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Updated: April 23, 2024

South Portland engineering firm Gorrill Palmer acquired by Ohio company

Fort Allen at dusk Photo / Courtesy of LJB Inc. The reconstruction of Fort Allen Park on Portland's Eastern Promenade is one of the engineering projects handled by Gorrill Palmer, a South Portland firm that has been acquired by LJB Inc., of Dayton, Ohio.

Gorrill Palmer, a South Portland-based engineering firm whose portfolio includes the Fort Allen Landscape Redevelopment Project in Portland and the Downs in Scarborough, has been acquired by LJB Inc., of Dayton, Ohio.

LJB is backed by Copley Equity Partners LLC, a private equity firm with offices in Boston and Denver.

Terms of the deal, announced Monday, were not disclosed. With the acquisition, LJB now has 11 offices across seven states and employees in a dozen additional states.

All 40 employees of Gorrill Palmer, including the entire management team, have joined LJB, bringing its workforce to just under 300, spokeswoman Kim Messer told Mainebiz.

LJB, founded in 1966, provides civil and structural engineering, as well as geospatial and safety services.

Gorrill Palmer, an integrated land development, transportation and municipal engineering firm, has served clients across New England since 1998 and the Mid-Atlantic area since 2013.

For LJB, the deal comes four months after it acquired Bridge & Stream Engineering Inc., a Miamisburg, Ohio-based provider of water resources engineering solutions to the nation’s largest large railroad companies. 

“Gorrill Palmer’s areas of expertise align perfectly with our existing infrastructure services, said Rod Sommer, CEO of LJB. “We are very excited to see how the synergies we’ve already seen in strategy, services and culture will help both our firms progress and better serve our clients in New England and throughout the Northeast.”

Al Palmer, principal and president of Gorrill Palmer, said, “Our team has always been focused on relationships, responsiveness and results, and we felt alignment with LJB on those core principles from the beginning. I am confident that our partnership will enhance our team and our ability to meet our clients’ needs.”

The deal was announced more than a year after the companies started talks about a potential combination.

LJB took advice on the transaction from a team from Copley Equity Partners, while Gorrill Palmer turned to AEC Advisors, a consultancy with offices in New York and Miami Beach, Fla; Portland-based law firm Pierce Atwood; and accounting firm BerryDunn, also based in Portland.

Seeking to grow organically as well as through acquisitions, LJB is "looking to expand our footprint throughout New England, and we are also currently talking to firms in Texas, Tennessee and Florida," Messer told Mainebiz.

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