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Morrison & Head Dallas and Meritax Agree to Merge

Plus: PepsiCo commits $20 million to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Jacobs merges two departments with Amentum, and more.
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Under its new entity, Meritax Advisors, the two companies will move it’s headquarters to Hall Park in Frisco.

The Dallas office of Morrison & Head and North Texas-based Meritax have agreed to a merger that will create a combined entity that represent $50 billion in real estate value. Under its new entity, Meritax Advisors, the two companies will move its headquarters to Hall Park in Frisco.

The firm will be led by Morrison & Head Partner Ryan Chismark, Morrison & Head Partner Mark Kline, and Meritax Principal Charles Honea. Morrison & Head also has Houston and Austin offices and it’s expected that Dallas-based tax firm Ryan will acquire those operations.

“Consolidation continues to occur in our industry,” Chismark told D CEO. “I don’t believe it’s due to a superior model being offered—it’s really due to a lack of succession planning. Disposition creates an exit strategy for senior partners seeking to monetize. Most didn’t have an exit strategy in mind. Service businesses often struggle with this issue, we didn’t have a need to monetize and look forward to continuing to compete. 

“[For our merger], we spent a lot of time being introspective. We thought about what was working, what opportunities existed, and what was best for our clients in the long term. Ultimately, partnering with a firm with a similar value system made the most sense.”

Honea added, “We are excited about the opportunities this merger presents. Together, we will leverage our collective strengths to deliver exceptional value to our clients, helping them achieve their property tax objectives and unlock additional asset value.”

Jacobs Merges Two Departments With Amentum

Jacobs plans to spinoff and combine its Critical Mission Solutions and Cyber & Intelligence government services businesses with Amentum to create a new, publicly traded player in the government services sector. The combination creates a company with $13 billion in annual revenue.

“By separating CMS and associated Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, Jacobs will streamline our business portfolio and transform into a more focused, higher-margin company more closely aligned with key global megatrends,” said Jacobs CEO Bob Pragada. “We believe this transaction is in the best interests of the company and our stakeholders, gaining the benefits of a tax-efficient transaction, plus even greater value with significant cash proceeds and future realization of synergies.”

Jacobs’ Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, which shares synergies with CMS, generated $807 million in revenue (approximately 85 percent of DVS’s revenues) in fiscal year 2023. Excluding the businesses being separated, Jacobs generated approximately $10.9 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2023. 

Jacobs Executive Chair Steve Demetriou will become executive chair of the combined company. John Heller, the current CEO of Amentum, will serve as CEO of the combined company and sit on the combined company’s board, and Dr. Steve Arnette, EVP and president of CMS will serve as the COO. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of fiscal year 2024.

PepsiCo Commits $20 Million to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Fueled by PepsiCo, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has launched a new Southern Dallas Thrives Fund to support short-term and long-term needs of the Southern Dallas community. The fund has already secured $8 million in commitments toward its $20 million goal supported in part by three current and retired PepsiCo employees including PepsiCo Foods North America CEO Steven Williams.

“More than a program, Southern Dallas Thrives is a model partnership and collaboration that advances economic mobility for some of Dallas’ most vulnerable and marginalized residents,” said Williams. “We know that in order to create a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, we also have to create the access to thrive, and that’s exactly why Southern Dallas Thrives is so successful and why we endorse and support it wholeheartedly.”

Other organizations making investments in Southern Dallas Thrives include Celanese, Vistra, AT&T, Comerica, Trinity Industries, Oncor, Hilti, and Bank of Texas.

“Despite national declines reported by Giving USA this year in philanthropic giving, the North Texas corporate community is incredibly generous and highly invested in the DFW community by providing financial support and volunteering engagement, granting everyone the access and opportunity to thrive,” Jennifer Sampson, the president and CEO of UWMD, told D CEO

“UWMD serves as a bridge between the corporate and nonprofit communities as a corporate social responsibility adviser and partner to help businesses invest in community-based programs that align with their charitable goals and vision. The Texas miracle is a corporate philanthropic investment that is a big part of overall philanthropic growth in the Dallas region. Some initiatives include improving preschool education, providing summer meal plans and partnering with Goodr to expand access to groceries in southern Dallas food deserts, college and career prep for high school students, and workforce development for women.”

The funds will be used to:

  • Improve preschool education: “We work directly with Southern Dallas child care centers to provide resources and training to enhance program quality to help prepare young children for school success, measured by Kindergarten readiness, through our First Five program supported by the PepsiCo Foundation,” Sampson said.
  • Provide meals for Southern Dallas families: “We work with partners across the community to expand access to summer meal programs for students when school is not in session,” Sampson said. “We’ve also expanded access to groceries in Southern Dallas food deserts through a partnership with Goodr, supported by PepsiCo.”
  • Prepare high school students for college and their career: “We’ve created student resource centers at Southern Dallas high schools, including providing laptop communities and digital literacy training for students with support from AT&T and Texas Instruments,” Sampson said.
  • Provide workforce development training for women: “Through our Women in Trades program, supported by Hilti North America, we partner with Dallas College to provide job training and job access for high growth industries within the construction field,” Sampson said.

The Dallas Open Moves Tournament to The Star

The Dallas Open is relocating its tournament from SMU to the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, the Dallas Cowboys HQ and training facility. The tournament will debut at its new location in 2025. The upgrade provides players the opportunity to earn more ATP ranking points at the Dallas Open and will offer approximately $2.8 million in prize money.

“The success of this action-packed tournament over such a short time makes it a natural draw for sports fans who flock to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco,” said Charlotte Jones, owner and chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys. “This facility and campus was built not only as the World Corporate Headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys, but also to host world class events like this one, and we’re thrilled to host the stars of pro tennis at Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.”

The Dallas Open will be one of 16 global events at the 500-level and one of only two in the U.S. Earlier this month, the ATP selected the Dallas Open as one of three tournaments worldwide to be elevated to the 500-level from a pool of 17 applicants.

Authors

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…
Mianda Mulumba

Mianda Mulumba

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