This isn't Stantec's first attempt to buy Naples-based engineering firm WilsonMiller.
The Canadian engineering firm approached WilsonMiller about three years ago but the two firms couldn't reach a deal, says Bob Gomes, president and CEO of Stantec.
While Stantec's eagerness to boost its small Florida presence hasn't wavered, economic times have changed.
In 2007, WilsonMiller reported revenues of $77.3 million. By 2009, revenues fell to $32 million as private-sector developers shut down operations and land planning came to a standstill. The company managed to grow its public-sector work and maintained profitability in part by cutting staff from 600 employees during the boom to 265 today.
Meanwhile, Stantec's revenues grew to $1.52 billion Canadian dollars ($1.44 billion in U.S. dollars) in 2009, up 12.4% over the previous year.
So it's safe to say WilsonMiller executives were more receptive when Stantec came calling again earlier this year. Stantec on July 20 announced it would acquire WilsonMiller, though terms weren't disclosed.
Gomes says Florida will continue to be a top destination and expects the state to recover, though perhaps not as quickly as some hope. In the meantime, Gomes says top WilsonMiller executives Alan Reynolds and Fermin Diaz will remain with Stantec.