Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, has signed an agreement to acquire Morrison Hershfield, a 1,150-person engineering and management firm headquartered in Markham, Ontario.

Founded in 1946 and employee-owned, Morrison Hershfield has a top-tier industry reputation in transportation, buildings, and environmental services, with offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States, and one office in India. The additional employees will increase Stantec’s Canadian workforce by approximately 10 per cent.

The acquisition, which is being completed by way of a court approved plan of arrangement, is subject to Morrison Hershfield shareholder approval, court approvals, and certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q1 2024. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to bring a firm of Morrison Hershfield’s stature into the Stantec fold,” said Gord Johnston, president and chief executive officer, Stantec. “Our firms have shared a mutual admiration over many years. Stantec and Morrison Hershfield have a similar history from our roots in the Canadian market, growing and diversifying services both by geography and service line. And, importantly, our values and culture are very well aligned.”

In addition to the substantial infrastructure and building engineering design services, Morrison Hershfield’s environmental services business will bolster Stantec’s capacity to support projects in key Canadian markets, including Toronto, Vancouver, and in Canada’s North by combining teams in Whitehorse, Yukon. The firm will also support Stantec’s work in the energy transition by providing additional capacity in environmental impact assessment, ecological services, and geosciences. Morrison Hershfield’s client base will benefit from Stantec’s expertise in nature-based solutions, carbon sequestration, and natural capital. Morrison Hershfield also has a team dedicated to climate change risk, climate resilience assessment and adaptation services, which will augment Stantec’s own expertise in this critical area.

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“Joining the Stantec family marks a historic moment for our 78-year-old company. Stantec is a highly successful firm that shares our corporate values and mission, with a unique culture that complements our own,” said Anthony Karakatsanis, president and chief executive officer of Morrison Hershfield.

“With access to Stantec’s depth of renowned experts, resources, and cutting-edge technology, we will be able to provide our employees with exciting and meaningful work, growth, and professional development for the long term. This acquisition provides us with access to many high-profile North American and global projects and markets in the communities where our employees live and work.”

Environmental projects in Morrison Hershfield’s portfolio include

  • Engineer of record for Project NextStar, Canada’s first lithium-ion EV battery manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario. Morrison Hershfield’s services include mechanical, electrical, and civil services on the 4,500,000-square-foot (418,000 square-metre) facility, ensuring optimal building performance and functionality to support its groundbreaking design.
  • Environmental monitoring for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s stormwater management ponds as part of their West Nile Virus monitoring and treatment program. Services include program planning and resource allocation, land use and hydrological assessment, monitoring and documenting daily results, and analysis of results. Morrison Hershfield has managed this program exclusively for the Ministry since 2004.

Featured image: The electric vehicle battery factory under construction in Windsor. (Credit: NextStar Energy)

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