Santa Ana, Calif.-based Salas O'Brien, a national facilities design and planning firm, has merged with Columbus, Ohio-based Varo Engineers, creating a combined firm with 16 offices and 460 employee-owners. Salas O’Brien is a 100% employee stock ownership plan-owned company, so each Varo team member will become an owner of the combined firm.

The combined company will serve the manufacturing, critical environments, industry, power transmission and distribution, clean energy, education, and telecommunications markets. Varo will become the Midwest arm of Salas O'Brien joining other offices serving the Southeast, Texas/Louisiana, California, and the Northwest.

"Joining Salas O’Brien is a huge opportunity for the Varo team to shine by expanding our work to new areas of the country,” said Tim Burnham, Varo CEO. “Salas O’Brien’s strength and resources will allow us to serve our current clients better than ever, while keeping the regional decision-making and accountability that have been instrumental to our success.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the transaction is part of a spree of mergers and acquisitions that Salas O'Brien has pursued in recent years. In 2014, Salas O'Brien acquired Texas-Based Kalmans Marshall Engineering. Then, in 2015, it acquired Atlanta's KLG Consulting Engineers and HESM&A Consulting Engineers. In 2016, Minick Engineering, another Atlanta MEP firm, merged with Salas O'Brien.