Ian Shepherd

9 July 2014 — The merger between Australian-headquartered engineering, architecture and environmental consultancy GHD and the North American Conestoga-Rovers & Associates group has been finalised.

The deal was announced earlier in March with the companies this month stating they had now formally merged to form an 8500-strong organisation, which will retain the GHD name. Around 4000 staff will be based in North America, extending GHD’s push into the territory.

All ongoing employee shareholders in CRA will now become shareholders of GHD, a move that is believed to be one of the largest private stock transactions in the engineering and environmental consulting industry, though the value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

The revenue of GHD last year was $1.04 billion, about twice that of CRA Group.

“This is one of the largest true mergers to have occurred in our industry,” GHD chief executive Ian Shepherd said. “We are building on the strengths of two leading companies to create a global team of more than 8500 people across five continents. We are adding significant growth and scale to our business, while retaining the advantages of our private, employee-ownership business model for creating client value.”

CRA Group president Ed Roberts said the merger would help CRA’s goal of leveraging its “environmental, geotechnical and forensic engineering capabilities and broaden our business in the municipal infrastructure market”, and also expand into the Australian and Asian markets.

GHD previously acquired architecture firm Woodhead earlier this year, with the company going into liquidation soon after.

The company was previously operating under a World Bank procurement blacklisting that expired last month.