Emcor Group announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Poole & Kent group of companies.

Emcor Group Inc. (Norwalk, Conn.), the No. 1 firm on PM's list of "Pipe Trades Giants," announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Poole & Kent group of companies (P&K). P&K is a privately-held Baltimore and Miami-based provider of mechanical services to water utilities, government agencies, transportation authorities and commercial and institutional clients in a variety of industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With annual revenues approximating $400 million, a backlog greater than $400 million and ap-proximately 2,000 employees, P&K is a market leader specializing in the construction of new water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as the renovation, modernization, and expansion of existing facilities. P&K ranked No. 3 among last year's "Pipe Trades Giants." They also were ranked as the third largest mechanical contractor and the ninth largest specialty contractor in Engineering News Record's 1997 survey, and has been recognized for developing leading-edge solutions that allow for plant modifications to take place without requiring a shutdown of the facility.

Frank T. MacInnis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emcor, said, "Poole & Kent has a long tradition of excellence in our industry and will be an excellent fit for the company. Its industry-leading expertise in the water and wastewater sectors will allow us to more effectively pursue opportunities in one of the fastest growing sectors of the engineering and construction market.

"As a result of the acquisition, water and wastewater contracts will increase as a percentage of Emcor's backlog from approximately 3 percent to approximately 13 percent. In addition, P&K will provide Emcor with the critical mass and technical expertise necessary to exploit opportunities that will increasingly present themselves in the burgeoning water and wastewater market."

MacInnis continued, "From a geographical perspective, P&K's strong presence in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Florida will complete our East Coast footprint, and will provide Emcor with a continuous presence from Maine to Florida. Further-more, we see substantial opportunity to extend P&K's expertise into additional markets by leveraging Emcor's presence throughout the U.S., Canada and the rest of the world.

Poole & Kent will retain its headquarters in Baltimore. Parker O. Chapman will continue to serve as Chairman, and W. David Stoffregen will serve as president of the company's operating entity in Baltimore, while Steven C. Jordan becomes president of Poole & Kent's Florida operations with offices in Miami and Tampa.

The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.

Emcor is a provider of mechanical and electrical construction services and facilities services. It had sales of $2.21 billion in 1998.