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LI Engineering Firms Unite Via Acquisition
By: Jacqueline Birzon January 2, 2015 0
Oyster Bay-based Walden Associates has reached an agreement to acquire a Valley Stream engineering company in a straight purchase deal that will expand the breadth of company services.
On Dec. 10, Walden, an environmental consulting firm, acquired Valley Stream-based Shapiro Engineering in an earn-out merger that took 14 months to complete.
Joseph Heaney III, founder of Walden Associates, said the company considered several firms for possible acquisitions, whittling down its options over the 14-month period. Shapiro was actually the firm’s second choice for a company to acquire, as an agreement couldn’t be reached with Walden Associates’ original prospect.
Heaney added that Shapiro’s four full-time employees will join Walden’s Oyster Bay office this month. The acquisition will allow the firm to enhance its environmental and chemical engineering services.
For Bob LoPinto, former owner of Shapiro Engineering, the merger was a welcome solution to a problem faced by many working baby boomers.
“We were looking for an exit strategy while still keeping the company alive,” LoPinto said.
LoPinto, who is now a senior project manager at Walden Associates, said his firm experienced a significant shift in its client base over the past decade, as New York City manufacturers began to move away from the state and service industry professionals trickled in.
The merger, LoPinto said, was the best way to “keep my clients serviced and keep my employees working.”
“Even though our headquarters were in Valley Stream, we weren’t doing a lot of work on Long Island,” LoPinto said. “But New York seems to be pushing manufacturers out, and they’re being replaced by the service industry. Now, with Walden, we can offer our expertise to their client base and it also gives my clients capabilities we didn’t’ have before.”
In brining on Shapiro’s staff, Heaney hopes to expand his company’s ability to tackle large-scale projects, such as air permitting services for power plants.
In total, Walden Associates employs 21 people full time out of its Oyster Bay and East Moriches offices.
“We have a pretty clean split between industrial and municipal work, and this merger is part of our strategy for growth,” Heaney said. “This is an exciting milestone for all of us and will help us make inroads into new markets with our enhanced capabilities.”