Melbourne-based GHD Group and Canadian peer Conestoga-Rover & Associates have unveiled a deal which is expected to be one of the biggest true mergers in the global engineering space.

GHD Group and Conestoga-Rovers & Associates have announced plans for a merger which will result in the creation of a new major player in the global engineering and environmental sector.

The merger will see the creation of a new company with a total of 8,500 employees around the globe, including Conestoga-Rovers’ 3,000 staff who are primarily based in North America and the United Kingdom, and GHD’s 5,500 strong international workforce which  is spread across five continents.

According to an official statement issued by the two companies the deal “will be one of the largest true mergers to have occurred in the engineering and environmental industry.”

The merger remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, but should be completed by as soon as July should these hurdles be cleared.

The proposed merger will entail a pooling of equity interests by the two companies, with all of Conestoga-Rovers’ staff-shareholders becoming shareholders in GHD, which is itself currently held by a coterie of employee-owners.

Ontario-based Conestoga-Rovers is a multi-disciplinary consultancy providing engineering, environmental, construction and IT services. Since its founding in 1976 the company has established over 100 offices in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, employing approximately 3,000 staff.

GHD is one of Australia’s most venerable engineering, architecture and environmental consulting firms, and was first established in Melbourne in 1928.

The company has a broad international footprint with over 5,500 staff across five continents, including South America, North America,  the Middle East, Australasia and Asia.  GHD specialises in the provision of its services to the water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings and transportation sectors.

GHD CEO Ian Shepherd hailed the proposed merger as serving to complement and enhance the respective strengths and strategic goals of both firm.

“CRA’s strengths in the private sector in North America are an excellent fit with our strategic plan, and GHD’s global footprint and technical skills fill much of CRA’s strategic objectives,” Shepherd said. “We only positive opportunities with clients and geographic locations.”