Hampshire Controls has a bright future with new ownership
It is amazing to meet and work with the owners of small companies producing incredible products. These small companies are often niche players in key markets.
Hampshire Controls Corp. of Dover is a good example.
The company was recently sold by Diane Rush, owner and president, to Pillar Imaging and its leader Dr. Michael Pilon, a long-time Thermo Fisher Scientific executive.
BTS colleague Carl Vercollone had been working with Dr. Pilon on another opportunity that ultimately didn’t work out. Dr. Pilon is a 30-year veteran from the bioanalytical instrumentation industry, and finding related companies of interest was not easy.
Meanwhile, other members of the BTS team – Ken Schaefer and I - had been talking with Diane Rush over a period of several years. The idea was transitioning ownership so she could pursue other passions, including music. Our original idea was doing a full national search for a buyer.
In November of 2020, we introduced Dr. Pilon to Ms. Rush at Hampshire Controls. It didn’t take long to see the possibilities in the acquisition. The rest is now history.
Since 1975, Hampshire Controls Corp. has been a leading manufacturer of remote refrigerator, freezer and walk-in cooler temperature monitors, loggers and alarm notification systems.
The devices – manufactured at the plant in downtown Dover - are used by OEMs, laboratories, clinics, hospitals, blood banks, manufacturing companies and pharmaceutical companies to meet FDA, JCAHO, VFC, AABB, CAP & State Board of Pharmacy regulatory standards.
Writing about the sale on LinkedIn, Ms. Rush said recently: “Mike served as the General Manager of one of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s most successful business units for 17 years, supplying critical life-saving imaging technologies to radiation oncology clinics and unique imaging technologies to the analytical instruments industries. He adds considerable experience and expertise to our already talented team.”
Dr. Pilon indicated that no short-term changes to products or services are planned at the company. His focus, he said, is maintaining and growing with Hampshire Controls’ mission in mind: ‘Safeguarding Your Precious Biological Materials.’”
Hampshire Controls Corporation has both a production and engineering design team that develops and produces devices needed in lab research, vaccine storage, pharmaceutical storage, food storage and industrial manufacturing applications.
Looking at our involvement stretching back several years, there are some good lessons to be learned from this transaction.
Developing and marketing technical monitoring devices is difficult, and finding the right end users requires diligence and time investment. Hampshire has a full engineering team continually working on new applications and features. It has an experienced production team to manufacture the products. And they are right in the same building, just steps away from each other.
Hampshire is already a strong entity with time-proven processes which will make it possible to expand into new markets and new customers. It has been doing the same thing, but with advancements through the years. Put simply, these have stood the test of time. But the engineering team has also been making regular improvements and is continuously at work on advances needed by end users – the faithful customer base.
Vincent DeGiacomo served as a business advisor and sounding board. She also worked closely with legal counsel Matthew Benson of Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson of Manchester. Benson is the past chair of the NH High Technology Council. He represented Hampshire Controls in the transaction.
We at Business Transition Strategies are glad to have helped transition ownership of this company. We hope that the new ownership is successful in taking it to new heights, creating jobs and career opportunities as well.
"The entire process went smoothly and professionally. The BTS team kept me fully informed at every step. They worked hard and were effective in bringing the deal home."
"Skip and I continue to be grateful for all you have done to make the sale of Pure Flow come to fruition."
"BTS’s level of expertise in the process and close attention to detail enabled us to successfully navigate the deal."
"These types of transactions are often long and complicated and I doubt it could have been successfully completed without your close ongoing involvement."
"The outside objective point of view that you have brought us has been invaluable as we prepare for the rapid growth."
"John then found the right buyer and coordinated a seamless transition—he doesn’t miss a single detail."
"John immediately identified our strengths and experiences and discussed a business that ultimately was more in line with our goals."
"The BTS team came in, evaluated everything in a professional and thankfully non-threatening manner."
NH-Based Techinical Manufacturing Company Sold
Hampshire Controls has a bright future with new ownership. The company was recently sold by Diane Rush, owner and president, to Pillar Imaging and its leader Dr. Michael Pilon.
Be Ready When You Are Ready
When a business owner says it’s time to sell, I ask, “How fast do you want to be out?” The answer I hear most is, “Yesterday.” But sellers underestimate how long the process takes.
Looking at a Sale Through the Right Lens
Sometimes our vision about the future is blurry because we aren’t considering the whole picture but only parts of it.
5 Deal Points from the Trenches
Today I work with clients of Business Transition Strategies who are implementing Growth Through Acquisition strategies. Here are a few observations from working on a wide variety of projects.
Tax Changes Could Hurt Net Proceeds
Changes proposed to the capital gains tax suggest they may need to get 30% more in a transaction in the future just to net the same value they would get today.
Good Ideas From Shark Tank Deal
One of my colleagues in Cornerstone Alliance was front and center in a recent Shark Tank exercise. A business that had been sold was put in front of four potential buyer groups.
Buyer Trends in Lower Mid-Market
Other businesses are a significant market for companies being sold within the lower mid-market.
Things to Consider in Transition Thinking
As a business owner, you have to consider the role you want to play in the business in the immediate future following a sale and how that could impact the sale.
Spring Cleaning is Good for Business
May is a good time for spring cleaning, especially at your business. It is a good time to look at your business as though you were in the throes of due diligence. Here are a few areas to consider.
Planning Ahead for a Sale
As you start thinking about selling your business, it is important to engage with someone who can coach you. There’s a lot of value you can create over the final years before you sell.
Precision Machining Company
Initially, liquidation was a serious consideration. It would offer a quick exit but would hurt loyal employees and disrupt the customers who had come to rely on its quality production.
Green Product Company
Our client owners could dig in for the long haul…However, this would take five years or more. Owners simply lacked the horsepower to do it.
Water Purification Company and Young Buyers
Owners decided they wanted to retire. They also wanted to be fair to the staff who had been loyal to them. Could the company be sold, the staff retained and the facility remain in use?
Magnetics Company with High Profile Customers
(T)he manufacturer would need to focus on growing EBITDA to capture interest from major strategic buyers and achieve a higher multiple of earnings.