M&A Market Expected to Accelerate in 2011
November 15, 2010

The M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) market for architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms is expected to accelerate in 2011 and some of the firms looking to buy may not even be based in the U.S.

“If you’re a strong firm in the U.S., if you’re looking to partner or exit, you should consider an international buyer,” said Jeff Clark, managing director and principal of the M&A team for ZweigWhite. “Many successful international firms are working on projects that are truly making a mark on the world and are able to pay higher multiples for talented U.S. firms. With the prospect of working on better projects overseas for principals that stay on with the acquired company, and larger payouts for those looking to retire, the opportunities are there and very attractive for the top firms.”

Aggressive companies with cash to spend or the ability to borrow will be looking for more opportunities to buy in 2011, as the number of firms barely hanging in there is likely to increase if the economy doesn’t recover fast. This presents a great opportunity for cherry picking, Mr. Clark said.

Mr. Clark and other M&A experts will discuss transaction and integration strategies at the 2010 AEC Mergers & Acquisitions Summit December 2nd-3rd, 2010 in Palm Beach, Fla.

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