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Watkins Associated Industries Announces Strategic Acquisition of Nova Engineering and Environmental

August 13, 2019

Watkins Associated Industries (WAI), headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has acquired Kennesaw, GA-based NOVA Engineering and Environmental (NOVA). WAI is a large, privately-held company focused on creating long-term value by building and managing world-class businesses. WAI’s previously existing lines of business include real estate, food processing, insurance services, and building materials. NOVA is an industry leader providing environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and inspections, plan review and code compliance, municipal/government outsourcing, and roofing/building envelope consulting services.

The stable, long-term management team at NOVA led by President & CEO Randall Bagwell, PE, will remain in place post-acquisition. WAI will partner with this successful team to drive future growth opportunities across NOVA’s various service lines.

“We take a long-term view as we identify businesses with attractive future growth prospects and a management team with a desire to remain involved,” says Eric Wahlen, President of WAI, of the transaction. “We allow presidents of our businesses to operate independently, while partnering with them in goal setting. We look forward to leveraging our core competencies of strategic business planning, disciplined investment, and operational measurement to help NOVA position itself for a future of expansive growth.  Watkins is excited to enter the professional engineering services arena with such a strong, stable, well-known, and respected partner.”

“I truly believe that becoming part of the Watkins’ family of businesses will help us reach and likely exceed our long-term goals,” says Randall Bagwell, President & CEO of NOVA. “Our firm has developed successful business relationships and lasting friendships that span decades, and we believe this partnership will help us strengthen and expand these relationships.  Watkins’ strategic support and financial resources will enable us to expand the quality work and services we offer to more clients and in more locations.”

Closing took place on 8/12/19. Croft & Bender LP, led by Managing Director Steve B. Tye, served as NOVA’s investment banker on the transaction and Taylor English Duma LLP under the direction of partner Al B. Hill provided NOVA’s legal counsel. Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors, with lead partners Christopher S. Arnone, Jason Birmingham, and Jonathan Levens, provided accounting services to WAI as well as earnings and tax due diligence. Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP under partner Michael J. Mozes provided legal counsel to WAI for the transaction.

Watkins Associated Industries

Founded by William B. Watkins in 1932, Atlanta-based Watkins Associated Industries (WAI) today remains a multi-generational, family-owned business and has a variety of business lines including Real Estate, Food Processing, Insurance Services, Building Materials, and now Professional Services. Focused on creating long-term value by building and managing world-class businesses, WAI seeks to leverage its operational expertise to grow new businesses into market leaders. WAI owns and manages a diverse set of operating companies who outperform their competition through strategic planning, disciplined investment, and operational measurement. The firm’s current areas of investment interest include: 1.) adjacencies to or “one step away” from their current portfolio of businesses, 2.) pet-related businesses that provide veterinary, grooming, and/or boarding services, 3.) water and air quality testing services as well as environmental consulting, and 4.) rail maintenance services and short line railroads.

Nova Engineering and Environmental

Since its inception in 1996, NOVA quickly became an industry leader providing Environmental Consulting, Geotechnical Engineering, Building Code & Municipal Support Services, Facilities & Building Envelope Consulting, Forensics Engineering, and Construction Materials Testing & Special Inspection (CMT) services to the design and construction community. For private companies and public entities seeking a dependable partner, NOVA adds value to a project by providing solutions that are balanced with reason and ingenuity. This is evidenced by NOVA’s long list of marquee projects, high rate of repeat clients, and significant organic growth. NOVA is headquartered in Kennesaw, GA and has offices in 16 locations across the southeast.

Croft & Bender

Since 1996, Croft & Bender has provided superior M&A, capital raising, and financial advisory services to middle market and emerging growth companies. Croft & Bender provides independent advisory services on both sell-side and buy-side assignments and, with institutional relationships across the country, helps companies raise equity and debt capital, whether for growth or the recapitalization of existing shareholders.

Taylor English Duma LLP

Taylor English Duma LLP is a full-service law firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Together, our attorneys work each day to provide timely, creative, and cost-effective counsel to help clients solve problems and achieve goals. Taylor English represents all types of clients – from Fortune 500 companies to start ups to individuals. The firm is the Georgia law firm member of Geneva Group International (GGI), the leading worldwide alliance of accounting and law firms. More information is available on the firm’s website at

Moore Colson

Moore Colson is the business advisor of choice for any company seeking thoughtful financial and strategic guidance. That’s why since 1981, family-owned businesses and Fortune 500 corporations alike have trusted Moore Colson with their accounting and consulting needs. And unlike most firms, Moore Colson uses a true partnership model, which means every client has access to their entire team of experts. A nationally-recognized firm, Atlanta-based Moore Colson has the experience and personal touch to shape your future and help your company grow.

Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff

Benesch is an AmLaw 200 business law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Hackensack, San Francisco, Shanghai and Wilmington. The firm is known for providing highly sophisticated legal services to national and international clients that include public and private, middle market and emerging companies as well as private equity funds, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations, trusts and estates.




Professional. Practical. Proven.

Trust NOVA for all of your consulting needs. Our expert team provides environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, and construction materials testing and inspection (CMT) services to ensure your that your project starts out on the right foot every time.

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