrison Hershfield’s telecom and technology consulting business will add “new capabilities directly tied to smart buildings and 5G implementation”; its building envelope and building science design, as well as code life safety consulting, commissioning, sustainability, and whole building energy modeling consulting will add “greater depth to the specialty services disciplines within Stantec’s Buildings practice”; and its Environmental Services business will “bolster Stantec’s capacity to support infrastructure projects in key Canadian markets,” including Toronto, Vancouver, and in Canada’s North by combining teams in Whitehorse, Yukon.

“We are thrilled to bring a firm of Morrison Hershfield’s stature into the Stantec fold,” Stantec President and CEO Gord Johnston said. “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.”

“Joining the Stantec family marks a historic moment for our 78-year-old company,” Morrison Hershfield President and CEO Anthony Karakatsanis said. “Stantec is a highly successful firm that shares our corporate values and mission, with a unique culture that complements our own. 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.”

In a related development, Stantec on Nov. 14 announced its acquisition of ZETCON Engineering, a 645-person engineering firm headquartered in Bochum, Germany.

McIntosh Perry and BLN have rebranded as Egis. The companies merged in 2021 and joined Egis, a global consulting, construction engineering and operating firm based in France, in 2023.  

“The launch of Egis as our new brand identity … represents our growth, our commitment to innovation, and our readiness to broaden our service spectrum, while remaining fully committed to serving our local clients’ projects,” said Gus Sarrouh, who is now CEO of Egis, North America, following service as CEO of McIntosh Perry. “As Egis, we are poised to bring unparalleled expertise to our clients, guiding them from conception to operation. This evolution opens a wide range of opportunities for our team, empowering us to reach new heights in service excellence.”

Egis’ work spans the rail system, road, highway, building, water, energy, environment, bridge, and underground structure sectors. According to the company, it contributes to seven of Canada’s Top 100 Infrastructure Projects, including the GO Rail Expansion program in Ontario and the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel rehabilitation in Montreal, and is involved in the California High-Speed Rail project.

“Our alliance with McIntosh Perry and BLN represents a strategic move, leveraging their esteemed reputation to enrich our client interactions,” Egis CEO Laurent Germain said. “This partnership is in line with our progressive stance and our optimism for the future. The North American market presents immense potential, given its advanced development in the construction sector and major investments in the infrastructure space. This opens significant business opportunities for our people, partners, and clients.”

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