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L.A. construction giant Aecom beefs up to tackle infrastructure projects

LONG BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 01, 2014: Giant crain, center, places rebar for pylon near pylons, left and
Workers building the new Gerald Desmond bridge in 2014. One of the companies working on the project, Shimmick Construction, is being acquired by L.A. firm Aecom.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles engineering and construction giant Aecom will acquire an Oakland-based civil construction firm, looking to take advantage of increased infrastructure spending in California and across the Western United States.

The $175-million deal for Shimmick Construction comes as voters in the Western U.S. have approved nearly $180 billion in ballot measures, including Measure M in Los Anglees County that will expand the region’s transit system.

By adding Shimmick, Aecom says it will be better positioned to win such contracts, including those stemming from a $52-billion transportation package California legislators passed this year to fix the state’s ailing roads.

Shimmick, founded in 1990, employs around 1,000 workers. Its projects have included the Metro Orange Line, the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach and repair work on the Golden Gate Bridge.

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“As momentum across our Americas infrastructure markets builds, enhancing our construction capabilities is a critical next step to ensure we best capitalize on the tremendous opportunities in front of us,” Aecom Chief Executive Michael S. Burke said in a statement.

In California alone, the infrastructure market is expected to see nearly double-digit growth in each of the next four years, Aecom said. Beyond that, President Trump has called for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending nationwide, though his administration has yet to put forth a concrete proposal to get it done.

Based in downtown Los Angeles, Aecom has operations in more than 150 countries and took in $17.4 billion in revenue during its last fiscal year. The Fortune 500 company’s projects include the new NFL stadium in Inglewood, high rises in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and New York’s One World Trade Center.

The deal for Shimmick is expected to close by the end of September.

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Asked if the acquisition would result in layoffs, Aecom spokesman Steve Getzug said it is expected to create an “increase in projects and a need for a robust and skilled workforce.”


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