Jacobs Engineering Group said that it has acquired architect KlingStubbins, a move that boosts the parent’s design capabilities and adds 500 U.S. and Asia-based employees.

KlingStubbins, Philadelphia, is No. 111 on ENR’s list of  the Top 500 Design Firms, with $98 million in 2010

Avram Fisher, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, says that the justification for the purchase appears to be a desire to better compete with other big players.

Calling the deal "a small, bolt-on acquisition" for Jacobs, Fisher said buying KlingStubbins enables Jacobs, "which is at heart an engineering services firm, to better compete with" companies such as Stantec and AECOM.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement released after financial markets had closed, Jacobs President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Martin said, "We are acquiring a solid business with a history of good performance." He also said the acquisition helps diversify Jacobs.

Also in the statement, KlingStubbins' National Managing Principal Michael Lorenz said the deal gives his company "access to a much wider global resource base that enables us to enhance our design services for clients as well as provide more opportunities for our employees."