WGI acquires Carl Walker, Inc., gaining national footprint

Jun 30, 2017

Zweig Group, a full-service AE consulting firm based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, facilitated WGI’s acquisition of Carl Walker, Inc., a deal that gives the buyer a 12th business line, nearly 400 associates, and an important footprint in five new states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas.
Jamie Claire Kiser, Zweig Group director of consulting
For WGI, a design, planning and surveying firm based in West Palm Beach, Florida, this is the third acquisition in three years. By joining forces with Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Carl Walker – a firm that specializes in the creative planning and design of sustainable parking structures, supported by the rapidly changing automation technology transforming its marketplace – WGI solidifies its standing as a major player with 13 offices in six states, and a national portfolio. Bringing these two iconic firms together was a lot of work, and well worth the effort, said Jamie Claire Kiser, Zweig Group’s director of consulting, who represented the seller. “This transaction is an embodiment of the ultimate M&A goal – to make one-plus-one equal three,” Kiser said. “It’s always a pleasure working with firms that respect each other throughout the process. This partnership, however, takes it to a whole new level. We are proud to be part of the success story for both Carl Walker and WGI.” Gary Cudney, president and CEO of Carl Walker, as well as the firm’s principals, executives, and associates, will continue in their current roles, ensuring a smooth transition for Carl Walker’s clients and staff. The branded Carl Walker name will continue and be integrated with WGI, operating as Carl Walker, a division of WGI. David Wantman, president and CEO of WGI, had this to say about the acquisition: “We are excited about the expanded national presence and capabilities that Carl Walker brings to our firm and our diverse infrastructure team. Its thirty-four years of innovative designs and solutions will provide a wonderful complement to the innovative and collaborative team at WGI. We’re thrilled at the synergy and opportunities that await.” Cudney was equally as excited. “WGI’s client-centered approach, strong work ethic, values, and expertise in transportation and planning, along with the compelling opportunity for growth, were significant factors for the move to WGI,” Cudney said. Working on a record year, Zweig Group’s M&A team has been on both the buying and selling sides of transactions. Other recent deals include NV5 Global, Inc.’s acquisition of Orlando-based Lochrane Engineering, Inc.; Eppstein Uhen Architects’ acquisition of Burkettdesign; and Wold Architects and Engineers’ acquisition of Ruck Pate Architecture. Zweig Group’s M&A team is led by Kiser and includes consultants Phil Keil, Brenden Sherrer, and Jordan Barrett. For more information, please contact Kiser at jkiser@zweiggroup.com, or at 479 435 6521.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.