September 21, 2005
New Haven, CONNECTICUT – September 21, 2005 – Taking only six months from start to finish, the Emrise/RO deal was a textbook case of Woodbridge’s mergers and acquisitions process in action. RO Associates, a Silicon Valley-based pioneer in power conversion electronic components engaged Woodbridge in March 2005 to find the right buyer for the company, and on September 1, 2005 the deal with Emrise Corporation (PCSE: ERI) was completed. Emrise and its subsidiaries design, develop, manufacture and market electronic components and communications equipment.
“By aggressively marketing RO via direct mail and other channels, we were able to create a bidding war for the company among multiple buyers,” said Don Krier, Woodbridge’s senior vice president who was the dealmaker for the transaction. “For our client, it was an all-cash deal, and the buyer acquired a successful operation and product line that will quickly return the investment to Emrise’s bottom line.” Total value of the transaction was approximately $4.6 million.
Founded over 40 years ago, RO Associates’ components power everything from electronic bus signs to cellular base stations to air-to-ground missiles. The company was a premier innovator in the growing market for small, high efficiency DC-DC and AC-DC converters. At the time of the sale, RO operated with 30 employees and had customers throughout the U.S. and in over 15 different foreign countries.
Woodbridge marketed RO to nearly 2,000 prospective buyers without revealing the company’s identity or specific location. As a result of the initial series of inquiries, about 45 “books” (confidential descriptive memoranda) were distributed to interested parties who had signed confidentiality agreements. Potential buyers receiving books were also e-mailed a link for viewing the RO Associates marketing video produced by Woodbridge. Within a few weeks, five competitive bids for the company from qualified buyers had come in.
The acquisition enables Emrise to service their U.S. customers more quickly by manufacturing items domestically that are currently produced in Europe. For RO, the sale means Dr. Okada, the company’s founder and owner, can retire and his son, Richard, can continue to grow the business in his capacity as president of a new division of Emrise.
Robert Koenig, president of Woodbridge, said the deal closed just four months after launching the multi-media marketing campaign. “The important thing is that our clients are certain that they received the best price and found the right strategic buyer for their business. Woodbridge delivered.”