New York City-based Structure Tone is banking on a boost to its institutional and base-building capabilities in acquiring L.F. Driscoll Co., a major construction-management-at-risk firm in metropolitan Philadelphia. The deal, announced Nov. 16, allows Structure Tone to leverage Driscoll's experience in healthcare, higher education and high-rise base building.

Photo: L.F. Driscoll Co.
Philadelphia contractor built city's landmark Comcast Center

Financial details of the deal, which combines two major construction contractors and two of the nation’s largest privately-held CM-at-risk firms, were not disclosed. Structure Tone ranks 6th on ENR’s list of the Top 50 CM-at-risk firms; Driscoll ranks 37th. Structure Tone also ranks 21st on the ENR list of Top 400 contractors, with $3.027 billion in 2008 revenue, while Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based Driscoll is at 104 with $646 million.


A Structure Tone spokeswomen says no organizational or personnel changes are planned for either firm as part of the deal, and that Driscoll’s current management team will keep their existing titles and continue to run day-to-day operations. She adds that John J. “Jack” Donnelly, Driscoll chairman and CEO, does not have a Structure Tone title or plan to join its board.

Structure Tone, founded in 1971, has reaped much of its revenue over the years from interiors work in a once-booming, but now flattening, building market, particularly in metro New York City. CEO Robert Mullen says the deal would allow company clients a “greater range of services and enhanced expertise in both out-of-the-ground and interior construction in core service areas such as healthcare, higher education, commercial and hotel construction.”

Driscoll has built many of Philadelphia’s highest-profile projects in recent years, including the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank baseball stadium and the city’s tallest building, the 975-ft-high Comcast Center. However, the firm has historically gained most of its revenue in the health care market, with a portfolio that includes extensive work at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The company ranks18th and 5th, respectively, on ENR’s lists of Top Healthcare and Top Green Healthcare builders.

Although the 80-year-old Driscoll has historically focused on Philadelphia, it has expanded its East Coast reach in recent years, landing projects from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. Donnelly says that geographic growth has long been a goal of his team that could be realized through Structure Tone’s network of offices.

Structure Tone has East Coast offices from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, and four in Texas, from previous acquisitions that include Constructors & Associates, Pavarini Construction Co. Inc. and Pavarini McGovern. The contractor also has offices in Dublin, London and Hong Kong, and the company reported $142 million in international revenue for 2008.

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