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Acquisition trend continues with sale of NH company

by John Howe

Laconia-based ODM acquired by Ripley Tools

Evidence continues to mount that companies are buying other companies to grow, and that does not necessarily solely involve mega mergers or equate into a dismantling of founder-run operations.

An example of this is the just-announced acquisition of a New Hampshire firm by a Connecticut company.

Laconia-based Optical Design Manufacturing, Inc. has been acquired by Ripley Tools, LLC of Connecticut. The announcement was made Jan. 3 by Ironwood Capital, owner of Ripley Tools. The move is intended to enhance Ripley’s market position with ODM products.

ODM's entire operation, including technical service, customer service, design and production will remain in Laconia for the foreseeable future, according to the announcement. Ripley Tools is located in Cromwell, Conn.

 "I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ripley Tools in growing the ODM testing equipment product line and I'm excited to integrate ODM into the Ripley brand portfolio," stated Michael Schneider, ODM Inc. founder and president. Founded in 2003, the company produces optical power meters, laser and LED light sources, inspection scopes, optical fiber identification instruments, optical time-domain reflectometers and full testing kits.

Mergers and acquisitions don’t just involve large corporations. Increasingly, we are seeing  companies in the lower end of the mid-market buying competitors or those that would be synergistic to their core operations. We were not involved in the ODM deal, but it is an excellent example of this point. We encourage owners to recognize the trend and take advantage of strong current demand. Capital for deals is plentiful. Contact us for a discussion.

We believe strongly that companies in the lower mid-market represent excellent targets for acquisition, and that’s why we focus on working with founders who are considering transitioning through a sale. A sale helps owners achieve liquidity, but also can preserve jobs and opportunity.

Business Transition Strategies largely represents selling entities and their founders, and a significant segment of our process is on identifying strategic and synergistic buyers.

This was true with the sale of MacDiarmid Machine of Newburyport, Mass. to Potentia, a partnership seeking to develop a manufacturing hub north of Boston. It also was true with the sale of Lake and Mountain Home (Euro Decora) to Bingham Lumber.

We also are currently helping companies grow through acquisition, including the recent sale of the Albany, N.Y. division of Cryo Weld and New Hampshire-based Angier Welding Supply to Haun Welding Supply of Syracuse, N.Y. Haun made the moves to increase its market reach in upstate New York, Vermont, Northern Pennsylvania and western New Hampshire.


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