Toronto-based IBI Group Inc. has acquired the assets of Cole Engineering Group Ltd., one of the largest independent civil engineering firms in Ontario with substantial reach across the water sector.
The asset acquisition brings 180 Cole staff members to IBI’s existing team and will assist the firm’s substantial transportation infrastructure backlog through 2021 and beyond.
“With its rich expertise in linear infrastructure and water management, this acquisition strengthens IBI’s capabilities and competitiveness across all areas of our business, allowing us to bring more services to bear on our major public-sector projects, and deepen our relationships with our private-sector developer clients,” Scott Stewart, IBI Group CEO, said in a statement to media.
Cole’s established water master planning practice complements IBI’s current expertise in the sector, bringing additional experience in water and wastewater demand modelling and planning, according to IBI, which was founded in 1974. The merged team will provide opportunities to enhance IBI’s BlueIQ™ water operations optimization solution, as well as water infrastructure and facilities design.
Additionally, Cole’s training and accreditation program for water facilities staff aligns with IBI’s priorities in operations optimization and asset management.
Cole, with strong expertise in urban development, was founded in 2003 and made headlines three years ago with its own acquisition of XCG Consulting Ltd.’s water group.
Cole CEO Mohsen Mortada described the newly-combined firms as “one of the most significant infrastructure engineering teams in Canada.”
“With a client service focus, cultural synergies and growth opportunities for employees across organizations, IBI’s transformative digital strategies, and strengthened project delivery capabilities, I am confident this transition will bring tremendous value to our stakeholders,” Mortada said in a statement.
The two firms have previously worked together on projects such as Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit. Stewart said he “always appreciated the collaborative and productive relationship that the partnership brings.”
Since 2000, IBI has expanded through mergers and acquisitions of consulting firms in provinces across Canada, as well as firms in the U.S. and U.K. The company recorded a strong third quarter for 2020, with $98 million of net revenue.