Two industry giants are taking steps to expand their footprints, revealing agreements for major acquisitions that, if and when completed, would total about $535 million. London-based engineering and project management firm AMEC said on May 17 that it has agreed to buy Atlanta-area engineer MACTEC for $280 million in cash. EMCOR Group Inc., the Norwalk, Conn., specialty contractor, said the next day that it planned to pay $255 million in cash to acquire USM Services Holdings Inc., a Norristown, Pa., facilities maintenance firm, from its Australian parent. AMEC’s proposed deal elevates MACTEC, now 85% owned by a private equity firm,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.