In this article for Control Engineering Magazine, Bundy Group provides an update on mergers & acquisitions and capital placement activity in the automation market. Fifteen transactions were reported for the month of July.
The first half of 2022 continued to demonstrate strong demand from strategic buyers, financial sponsors (i.e. private equity groups) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Buyer and investor interest continue to be on a global scale and across multiple subsegments of automation, including control system integration, robotics, automation software and control instrument manufacturing. Even with inflationary and possible recession headwinds, there is substantial buyer activity, led by seasoned players in the automation sector. In short, the automation market is considered a safe haven for capital in tumultuous macro-economic times.
There are numerous automation transaction examples to note through June 2022, which demonstrate this robust mergers & acquisitions activity. That includes the acquisition of Radwell, a global distributor of industrial automation components, by CVC Capital Partners, an international financial sponsor. Another example is publicly traded Astec Industries’ acquisition of MINDS, a leader in plant automation control systems and cloud-based data management firm for the asphalt industry. Based on Bundy Group’s current client engagements, which are business owners focused on sales and capital raises, we see no signs of momentum loss in the automation market in the foreseeable future.
Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE: HI) announced that it has signed a binding offer to acquire LINXIS Group from IBERIS INTERNATIONAL S.À R.L, an affiliate of IK Partners, and additional sellers for an enterprise value of approximately €572 million. LINXIS Group is a leading global provider of mixing, ingredient automation, and portioning solutions for food and other higher growth end markets. Learn more.
Alvaria, the world leader in enterprise-scale customer experience and workforce engagement management, announced the completion of the acquisition of the Intelligent Analytics Platform from Cicero Inc. The addition of this capability will accelerate how customers understand consumer and employee behavior to build better workflows with a simpler approach to complex problems with attended robotic process automation (RPA) and desktop analytics. Learn more.
MiddleGround Capital, an operationally focused private equity firm has acquired PVI Holdings (“PVI”). PVI is a market leading flow control distributor focused on serving MRO applications across marine, chemical, downstream energy, and other industrial end markets. PVI provides both third party and proprietary branded products alongside its in-house engineering and repair services. Learn more.
Otodata Holdings, Inc. has acquired AIUT’s LPG division, a leading supplier of IoT ecosystems for the global LPG remote monitoring and metering market. For over 15 years, they have been cooperating with leading companies in the global LPG market by equipping their customers with advanced data readout, monitoring, metering and analysis solutions. Learn more.
Hexagon AB, a global leader in digital reality solutions combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies, announced the acquisition of TST Tooling Software Technology LLC. TST is the USA and Canada master distributor of VISI, Hexagon’s dedicated CAD CAM software for the mould and die sector, and the PEPS CAM programming software for laser and wire EDM machines. Learn more.
SMART Global Holdings Inc. (SGH) entered into a definitive agreement with affiliates of Siris Capital Group LLC to acquire Stratus Technologies, a provider of simplified, protected, and autonomous computing solutions in the data center and at the edge. Under the terms of the agreement, SGH will pay $225 million in cash at closing and an earn-out payment of as much as $50 million, based on the gross profit performance of the Stratus business during the first full 12 fiscal months of Stratus following the closing. Learn more.
Downey Engineering in Toowoomba has been acquired by SAFEgroup Automation. Downey Engineering are the leading system integrator on the Darling Downs, with an incredible depth of experience in Rockwell, Schneider, Siemens, Omron automation platforms and Ignition SCADA. They are the leading provider of solutions to Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing, Food & Bev, Energy, Infrastructure and Water clients across the region and beyond. Learn more.
Industrial Service Solutions (ISS) has acquired full ownership of Servo South, Inc., a U.S.-based electronic and electromechanical service provider specializing in CNC machinery and automated manufacturing. The acquisition expands ISS’ position in the rapid-growth industrial automation sector, facilitating extension of servo motor and electronics repair services at key ISS facilities across the United States. Learn more.
CORE Industrial Partners (“CORE”), a manufacturing, industrial technology, and industrial services-focused private equity firm, announced today the acquisition of GoProto (“GoProto” or the “Company”), a provider of custom manufacturing services with a comprehensive suite of both additive and traditional manufacturing technologies. The acquisition combines GoProto with CORE portfolio company RE3DTECH to form an additive manufacturing platform focused on production parts utilizing Industry 4.0 capabilities. Learn more.
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, and Frazier Healthcare Partners, a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on the health care sector, announced a definitive agreement for BD to acquire Parata Systems, an innovative provider of pharmacy automation solutions, for $1.525 billion. Parata’s portfolio of innovative pharmacy automation solutions power a growing network of pharmacies to reduce costs, enhance patient safety and improve the patient experience. Learn more.
Symbotic LLC, a leader in A.I.-enabled robotics automation technology, today announced the completion of its business combination with SVF Investment Corp. 3 (NASDAQ: SVFC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of SoftBank Investment Advisers, to become a publicly traded company. Learn more.
EVAPCO announces the formation of EVAPCO Select Technologies, following the acquisition of Select Technologies, Inc. EVAPCO Select Tech will pursue an expanding market demand for sophisticated control systems for Food Processing and Cold Storage facilities to optimize performance and improve system reliability. Our long-standing history of working with Select Technologies, Inc. in the past on complex projects for key food processing clients, puts this new partnership at a great advantage to provide new and innovative systems to the industries and markets we support. Learn more.
Bettcher Industries (“Bettcher”), a leading manufacturer of protein processing equipment and owned by private equity fund KKR, announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Frontmatec (the “Company”) from Axcel. Headquartered in Kolding, Denmark, Frontmatec is a global manufacturer of end-to-end automated solutions for pork and beef processing, with world-class robotics and vision system capabilities. The Company serves as a full line supplier of processing equipment, parts and services, instruments, and software, which help solve key issues around food and worker safety. Learn more.
Astec Industries will acquire Minds Automation Group Inc., a provider of plant automation control systems and cloud-based data management for the asphalt industry. British Columbia, Canada-based Minds has locations in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Belgium. The company develops advanced, customizable plant automation control systems. Learn more.
CVC Capital Partners VIII has invested in Radwell International, a global distributor of new and surplus industrial automation components. CVC Fund VIII is acquiring an interest in the Company from founder & CEO Brian Radwell and Greenbriar Equity Group, L.P. (“Greenbriar”), both of whom will remain significant shareholders going forward. Learn more.
Bundy Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Bundy Group is a boutique investment bank that specializes in representing controls and automation, Internet of Things, and cybersecurity companies in business sales, capital raises, and acquisitions. Over the past 33 years, Bundy Group has advised and closed on over 250 transactions, which includes numerous automation-related transactions.