St. Paul Engineering Firm Bonestroo to be Bought

The St. Paul-based engineering firm, which is among the state's largest, is set to be acquired by Canada-based Stantec; Bonestroo employees are expected to be retained, and most of the firm's 11 offices will remain open.

Major North American design firm Stantec said Thursday that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire St. Paul-based engineering firm Bonestroo, Inc.-which also has offices in St. Cloud and Rochester.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in Stantec's announcement.

Bonestroo ties as Minnesota's third-largest engineering firm based on engineering billings from offices within the state, which totaled about $36.1 million last year. It has roughly 275 employees in 11 offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota. In addition to engineering work, the firm offers planning and environmental science services.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based Stantec, meanwhile, reported about $1.5 billion in 2010 sales-and it employs 11,000 people in more than 170 offices, only four of which are outside of North America. The company has 16 offices and 475 employees in the Midwest region of the United States. Stantec provides design and consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, surveying, and project management.

Stantec spokeswoman Heena Chavda said Friday morning that the acquisition is expected to close in mid-September-and Bonestroo will drop its name and fully integrate into the company at that time.

Chavda said that there are no plans to lay off any Bonestroo employees, adding that there have been “no significant layoffs” following any of Statec's previous acquisitions. “We're going to try to keep all the employees that we possibly can,” she said.

A majority of Bonestroo's offices will remain open after the sale, Chavda said, adding that Stantec doesn't currently have a presence in many of the cities where Bonestroo now operates. Stantec would only close an office if it could combine two nearby locations into one.

“With Bonestroo's expertise and reputation for technical excellence and responsive service, we'll be better equipped to offer municipal and environmental services in regions of the United States where, to date, we've had very limited or no presence,” Bob Gomes, Stantec president and CEO, said in a statement.

A Bonestroo spokesman wasn't available for comment on Friday morning, but Chavda said that Bonestroo has been undergoing a restructuring in recent months. The acquisition “really gives them a lot of opportunity to continue their growth,” she said. “It had come to a point where it was difficult for them to grow within their current structure,” adding that joining Stantec gives the company an opportunity to tap into a larger network.