Automation mergers, acquisitions, capital markets analysis: April 2023

May 4, 2023

In this article for Control Engineering Magazine, Bundy Group provides an update on mergers & acquisitions and capital placement activity in the automation market.

Bundy Group interviewed Alex Chausovsky, vice president of analytics and consulting with Miller Resource Group. Alex and Miller Resource Group are specialists in the Automation space, and they strive to understand their clients’ vision, goals, and culture and aim to find candidates whose aspirations, skills, and values are a match. They discussed topics related to talent acquisition in the automation industry.

Clint Bundy: Business owners that the Bundy Group team represents, both in the automation sector and in other industries, say that one of their greatest challenges is finding talented employees and management. Is that your experience, as well? What are the reasons behind this skilled labor void? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for companies?

Alex Chausovsky: To put it simply, there just aren’t enough skilled workers out there to fill all the job openings in this country. Even now, as the US economy slows noticeably from the pace of expansion witnessed over the past 18 months and heads for a likely recession later this year and into early 2024, there are still 9.9 open positions out there, including nearly 700K in manufacturing alone. With about 6 million people actively looking for work that still leaves a gap of about four million workers.

I suppose the silver lining to the worker shortage is that as the macroeconomic environment continues to deteriorate in the months to come, the gap will get smaller. However, it would take a significant recession to swing the pendulum from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven one in the near term.

Bundy: Who are the best kinds of candidates to target in a talent acquisition search?  How can an owner or executive team identify those candidates?

Chausovsky: The first step in improving a company’s access to job seekers is to understand that not all candidates are cut from the same cloth. If an owner or executive is struggling to understand why no one is responding to the job ads the business is running in online portals such as or, in local advertising, or on a website, then they are not alone. Millions of businesses around the country are failing to hire workers because they are not targeting the right individuals. Few companies understand the difference between active and passive talent, yet it is a key element in increasing the efficacy of a talent acquisition strategy.

Active candidates are:

  • Usually unemployed
  • Proactively searching for work
  • Set up job alerts
  • Are actively applying to all positions that meet their keyword search.

Passive candidates, on the other hand, are:

  • Currently employed
  • Not searching but open to new opportunities
  • Casually browsing
  • Wouldn’t apply unless personally engaged.

If your organization purposefully targets passive candidates, the improvements in efficacy can be significant, with some companies realizing nearly 70% gains in talent acquisition versus those that exclusively target active candidates with job postings.

Bundy: What kind of approach should a company be taking to become more attractive to prospective candidates?

Chausovsky: Are owners and executives treating talent attraction as a sales and marketing function within their organizations? If not, they should be!  There are four pillars of talent attraction that, according to our research, have the biggest impact on drawing the top candidates to a company:

  1. The market in which a company operates in. It's important to tell the story of why an industry is an exciting one that people want to build their careers in.
  2. The products and services that an organization serves the market with. An executive must be able to explain why that firm's offering is positioned to take advantage of the industry's growth and help the candidate win.
  3. The team that the candidate will be joining. People want to surround themselves with success, so one must talk about the key players in an organization and what they have accomplished.
  4. The company's mission. What does a firm do beyond making money? What is the company trying to accomplish and what service does it provide for society. This is particularly important for attracting younger talent.

If a company can eloquently “sell” why it is an attractive place to work using the elements described above, then it will see a significant improvement in the number of people that want to become a part of the organization.

Bundy: It’s a competitive talent acquisition marketplace in the Automation segment, and it must be key for a company to differentiate with interviewees and then find ways to close with strong candidates.  Can you provide some suggestions on how companies can best accomplish those goals?

Chauskovsky: When an executive interviews a candidate, does that professional know where the priorities lie for the applicant? It’s incredibly valuable to understand what motivates the people that will be working for your company.  Do they care more about money, remote work possibilities, advancement opportunities, or something else?

If you know what they care about, you can structure the conversation to focus on those topics, thereby increasing the likelihood that the candidate will accept an offer if you were to make them one. For this reason, every candidate that we interview at Miller Resource Group and present to clients has something called a CLAMPS profile. See below for a detailed breakdown of this assessment.

C – Challenge; The work itself, technology, market, etc.

L – Location; Geography, ability to live & work where candidates want.

