Australian engineering firm Wood and Grieve Engineers is merging with global consultancy firm Stantec in a bid to break into New Zealand, Asia Pacific, and other new markets.
WGE chief executive officer José Granado told The Fifth Estate that diversifying and expanding into overseas markets would safeguard the firm against any future downturns in the local building and infrastructure industries.
The firm has its sights sets on the water sector, according to Mr Granado. He said that Stantec is well-established in water projects in both New Zealand and Australia.
For Stantec, the union will open up opportunities in the Australian building and infrastructure markets.
“WGE brings the creative culture, demonstrated expertise, and regional presence to help us continually serve communities throughout Australia with an expanded array of services,” Stantec president and chief executive officer Gord Johnston said.
WGE currently employs 600-plus staff, and according to Mr Granado, the merger will provide better opportunities for employees to grow in their careers and work on “iconic” projects all over the world.
WGE’s local portfolio includes the $1.6 billion Optus Stadium in Perth, $2 billion Fiona Stanley hospital in Perth, $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and the $300 million Darling Walk Residential precinct in Haymarket.
The Australian engineering firm provides a full suite of building services, structural engineering, land development, and infrastructure services, including sustainability design services. This includes PV cells and renewables. By merging with Stantec, Mr Granado hopes to apply his company’s sustainability capabilities to other sectors, such as water.
WGE has been operating in Australia for more than 50 years and has offices throughout the country, including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. More offices will be considered if the engineering teams starts to win enough work in overseas regions.
“We wanted a partner that could integrate our services and shared WGE’s vision and culture. After identifying and assessing several candidates, it was clear that Stantec was a great fit for our organisation,” Mr Granado said.
“The focus post-merger will be to integrate the two companies to become a more cooperative union. [Stantec] have financial, intellectual and technological support, that in itself will allow us to compete worldwide.”