Bowman enters government market via acquisition / Yuichiro Chino

Surdex will bring to Bowman a line of business in digital orthoimagery, a technique that combines aerial photos with a map's geometric qualities.

Bowman Consulting Group, a provider of engineering services for infrastructure projects and programs, has completed an acquisition to enter the U.S. public sector market and build out geospatial offerings.

Reston, Virginia-headquartered Bowman paid approximately $44 million for Surdex, which uses a fleet of aircraft to create mapping imagery and collect geospatial data. The transaction closed on April 10 and the price comprises of stock, seller notes and shares in the publicly-traded Bowman's stock.

Surdex was founded in 1954 by Navy pilot Earl Hoffman Sr. as an aerial photography firm and today touts its core offering as supporting digital orthoimagery, a technique that combines aerial photos with a map's geometric qualities. Surdex flies 10 manned aircraft and a lineup of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The company has received approximately $8.6 million in unclassified prime obligations over the trailing 12 months with the Agriculture Department representing 88% of that, according to GovTribe data.

In early 2022, Agriculture chose Surdex as one of several recipients of the department's "PINE" blanket purchase agreement covering the supply of digital orthoimagery and other related tools for farm production and conservation programs.

“The acquisition of Surdex will align well with our strategic objectives of expanding our geospatial service offerings, growing our public sector market presence, and increasing the average size of our acquisitions," Bowman's chairman and chief executive Gary Bowman said in a release.

“Surdex’s portfolio of high-resolution image capture, orthoimage processing, and digital mapping services provides tremendous revenue synergy opportunities with our customers. Adding state-of-the-art, high-altitude services to Bowman’s extensive array of terrestrial and low-altitude capabilities will create a compelling suite of full-service geospatial solutions."

Subsequent to the transaction, Bowman also announced its hire of three-decade transportation sector veteran David Stickles as director of business development for geospatial survey.

His main responsibility will be to lead Bowman's push for expansion across the public sector vertical. Stickles' career includes work with state transportation and highway administrations such as those in Florida and Maryland.