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EOM Stories

Elmet Technologies, Inc. Recapitalized With An Investment By Ampersand Ventures And Liberty Lane Partners

Overview

Headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, Elmet Technologies, Inc. is one of only a handful of companies in the world that is a fully integrated manufacturer of complex components fabricated from advanced enabling materials, principally molybdenum and tungsten refractory metals. The Company has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1929, and once was among the largest manufacturers of lighting filaments in the world.

Bigelow Assignment

Obtain the best new majority shareholder for the Company, providing a liquidity event for the current institutional investors, and also a capital and management exit path for the individual majority owner-manager.

Challenges

Elmet serves a large number of customers operating in very diverse industries, fulfilling a wide breadth of application-specific product requirements. The business has successfully migrated from being a captive supplier of tungsten filament components for its former parent (Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands) to a value-added components supplier to OEM’s who require Elmet’s proprietary knowledge for making exotic metal ingots and fabricating high tolerance parts. This complex business model is naturally difficult for a prospective investor to both understand and embrace.

Elmet’s ownership consisted of an individual majority owner who was also CEO, and a number of minority, institutional investors. These minority investors supported the CEO in his acquisition of Elmet from its former parent. In addition to obtaining maximum fair value, the stockholders desired that certain important qualitative objectives also be achieved. These included maintaining the local operation and employment base of this Maine-based company, as well as providing for an immediate exit for the CEO upon the change in ownership, while sustaining the career and ownership opportunities for the remaining management team.

“From the beginning Bigelow was upright and straightforward. They did a great job understanding my emotional attachment to the company and my concerns for my employees. I trusted them completely.” Jack Jensen, Former President & CEO Elmet Technologies, Inc.
nuts and bolts
“This was a unique business in many ways and we needed an investment bank that could understand the business and what we were doing strategically. Bigelow absolutely did that. With certain investment banks, you only get the junior people’s attention. With Bigelow, handling a select number of engagements each year with highly experienced senior people, we felt very important to them.” Knute C. Albrecht, Senior Partner Argosy Partners

Outcome

Bigelow sought out only those investors that understood that the uncertain near-term telecommunications outlook was a short-term phenomenon masking excellent long-term growth prospects. Bigelow showcased the existing CEO and his team as having the vision and ability to execute a more aggressive growth plan than the exiting husband and wife owners. Bigelow highlighted the Company’s manufacturing plant in China as a significant competitive advantage and growth area.

XTech was recapitalized with an investment by RFE Investment Partners providing full liquidity to the retiring owners and a new value added partner for the business.

RFE is a believer in the long-term telecommunications demand as more applications move on-line. They were highly attracted to the excellent management team and overall investment thesis. RFE recognized the tremendous value XTech provides through the complete turnkey supply chain management of numerous component assemblies across a broad number of product platforms for the major telecommunication OEMs.