Two consultants that specialize in transportation public-private-partnership (P3) deals and alternative financing aim to gain larger platforms through new corporate owners.
Ernst & Young (E&Y) said on July 10 that it acquired New York City consultant Jeffrey A. Parker & Associates Inc. (JPA), while design firm HDR says it became the parent of California-based InfraConsult LLC on July 2.
The financial terms of both deals were not disclosed. JPA would not release a revenue figure, but InfraConsult's 2011 revenue was $17.5 million.
"P3 is set to take off with the six-fold increase in funding for TIFIA credit support in the highway bill," says William Reinhardt, editor of Public Works Financing, a newsletter. "That's a huge vote of confidence by Congress in the P3 value proposition. The first jolt of new money will be available in three months."
JPA will become Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors LLC, with firm founder and President Jeffrey A. Parker named E&Y senior managing director. The firm is advising New York state in its P3 approach on the estimated $5.4-billion Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.
One participant says the deal is "financially lucrative" for JPA and offers "a great global platform for [its] successful niche practice." Reinhardt says E&Y's reach in P3 financing "has been fairly limited."
HDR's acquisition will provide an infrastructure-management and advisory firm with offices in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Hawaii. Set up as a wholly owned subsidiary of HDR Engineering Inc., InfraConsult will focus on P3, project finance and program management.
The firm is program manager for the Honolulu rail transit project, and it is advising Los Angeles Metro on five P3 ventures worth more than $20 billion, says its founder-chairman, Michael Schneider.
"Hawaii's location is important to HDR as the company expands its global focus," says HDR Engineering President Eric Keen. "We are excited about InfraConsult's unique expertise, which we will now be able to jointly offer our transportation clients."
InfraConsult Managing Partners Schneider, Alan Wulkan and Simon Zweighaft join HDR as senior vice presidents. Schneider is a former executive vice president of Parsons Brinckerhoff and founder-chairman of its management consulting unit. Wulkan and Zweighaft also are PB alumni.