Power play: Power-Tek Group adds retail expertise with acquisition of Carleton Place contracting firm

Power-Tek photo
Power-Tek vice-president of corporate development Joseph Pamic (left), welcomes Steric Design and General Contracting founder Matt Illot to the firm's management team, which also includes Krista Killingsworth (right), general manager of the construction division. Photo courtesy Power-Tek

Stittsville construction company Power-Tek Group has made its third acquisition in the last 18 months, buying a Carleton Place contracting firm that works with some of the region’s largest shopping malls.

Power-Tek said this week it has closed a deal to buy Steric Design and General Contracting, which was founded more than three decades ago and specializes in designing and fitting up restaurants, mainstreet businesses and stores in retail plazas like the Rideau Centre and Bayshore. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Power-Tek vice-president of corporate development Joseph Pamic said the acquisition will bring new customers to his firm, which is best-known for working with institutions like universities and school boards as well as tech firms such as Ciena and Ericsson.

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“This really expands our construction team’s reach,” said Pamic, whose father Walter co-founded the firm with business partner David Lindsay in 1996.

“Construction can be a very competitive, cyclical industry. The best way to defend against that is to grow and diversify.”

“Construction can be a very competitive, cyclical industry. The best way to defend against that is to grow and diversify. The broader our customer base can be and the more services we offer, the stronger the company will be.”

Steric founder Matt Ilott is joining Power-Tek’s management team and will continue to oversee retail and hospitality projects. The addition of Steric’s six employees brings Power-Tek’s headcount to 102, up from 75 a year ago.

Originally launched as an electrical contractor, Power-Tek has added general contracting, HVAC, refrigeration and plumbing services to its list of offerings in the decades since.

Pamic, who has an MBA from Queen’s University, joined the company in 2020 to spearhead its expansion push.

Before entering the family business, the University of Ottawa commerce grad cut his teeth in mergers and acquisitions with Toronto’s Lynx Equity Ltd. and spent two years as director of investment management at Sussex Capital, the private investment firm of legendary Ottawa entrepreneur Michael Potter.

Eyeing more acquisitions

The new acquisition is the third in the last 18 months for Power-Tek, which has doubled its revenues over the past three years. 

A pair of deals in 2021 added HVAC and refrigeration expertise to the company’s offerings, and Power-Tek started a plumbing service earlier this year.

Pamic said the company is eyeing more acquisitions as it looks to keep expanding its offerings. With the spectre of an economic downturn threatening to throw cold water on the construction sector, he said it’s more important than ever for firms like his to have multiple revenue streams.    

“Everyone’s kind of cautious where things are going,” Pamic said. “We’re pretty diversified with (the customers) we reach, so we’re not overly concerned.”

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