Inside a Mega-Merger: How and Why $215M Diversified Acquired $180M Technical Innovation
The goal wasn't to create a behemoth firm rivaling AVI-SPL, but it leverages each firm's market strengths and sets a high ceiling for growth potential.

Article


Fred D'Alessandro of Diversified (left) and Mike Landrum of Technical Innovation shook hands on an industry-shaking deal this week after six months of talks.
February 11, 2016 By D. Craig MacCormack

It only took about six months for one of the industry’s biggest deals ever to come together.

And, once again, the concept of business going global was at the heart of Diversified’s acquisition of Technical Innovation, which was announced Tuesday in a joint press release.

In the end, more than 800 people will come together to help the combined company meet the ever-increasing global needs of its clients as part of the acquisition. The price Diversified paid to acquire Technical Innovation has not been made public.

In terms of annual revenue, Diversified finished 2015 at $215 million and Technical Innovation reported $180 million in revenue last year.

Technical Innovation CEO Mike Landrum, who will help to integrate TI into Diversified’s operations for the next nine to 12 months before evaluating his future with the new venture, says he made “a number of presentations” to potential buyers in the six months since venture capitalist and primary TI owner MSouth Equity put the company up for sale.

“If we had the opportunity to get a blank piece of paper and draw the perfect place for us to make this deal, Diversified was it,” says Landrum.

We couldn’t write a better script on growth opportunities,” says Diversified CEO Fred D’Alessandro.

“When you do something like this, there are a number of factors, including the financial markets, interest rates and the industry appetite for mergers and acquisitions. In our case, we were looking for successful leadership in the long term.”

Diversified CEO Fred D’Alessandro echoed the enthusiasm about the deal, saying, “when I saw who it was [that was being shopped for acquisition six months ago], we made contact right away. We couldn’t write a better script on growth opportunities.”

As part of the deal, Technical Innovation is now owned by a holding company that includes several other LLCs, such a Diversified media group and many more. TI’s branding will change “over time,” says Landrum.

The Next Steps
According to this week’s joint press release, the combined staffs “will continue to serve their customers with the same skills and passion for excellence. In addition, the geographic footprint and service offering of both organizations are significantly expanded.”

The new company will have more than 800 employees in 22 offices across the U.S. Despite the large size of the new entity, D’Alessandro sees a cultural match between Diversified and TI. He’s excited about the opportunities to better serve clients with an expanded global reach.

“Bringing these companies together really makes that a reality,” says D’Alessandro. Diversified has “a handful” of projects around the world, says D’Alessandro, and Technical Innovation has dabbled in global work, says Landrum.

Landrum knows “there’s a lot of work to do” in terms of bringing Technical Innovation into the Diversified family and he embraces that opportunity. Once that’s done, “my work may be done at that point,” he says.

Watch CI editor Tom LeBlanc on what Diversified’s acquisition of TI means for the industry:

About the author

Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years experience covering local and national news and sports as well as architecture and engineering. He joined Commercial Integrator in January 2011. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigMacCormack.
View all posts by D. Craig MacCormack
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