Bracknell Corp., the Toronto-based facilities contractor, plans to acquire Able Telcom Holding Corp., Omaha, Neb., the sixth-largest telecom network services company in the United States, in a stock-for-stock transaction.

When the acquisition is completed, over 50% of Bracknell's business will come from customers in telecommunications, technology and other New Economy businesses. A strategic alliance between Bracknell and WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss. - a key account for Able Telcom and one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world - will sharpen this focus. Bracknell will perform at least 75% of WorldCom's telecommunications network build-out over the next six years.

Bracknell made news in the electrical market with its November 1999 acquisition of Nationwide Electric Inc., Minneapolis, which was the 11th largest electrical contractor in the U.S. in 1999, according to CEE News magazine's 2000 "Top 50" ranking. That $76.7 million acquisition nearly doubled the size of Bracknell.

The Able Telcom acquisition will have a huge impact on the company's market focus. Just 12 months ago, Bracknell did not get much business from the rapidly expanding, higher margin telecom infrastructure sector, said Paul D. Melnuk, Bracknell's president and chief executive officer.

Able Telcom, which had sales of about $440 million in the last 12 months, is a leader in the installation of turnkey fiber-optic networks and is one of the largest broadband infrastructure services providers in the U.S. The company is a telecommunications systems integrator, project developer and facilities manager for large-scale, facilities-based fiber-optic and other communications networks. Its customer list includes domestic and international accounts such as emerging telecom services providers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and many of the world's largest telecommunications companies.

According to a Bracknell announcement on the acquisition, Bracknell would now be the only end- to-end telecommunications services company with the ability to deliver outside-plant fiber deployment, inside-plant operating centers, in-building wiring, customer connections and turnkey wireless systems.

Since June of 1999, Bracknell has transformed its business, investing $250 million in strategic acquisitions. Upon completion of the Able Telcom acquisition, Bracknell will have increased operating margins by more than 150% and will have revenues of more than $1.4 billion.