Major Planning Firm Goes Public

<p>AECom -- the Los Angeles based parent company of planning and design firm EDAW and a host of other development and engineering firms -- is continuing its consolidation.</p>
July 8, 2007, 11am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"With a name like AECom Technology (NYSE:ACM) , it's easy to get mistaken for a communications or Internet business.

But those in the heavy construction industry know AECom as a leading design firm and provider of professional engineering and technical support services.

The Los Angeles company's name "throws a lot of people off," says Michael Burke, AECom's chief corporate officer and chief financial officer. AECom, pronounced "A-E- Com," stands for "Architectural Engineering, Consulting, Operations and Maintenance."

AECom went public May 10 at $20 a share and now trades near 26. It has averaged 35% year-over-year sales growth the last eight quarters, posting $3.421 billion in 2006.

The firm has been making acquisitions in a highly fragmented market. This year alone, it has purchased four companies involved in engineering, consulting and environmental projects."

"Many smaller, privately owned firms dominate the market, making it ripe for consolidation. The top 10 companies account for 32% of the $70 billion domestic market for design and engineering business. The remaining 490 companies in the top 500 control the other 68% of the market, according to D.A. Davidson & Co."

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Published on Friday, July 6, 2007 in CNN Money
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