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GAI acquires engineering company

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By Sam Spatter
Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010

GAI Consultants Inc. of Homestead said Friday it acquired the Bonar Group Inc., a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based consulting and engineering company for an undisclosed price.

"The Bonar Group is a very complementary fit for GAI. This merger will greatly expand our geographic footprint in the Midwest and strengthen GAI's technical capabilities," said CEO Gary M. DeJidas. GAI is a 700-person, employee-owned engineering and environmental consulting company.

Bonar Group President Tom Cicero will serve as GAI vice president and manager of the company's Midwest operations, which include offices in Ohio and Kentucky.

Bonar has a staff of 60 located in five offices throughout the Midwest.

In 2009, GAI opened six offices, including one in Murrysville, Westmoreland County. Other acquisitions by GAI include JMP & Associates, an electrical engineering firm in Cincinnati this year, and in 2008, BBS Engineering, a mechanical engineering firm in Cincinnati.

GAI was founded in 1958 and located in Monroeville until 2004 when it purchased its current building at the Waterfront development in Homestead. GAI has about 700 employees of which 350 are located in the Pittsburgh region.

Business has grown from about $40 million in 2004 to about $70 million, according to GAI's Web site.

"Last week we hired 10 new employees, and look forward to adding more in 2010 as new and additional work is contracted," said Diane Landers, vice president and chief marketing officer. The company expects future growth in the energy and waste water fields, she said.

Since moving to Homestead, GAI has added a three-story, 24,000-square-foot annex behind its headquarters, which Anthony Morrocco, GAI's managing officer in Pittsburgh, said would contain about 90 employees.

Specializing in environmental studies and providing help in transportation and land development projects, the company counts among its clients Point Park University, local natural gas and electric utilities, the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority and local universities, Landers said.

More than half of the company is owned by employees. No details were released on the remaining ownership.

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