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Weekly Briefing: Feb. 5-9, 2024

Updated: Apr 8


Week of February 5, 2024



Asset Managers Increasingly Investing in Infrastructure Firms

  • Asset managers are increasingly investing in infrastructure firms to expand their portfolios in areas such as renewable energy, data centers, and airports. Notable acquisitions include BlackRock’s $12.5 billion deal for Global Infrastructure Partners and General Atlantic’s Actis transaction.

  • These investments aim to capitalize on the rising demand for modern infrastructure, driven by trends such as the shift to clean energy and the data-intensive needs of artificial intelligence.

  • Infrastructure investments are attractive due to multiyear inflation-protected contracts and the potential to meet goals to reduce carbon emissions through backing clean-energy projects.

  • Actis, a firm acquired by General Atlantic, has about $12.5 billion in assets under management, including solar and wind power plants, data centers, toll roads, and warehouses, mostly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

  • The infrastructure investment sector is growing rapidly, with private asset managers having $1.33 trillion in infrastructure investments as of June 2023, more than double the total of five years earlier.



 

AI-Guided Robotic System for Structural Inspections Proposed by Drexel Researchers

  • Drexel University researchers have proposed an AI-guided system for the robotic inspection of buildings, roads, and bridges. This system aims to address the increasing problem of structural failures.

  • The system combines computer vision with a deep-learning algorithm to identify and inspect problem areas. It uses laser scans to create a “digital twin” computer model for damage assessment and monitoring.

  • The researchers believe that this system could significantly reduce the overall inspection workload and enable focused consideration and care to prevent structural failures.

  • The system uses a convolutional neural network trained on datasets of concrete structure images to identify crack-like patterns. These regions of interest are then precisely scanned by the robotic system.

  • While human inspectors would still make the final call on when and how to repair the damages, the robotic assistants could greatly reduce their workload.




February 5, 2024


Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (Bowman), a Virginia-based engineering services firm, has acquired Trudell Consulting Engineers and its subsidiary Vermont Underground Locators (collectively TCE), a Vermont-based multi-disciplinary engineering firm serving both public and private clients across multiple sectors. The acquisition expands Bowman’s presence to Burlington and the larger Vermont market and extends their existing presence throughout New England and Upstate New York. Gary Bowman, Chairman and CEO of Bowman, said of the acquisition, “TCE is a dynamic engineering firm in a growing market with an extremely talented collection of professionals. Under Jeremy’s leadership, the firm has generated consistent growth and expansion of their scope of services…I expect great things to come from this acquisition.”



 

February 6, 2024


Clean Harbors, Inc. (Clean Harbors), a Massachusetts-based environmental and industrial services firm, has acquired HEPACO from Gryphon Investors. HEPACO is a North Carolina-based specialized environmental and emergency response firm providing field services, environmental remediation, and emergency response solutions. The acquisition provides synergies across various business lines, drives additional volumes of waste to Clean Harbors’ network of disposal and recycling facilities, and expands Clean Harbors’ rail and marine service capabilities. Rob Shreck, CEO of HEPACO, commented on the transaction, “Given its leading position in environmental and field services, as well as a 40-year history in emergency response, Clean Harbors is an ideal fit for HEPACO. Clean Harbors will provide HEPACO’s customers with far greater resources and access to North America’s largest network of permitted disposal and recycling assets. This transaction will also offer enhanced career opportunities for HEPACO employees.”




 

February 6, 2024


DCCM, a Texas-based design, consulting, and program and construction management services firm, and a portfolio company of White Wolf Capital Group, has acquired Southstar Engineering & Consulting, Inc. (Southstar), a California-based project management, construction management, and special services firm serving public agencies. The acquisition expands DCCM’s California presence and enhances their national transportation services business. Jason Bennecke, new CEO of Southstar, said of the acquisition, “Joining DCCM promises to produce a new era of possibilities for Southstar. With the extensive resources DCCM brings to the table, Southstar will be able to bring a full suite of engineering and field services to our clients. Southstar is poised for a bright future, and we look forward to the opportunities that are to come for our customers and staff with this partnership.”



 

February 7, 2024


Qualus Corporation (Qualus), an Ohio-based pure-play power services firm, has acquired Enkompass Power and Energy Corporation (Enkompass), a Canada-based electrical engineering and technical services firm. Enkompass’ advisory, studies, power systems engineering, retrofit, commissioning, and specialized field services are highly complementary to Qualus’ service offerings and their Canadian headquarters expands Qualus’ geographic coverage and client base. Dr. Hisham Mahmoud, Chairman and CEO of Qualus, commented on the acquisition, “Expanding our geographic footprint into Canada will enable us to meet the demands of our multinational clients and offer our differentiated services and capabilities to the broader Canadian power market. We are excited to work with the Enkompass leadership to grow our business and provide professional growth opportunities for our people.”



 

February 8, 2024


RMA Companies (RMA), a California-based technology-enabled laboratory testing, inspection, and quality management services firm for public and private infrastructure assets, has acquired Black Eagle Consulting (Black Eagle), a Nevada-based geotechnical and construction inspection services firm. Black Eagle’s Reno and Carson City local laboratory facilities enable RMA to expand their Nevada presence and enhance their non-destructive examination capabilities.




 

Recent EFCG M&A Transaction Announcements






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