CH2M Hill: A Private Firm in a Public World

Case Solution

Michael Moffett
Thunderbird School of Global Management ()

CH2M Hill was an employee-run and controlled professional engineering services company providing engineering, construction, consulting, design and build, procurement, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), operation and maintenance, program management, and technical services. to clients all over the world. Much of the company’s project business was funded by governments. With 2015 sales of $ 5.9 billion and 25,000 employees worldwide, the company was a global player. However, in 2014, CH2M Hill posted record losses. A large number of project and contract cost overruns around the world had resulted in life-threatening losses. An injection of private equity capital had made a major refinancing possible, but with the loss of pure ownership and control of employees. Now in 2016, after returning to profitability, many of the company’s top owners – its employees – wondered if the company’s employee sole ownership structure would survive.

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