Canadian Consulting Engineer

Conestoga-Rovers to merge with company from down under

The engineering company that made its name on the infamous Love Canal clean-up project in the 1970s is merging with an Australian firm.

March 18, 2014   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The engineering company that made its name on the infamous Love Canal clean-up project in the 1970s is merging with an Australian firm.

Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA) of Waterloo in southern Ontario has announced it has agreed to merge with GHD.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to close in July this year, all ongoing employee shareholders of CRA will become shareholders of GHD.

Both companies are involved in environmental engineering as well as other traditional municipal engineering sectors.

CRA started in 1976 with the merger of Frank A. Rovers & Associates and Conestoga Engineering. After it played a leading role in the Love Canal clean-up in Niagara Falls, New York, the company gained an international reputation in the environmental field and grew from a small, regional engineering firm with only 10 people, to a company that today has 3,000 staff, 100 offices in Canada, the U.S. and two in the U.K.. It does work throughout the world, and recently was the owner’s representative on the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Site clean-up project in Nova Scotia which is Canada’s largest and most urban environmental remediation project to date. Click here.

GHD, based in Sydney, has 5,500 people across five continents. Its history goes back to 1928 when it too began as a small partnership (Gordon Gutteridge, Gerald Haskins and Geoffrey Davey), setting up shop first in Melbourne. Its international business began burgeoning in 1990 after it opened offices in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Canada GHD acquired the Sernas Group in 2012, giving it offices in Whitby and Mississauga in the Greater Toronto Area, in Kitchener, southwest Ontario, and in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2013 GHD had revenues of $1.04 billion and ranked #38  in the Engineering News Record Top 150 Global Design Firms.

In the announcement, Ed Roberts, CRA’s president, says: “CRA was seeking a way to leverage our 38 years of private sector engineering and environmental services into a more diverse business with a global presence while staying staff-owned. We found a merger partner that has an overall philosophy, business approach, and work ethic similar to CRA’s. It was not a difficult decision to find a way for GHD and CRA to become one organization. We believe that this merger will be an excellent springboard for further growth and opportunity for our employees.”

GHD’s chief executive officer Ian Shepherd said: “We see only positive opportunities with clients and geographic locations. GHD is thrilled to be in a position to be able to help this potential come to life.”

Robert says that ultimately, CRA’s name will change to GHD, but “the schedule for making this change will be decided over the coming months.

The two companies will be working on the organizational structure and responsibilities between now and July 1.

This article was corrected on March 20, 2014, 9.18 a.m.


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