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Weekly Briefing: Jan. 15-19, 2024

Week of January 15, 2024

BlackRock Finalizes Agreement to Acquire $150 Billion Infrastructure Investment Firm GIP

  • BlackRock, a private asset management firm, has announced its agreement to acquire Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the world's largest independent infrastructure investor, for $12.5 billion.

  • GIP is a leading investor in the energy, transportation, digital, and water sectors, whose founder, Adebayo Ogunlesi, sits on President Biden's National Infrastructure Advisory Council.

  • GIP has invested in several U.S. megaprojects, carbon capture for Exxon, and owns 40% of Terra-Gen Power. BlackRock sees its investment in infrastructure as "one of the most exciting long-term investment opportunities."

  • If the acquisition receives antitrust approval, it will create a $150 billion infrastructure investment platform, adding on to BlackRock's current $275 billion portfolio.


Congress Passes Third Stopgap Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown

  • Thursday night, after the Senate passed an intermediate spending bill with bipartisan support, the House of Representatives struggled to reach an agreement to avoid government shutdown, narrowly meeting the deadline.

  • Under this agreement, funding for agriculture, transportation, housing, and veterans' programs will be maintained through March 1st.

  • Furthermore, this stopgap bill will allow congress another six weeks to finalize the $1.66 trillion budget, during which it hopes to push through a dozen government spending bills.

  • The majority of government spending is expected to remain the same while military spending is increased.

January 16, 2024

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), a Maryland-based, employee-owned, multi-disciplined firm offering planning, design, and construction phase consulting services, has acquired Structural Engineering Associates (SEA), a Texas-based structural engineering firm. The acquisition expands JMT’s presence in the Texas market and bolsters its suite of engineering services. Michael J. Blair, P.E., President of JMT, commented, “This acquisition is a testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence and strategic growth. With the addition of SEA’s expertise, we are better positioned to serve the diverse needs of our clients.”


January 16, 2024

Verdantas, an Ohio-based firm backed by RTC Partners, specializing in environmental consulting, sustainable engineering, modeling, and digital technology, has acquired Flatwoods Consulting Group, Inc. (Flatwoods), a Florida-based environmental consulting services firm. The acquisition expands Verdantas’ portfolio of services, particularly in natural resources, environmental permitting, and compliance, and scales their Southeast United States presence. Jesse Kropelnicki, CEO of Verdantas, said of the acquisition, “The addition of Flatwoods perfectly aligns with Verdantas’ overarching strategy to establish regional Natural Resource and Environmental Planning hubs, but also represents a strong cultural fit…by harnessing the strengths of Flatwoods’ established client base and expertise, we are well-poised to meet the escalating demands of our power-focused clientele, providing increased opportunities for growth and contributing to the advancement of environmentally responsible energy practices.”


January 9, 2024

Verdantas, an Ohio-based firm backed by RTC Partners specializing in environmental consulting, sustainable engineering, modeling, and digital technology, acquired Peterson Brustad, Inc. (PBI), a California-based engineering consulting services firm serving the water industry. The addition of PBI strengthens Verdantas’s water services offering and its presence in the Northern California region. Karl Brustad, Principal at PBI, said of the transaction, “Our union with Verdantas is geared towards broadening our service spectrum, offering comprehensive solutions in flood control, storm drainage, and water resource management. This expansion will bring added value to existing clients in Northern California, allowing us to provide a more comprehensive set of engineering solutions to our clients”.


January 16, 2024

Pennoni, a Pennsylvania-based multidisciplined engineering firm, has acquired Mills & Associates, Inc. (Mills & Associates), a Florida-based engineering and surveying services firm. The acquisition strengthens Pennoni’s service capabilities within the Tampa Bay area for private and public sector clients. Effective immediately, the group will work as the Mills Division of Pennoni. Dave DeLizza, P.E., President & CEO at Pennoni, said of the acquisition, “This purchase reinforces Pennoni’s dedication to providing comprehensive engineering solutions, further solidifying our presence in the Southeast region.”


January 17, 2024

Wind Point Partners (Wind Point), an Illinois-based private equity firm, has acquired MOREgroup, a Texas-based family of architecture and engineering brands focused on education, healthcare, and government end markets. MOREgroup’s senior management team will continue leading the business and has retained a meaningful ownership stake alongside Wind Point. Together, the firms intend to continue executing on MOREgroup’s organic and M&A-driven growth strategy. Sean Lischke, Vice President at Wind Point, commented, "MOREgroup has developed a differentiated operating model and a clear leadership position in high-growth social infrastructure markets. We’re thrilled about the partnership and look forward to investing in the people, processes, and capabilities to execute on our shared vision for value creation.”


January 17, 2024

Trilon Group (Trilon), a Colorado-based provider of infrastructure consulting businesses through its various investments, has announced a strategic partnership with Fuss & O’Neil, a Connecticut-based civil and environmental engineering firm. The partnership gives Fuss & O’Neil additional capital and resources to expand its services and markets in the Northeast. Kevin Grigg, CEO of Fuss & O’Neil, commented, “Our organizations share a close alignment on many important items such as shaping career paths for our employees, serving clients, and setting ambitious growth targets, while committing the time, resources, and hard work to make them happen…Partnering with Trilon serves as a pathway to drive our firm into the next century of design and technology, all the while upholding our core values and reinforcing our respected 100-year-old brand.”


January 18, 2024

Clapsaddle Garber Associates, Inc. (CGA), an Iowa-based civil engineering and land surveying firm, has acquired Engineering Resource Group (ERG), an Iowa-based civil engineering and land surveying firm. The acquisition expands CGA’s services and strengthens its presence in Central Iowa. Matt Garber, P.E., P.L.S., President and CEO of CGA, said of the acquisition, “ERG’s employees and service lines are a perfect complement to CGA’s. They bring a rich portfolio of expertise in land development, site plans and planning, subdivision platting, and Alta surveys, which will significantly enhance our offerings to CGA clients in Central Iowa. We are thrilled to welcome their talented team onboard and look forward to expanding CGA’s reach into the Des Moines metro.”

Larson Design Group (LDG), a national architecture, engineering, and consulting firm, has reaffirmed its commitment to the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation (WASDEF) by returning as a corporate partner for its 2024 Employee Giving Campaign. LDG has pledged to match up to $5,000 on any new or increased annual pledge made through the payroll deduction program until February 2nd. This collective effort aims to advance educational experiences and opportunities for students. This initiative serves as a great example for other AEC firms looking to make a difference in their communities.


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