Mergers & Acquisitions and Contractors and Construction and Real Estate & Retail

Hunt Construction acquired by L.A. engineering firm

July 29, 2014

Hunt Construction Group Inc., the city’s largest construction contractor, whose local projects include Lucas Oil Stadium and the JW Marriott hotel, has been acquired by Los Angeles-based engineering firm Aecom Technology Corp.

Terms of the deal, announced Tuesday morning, were not disclosed.

The addition of Hunt’s roughly 700 employees in nine offices and annual revenue of $1.2 billion makes Aecom one of the largest builders in the country, Michael S. Burke, the company’s CEO, said in a written statement.

Aecom already has a local presence. Its office on the northwest side is ranked as the city’s 22nd-largest engineering firm, according to local billings last year. Overall, Aecom has annual revenue of about $8 billion.

“Becoming part of Aecom provides expanded growth opportunities for our business and our people, as we are now better positioned to continue working on the largest and most challenging projects,” Hunt CEO Mike Fratianni said in a prepared statement.

Hunt’s projects outside Indianapolis include Marlins Park in Miami and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Hunt also managed the construction of facilities in which Aecom provided design services, such as the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Proton Therapy Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

Hunt’s history in Indianapolis runs deep. Paul Hunt started the company, known for years as Huber Hunt & Nichols, in 1944 with Arber Huber and Harry Nichols, to concentrate on the construction of industrial and manufacturing facilities during World War II.

Paul Hunt turned over leadership to his son, Robert C. Hunt, in 1953. Under him, the company in 1962 completed its first high-rise, the 28-story City-County Building.

In 1970, Huber Hunt constructed its first sports venues: the former Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh and Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.

As its sports work began to take off—it also constructed the Superdome in New Orleans—Huber Hunt opened its Dallas office with the acquisition of Avery Mays.

The company continued to grow and saw its annual revenue top $1 billion for the first time in the 1990s, when it opened additional offices in California and Florida.

In 2000, Huber Hunt & Nichols became known as Hunt Construction Group to more accurately reflect the ownership of the company. In 2005, Robert C. Hunt turned over leadership to his son, Robert G. Hunt, who was at the helm until March 2013, when Fratianni became CEO. He will retain his title under the new ownership.

Aecom’s purchase of Hunt represents its second major acquisition this month.

On July 13, Aecom announced an agreement to acquire San Francisco-based URS Corp. The transaction is expected to close in October, and with the Hunt acquisition, will give Aecom 95,000 employees in 150 countries and annual revenue of $20 billion.

URS also has an Indianapolis presence and is ranked as the city’s 13th-largest architectural firm based on last year’s local billings.

Aecom is publicly traded. Shares opened this morning at $34.85 and had ticked up to $34.93 by late morning.
   
 

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