The path has been cleared for Jacobs Engineering Group to acquire engineer Carter & Burgess.

A majority of shareholders of Carter & Burgess voted Oct. 24 both to change company bylaws to allow employee shareholders to sell stock and to accept an acquisition offer from Jacobs, according to informed sources inside and outside the company. About 80% of Carter & Burgess' estimated 90 shareholders approved the votes; a 75% mandate was required to pass each motion.

Shareholders of Jacobs voted to approve the proposed deal Oct. 26, sources say, but the deal is not yet final.

C&B President Ben G. Watts informed company employees at the end of September that the firm was considering an acquisition offer but did not identify the proposed buyer, says one source. Another source says the firm has been in discussions with Jacobs for at least three months.

C&B, based in Fort Worth, ranks 34th on ENR's list of the Top 500 Design Firms, with $436.1 million in 2006 revenue. Jacobs, based in Pasadena, Calif., ranks second on that list, reporting $3.2 billion in revenue last year.