Labarre Associates, of Denham Springs, is going through a period of restructure.
To start the new year, principal Jay Labarre announced that Angela Cannon would be made president of the company. Cannon was head of business development, but Labarre is looking to take a step back and be more of a guiding light for the business, as opposed to a day-to-day decision maker.
Following that announcement, Labarre Associates and Facilities Maintenance Management (FMM) released information Wednesday, Jan. 15 that FMM would acquire the facilities management arm of Labarre Associates.
According to Labarre, the move does not symbolize a downsizing of the company, but a chance to focus more on two key aspects they do well - design, real estate, and construction management. Currently, Labarre Associates is the lead on Walker's new city hall, as well as a credit union headquarters which is currently being erected on O'Neal Lane.
"We're very proud of the the (Pelican State Federal Credit Union) headquarters that is being constructed on O'Neal Lane," Labarre said. "By focusing on the design and construction management, we've found millions of savings for our client by working directly with sub-contractors."
Labarre cited construction site design as a key factor of looking for a more focused approach, as rains early in the project did not affect the building process. Usually, construction sights become mud pits during heavy rains and can delay work, but Labarre's drainage design kept work humming through the summer.
Labarre stressed that his firm isn't going anywhere, in fact he expects this move to help them grow bigger than before.
“We are more than just design/build experts, we provide a turnkey solution - from site acquisition, design, construction, and strategic facility planning - for commercial properties across the Southeast," Labarre said.
“Our One Source, One Solution approach means that we all work together to optimize your building needs.”
Labarre met Steven Davis, of FMM, at a CEO roundtable sponsored by Louisiana Economic Development (LED). Davis and Labarre shared common interests and thought processes, eventually striking up a friendship.
After a series of side meetings between the two, it became clear that the acquisition of Labarre's facilities management, by FMM, would be of benefit to both firms. After a six month negotiation process to reach an agreement, the sale was finalized for January, 2020.
Davis said the move for FMM makes it an exciting time to be a part of his company.
“This acquisition provides us with a boost in resources, staff, and fleet, as we continue to lead the market as a single-vendor facilities maintenance service provider,” Davis said.
“FMM will now be able to provide a completely integrated approach to commercial facilities management through both long-term planning as well as day-to-day and on-demand maintenance requirements.”
Both Labarre and Davis said that a partnership will remain between to the two companies, as facilities management will still be required by many of Labarre's current and future clients.
"We're still going to push the facilities management, because it factors into our one source, one solution approach," Labarre said.
Ray Mitchell, FMM’s current COO, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations and play an integral role in ensuring the new team is fully integrated from day one. Steven Labarre, who will also be joining the FMM team, will continue to manage previous Labarre Facility clients and provide expert oversight and hands-on follow through of projects, a press release said.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.