AECOM’s Merger Mania: Los Angeles–based firm doubles in size

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Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

As the economy continues to hum along, it’s time once again for merger mania. By far the most significant example is Los Angeles–based construction giant, AECOM, which in the span of just a couple of months has more than doubled its size. In past years the company has bought firms like DMJM, EDAW, Ellerbe Becket, and Tishman, but it’s been nothing like this year’s spree.

AECOM and URS collaborated on the London Olympic Park (AECOM)

AECOM and URS collaborated on the London Olympic Park (AECOM)

In July, AECOM announced it would buy construction and engineering company URS Corporation for around $6 billion, bringing its total workforce to around 95,000, up from 45,000. The merger is expected to go through in late October. Weeks later it said it would purchase Hunt Construction Group to join its construction services business. More than 70 years old, Hunt adds more than 700 employees to the company.

With these acquisitions, AECOM—which among other things is overseeing the planning for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the 2018 World Cup in Moscow—will have the highest revenue of any publicly traded company in the city of Los Angeles. “To say the least, this is a significant acquisition for AECOM, which is acquiring a company that is about 40 percent larger based on our 2014 revenue projections,” Adam Thalhimer, analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, told Bloomberg.

As with any merger, most of the companies’ departments are strategizing how to combine and streamline resources. It’s unclear how this will impact the company’s architecture division, which pales in size to most divisions at just around 700 employees worldwide, confirmed company spokesperson Erik Miller. At a company that specializes in everything from engineering  to oil and gas exploration, that’s a drop in the bucket.

“AECOM and URS are currently going through an integration process with the goal of creating the most efficient structure to meet our clients’ needs. The architects within both companies are engaged in this process, though it’s too early to share a definitive solution,” confirmed Bill Hanway, Executive Vice President, Global Architecture, at AECOM.

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