Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stantec buys 2nd Philadelphia architecture firm

The publicly held Canadian design and consulting firm is buying Burt Hill Inc., less than a year after buying Granary Associates.

Stantec buys 2nd Philadelphia architecture firm


Stantec Inc., an Edmonton, Alberta, design and consulting firm, has its designs on another Philadelphia architecture firm.

It recently agreed to buy Burt Hill Inc., an architecture and engineering firm with more than 600 employees in 13 offices, including those in India and the United Arab Emirates. In Center City, Burt Hill employs 64 people.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Architectural Record, a trade publication, ranked Burt Hill as the 21st-largest architecture firm, with $126 million in total design revenue for 2009.

Stantec is quite the acquisitive firm, with plans to acquire nine businesses in 2010. It reported net income of $49 million on net revenue of $1.1 billion in 2009.

In October 2009, Stantec bought Philadelphia-based Granary Associates, which has 100 employees. The final purchase price for Granary also hasn’t been disclosed. However, a recent filing with the Canadian Securities Administrators shows that Stantec used $70.9 million of its cash flow to acquire Granary and an environmental-consulting firm, Jacques Whitford, in 2009.

Burt Hill traces its roots to 1936, when G. Edwin Howard Jr. founded an architecture firm in Butler, Pa. It came to Philadelphia in 1986 for the renovation of the Lit Bros. Building at Seventh and Market Streets.

Traded on the New York Stock Exchange, Stantec shares closed Friday at $26.38, down 11 cents.

We’re No. 21!

Honestly, I don’t wait breathlessly for Inside Public Accounting’s annual list of the 100 largest U.S. accounting firms.

But the regional firms that make the list aren’t shy about letting the rest of us non-CPAs know about it.

ParenteBeard L.L.C., based in Philadelphia, is now the 21st-largest firm, according to the newsletter, which ranks firms by net revenue.

ParenteBeard, which had net revenue of $171 million in 2009, was formed from the combination of Parente Randolph L.L.C. and Beard Miller Co. L.L.P. The newsletter had them listed as the 35th and 36th largest firms last year.

The combination makes it the biggest accounting firm based in Philadelphia, surpassing LECG-Smart, of Devon, which ranked as the 30th-largest firm with $94 million in 2009 revenue.

Deloitte L.L.P. remains the nation’s biggest with $10.9 billion in 2009 revenue, according to Inside Public Accounting.

King on BioRexis

Lawyer, entrepreneur, venture capitalist - David R. King has negotiated deals from many sides of the table.

He’ll discuss his experiences as part of the University City Science Center’s Smart Talk series, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to hear from a compadre who’s already done it.

In particular, King - a former partner at the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius L.L.P. law firm and current venture partner at Quaker BioVentures Inc. - will focus on the formation of BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corp., which got its start at the Science Center in 2002.

The King of Prussia developer of diabetes treatments had raised $38 million in venture capital before Pfizer Inc. bought it in 2007 for an undisclosed amount.

The free program will be held at the Science Center, 3711 Market St., on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Advance registration is required, and the only way to do that is to go online and do so here.

Inquirer Columnist
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Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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