Nelson, the acquisition-minded design, engineering, and space-management firm, is expanding its reach in the western United States by acquiring EHS Design, a Seattle-based architecture and interior design outfit with 21 associates and net fee billings this year of $3.5 million. The merger becomes effective on January 1.
This represents Nelson’s fifth merger or acquisition in 2014, during which the firm’s net fee revenue has increased by 60% to $65 million. Over the past 14 years, Nelson has merged with or acquired nearly 30 companies, and it currently has 35 locations and nearly 500 teammates around the world.
The EHS Design deal is a continuation of Nelson’s strategy to expand into new geographies, said John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr., the company’s CEO. Nelson had a presence in the Seattle market, but will now have an office location there, whose day-to-day operations will be managed by Mindy Howard, one of EHS’s founders. Mia Marshall, a managing principal with EHS since July 2003, was named managing principal of the Seattle office, which will oversee the combined companies’ operations and business.
Jack Emick, one of EHS’s founders and its director of operations, will now focus on building and maintaining client relationships. As a result of the sale, “we will be able to reach existing and new clients on a national and international level, while offering an expanded array of services,” said Emick.
The terms of Nelson’s acquisition of EHS were not disclosed. EHS Design will operate as a division of Nelson. Both companies were founded in 1977. This is the second merger in EHS’s history; in 1992, it joined forces with Paul Seibert & Associates, a financial facilities design firm. Seibert, an EHS principal, will continue working with financial institutions and expand his responsibilities into retail environments in the U.S.