A – Advancement; Career growth, increasing responsibility.

M – Money; Overall Compensation association with the position.

P – People; The manager and coworkers related to the position.

S – Security; Likelihood of long-term employment or physical safety.

We ask candidates to rank these in order of priority to them, and then share these insights with the hiring authority so that they can tailor the conversation to focus on the items the candidate cares most about. The result is a much higher offer-to-acceptance rate, and a more streamlined hiring process.

If your organization employs the three tips outlined above and strives to lead when it comes to candidate attractiveness rather than follow the herd, you will thrive in this candidate-driven labor market.

April 2023 automation transactions


Skylla Technologies, the MIT spinoff revolutionizing automation with people-centric robot intelligence, announced its acquisition by Movensys, a global motion control platform company headquartered in South Korea. Learn more.


Eagle Automation, a leader in industrial Valve Automation, Flow Measurement, Instrumentation, and Controls, acquired Commercial Radio, Midland, TX. Since 2003, Commercial Radio has become a trusted distributor of Industrial Communications products including wired, Wi-Fi, radio, microwave, cameras, solar, antennas and towers. Learn more.


Scandinavian mid-market GP Polaris has acquired a majority stake in Sealing System, a Danish supplier and production of packaging and palletizing lines, according to a statement. Learn more.


East West Manufacturing, LLC, an integrated design, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution services partner for original equipment manufacturers and distributors throughout North America and Europe, has acquired Eastprint Incorporated, a printed electronics solutions provider. Learn more.


EBSCO Capital Announces the Acquisition of Industrial Electronic Controls for Bailey International. As a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of mobile hydraulic power solutions, Bailey acquired IEC to expand its product portfolio and provide additional expertise in electronic throttles, displays, and sensor manufacturing. Learn more.


Emerson and NI have entered into a definitive agreement under which Emerson will acquire NI for $60 per share in cash at an equity value of $8.2 billion. The acquisition of NI and its software-connected automated test and measurement systems will help to enhance Emerson’s automation capabilities. Learn more.


APCT, a designer and custom manufacturer of advanced technology printed circuit boards, has completed the acquisition of San Diego PCB Design. APCT, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a portfolio company of Industrial Growth Partners. Learn more.


VettaFi, a data, analytics, digital distribution, and thought leadership company that helps asset managers solve their most pressing and complex challenges, has acquired the ROBO Global index suite.  ROBO Global indexes focus on helping investors capture the unique opportunities of fast-growing robotics, artificial intelligence, and healthcare technology companies around the world. The suite includes the first benchmark indexes tracking the robotics and AI revolution for investors. Learn more.


Covariant, the world’s leading AI Robotics company, raised an additional $75 million in Series C funds, bringing its total funding to $222 million. Returning investors Radical Ventures and Index Ventures co-led the round, which also saw additional funding from returning investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Amplify Partners. Learn more.


Applied Industrial Technologies acquired Advanced Motion Systems Inc. a provider of automation products, services, and engineered solutions focused on a full range of machine vision, robotics, and motion control products and technologies. Learn more.


Convergix Automation Solutions, an automation solutions company backed by leading private equity firm Crestview Partners, has completed the acquisition of Eagle Technologies, a Bridgman, Michigan-based systems integrator specializing in turnkey automated production and testing solutions. Learn more.


Architect Equity, a private equity firm focused on the lower middle market, announced the sale of Solution Net Systems, a leading global supplier of industrial automation solutions, to Alstef Group, a leading provider of automated turnkey solutions for airport, intralogistics and parcel markets. Learn more.


CCL Industries Inc. (“CCL”), a world leader in specialty label, security and packaging solutions for global corporations, government institutions, small businesses and consumers, announced it has acquired eAgile Inc. and the intellectual property of Alert Systems ApS. Learn more.


Sverica Capital Management LP, a private equity investment firm, made a strategic investment in Hirebotics, an innovative, high-growth automation company that has created a differentiated collaborative robot solution designed specifically for welding applications. Learn more.


Agôn Electronics, a company supported by Argos Wityu, signed the agreement to acquire MIOS Elettronica, an Italian provider of customized and advanced solutions for the Railway industry. Learn more.

Bundy Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

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