Two of the Bay Area�s best-known construction firms -- Ghilotti Construction Co. of Santa Rosa and North Bay Construction of Petaluma � report that they have reached agreement to combine their business operations by the end of 2012.

The transaction will be in the form of an asset sale, and the new company will bear the Ghilotti Construction Co. name.

The deal assures the continuation of two locally owned, locally knowledgeable and successful firms, as well as the Bay Area jobs and investment they represent. Ghilotti has between 220 and 300 employees and North Bay has between 200 and 250 employees, depending on active projects.

Heading the combined company will be Richard Ghilotti, 63, currently president and CEO of Ghilotti Construction; Brian Ongaro, 42, GCC�s senior vice president of operations; Ali Yazdi, 53, general manager; and Stacy Magill, 49, chief financial officer. Steve Geney, 52, currently president of North Bay Construction, will join the Ghilotti management team. John Barella, 62, North Bay�s founder and CEO, will end his day-to-day involvement in the business and turn his attention to area residential and commercial real estate development projects.

NBC�s most notable current project, the $48-million widening of U.S. 101 between Cotati and Petaluma, will be assigned to GCC. Other projects under contract by North Bay will be completed by North Bay and its existing dedicated crews and project teams. The company says it will bid no new work under the North Bay name. All new projects of both existing companies will be bid as Ghilotti Construction Co.

�We�ve been fierce competitors for almost 35 years,� says Richard Ghilotti, �but John and I have always respected each other�s work, business sense and values. Our people know one another and have the same high standards and pride in their work.�

�When I decided it was time to pursue real estate development on a full-time basis, I wanted to be sure the company we had built would stay together and stay local,� says Barella. �I didn�t think it would be fair to our people to make them part of an anonymous out-of-town company with no roots in our community. So I called Dick Ghilotti. Our negotiations were straightforward and I�m very pleased with the result.