In an all-cash deal, Moon Township, Pa.-based Michael Baker Corp. purchased Nevada's largest architecture firm, JMA. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Image courtesy of JMA
JMA's current projects include the $146.2-million, 308,990-sq-ft Las Vegas City Hall, under construction now in downtown.
Photo courtesy of JMA
JMA owner Thomas Schoeman will stay on board as company president. Schoeman hopes the acquisition will help double the size of JMA within five years.

Michael Baker Corp. (BKR) stock was valued at $24.95/share on June 9, down 38.6% from a 52-week high of $40.64. The 71-year-old engineering, design and survey firm had $499.4 million in billings in 2010. It has 90 offices and 2,800 employees across the U.S.

“One of our growth objectives has been to expand our architectural practice into the healthcare and education sectors,” says Brad Mallory, Michael Baker Corp. president and CEO, in a statement. “The addition of JMA is a significant step forward in that pursuit.”

Las Vegas-based JMA Architecture Studios is a 66-year-old privately held architecture, planning and interior design practice with a single office and 40 employees. No jobs are expected to be lost by acquisition. JMA had $10 million in billings in 2010, or 75% less than five years prior when Architectural Record ranked JMA as the nation's 45th largest architecture firm with 200 employees and $40 million in billings.

JMA’s self-designed headquarters are located at 10150 Covington Cross Dr. in Summerlin. The company specializes in both private and public work in four market sectors: health care, commercial, public works and hospitality. JMA has won dozens of design awards, including being named 1998 Nevada firm of the year by the American Institute of Architects.

JMA is responsible for many of Southern Nevada's best known buildings, including One Queensridge Place, World Market Center and the Atomic Testing Museum. The firm developed the elementary school prototype design for the Clark County School District, and completed the state’s first design-build project in 2004 – the Morse Arberry, Jr. Telecommunication Building at the College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne campus. JMA is presently working on the $146.2 million, 308,990-sq-ft Las Vegas City Hall and the $364.9-million, 1 million-sq-ft U.S. Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in North Las Vegas.

JMA, which stands for company founder Jack Miller & Associates, will continue to operate under its current moniker as a subsidiary to Michael Baker Corp. JMA owner Thomas Schoeman will remain aboard as company president, although his duties will now focus on business development.

“We’re hoping to double the size of JMA in five years,” Schoeman says. “We will be looking for additional health care and public work – two areas where Michael Baker is very strong. This alignment will also allow us to grow in the federal and design/build arenas.”