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Maine Drilling & Blasting Group Forms Joint Venture With Dyno Nobel NA

Overview

Established in 1966, Maine Drilling & Blasting Group (“MD&B”) is the leading provider of specialized drilling and blasting solutions for construction and quarry applications throughout the Northeastern United States.

Bigelow Assignment

Bigelow supported a ten year relationship with the second generation owner-managers of this family-owned business. Bigelow brought regular focus on the drivers of enterprise value in MD&B’s industry, with a view towards positioning the Company for a future capital gain opportunity. With two shareholders (brothers now in their 50’s), plus a 30% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”), the likelihood was high that any acquirer or investor would require their continued involvement for a reasonable transition period. Bigelow devised an engagement architecture that would ascertain if the timing for obtaining a strategic investor was now favorable.

Challenges

Could Bigelow find a strategic investor that would perceive a high value for MD&B’s unique offering of integrated drilling and blasting services? Would a strategic investor be able to see the intrinsic value that MD&B brought, even when the related construction industry was out-of-favor? Would the new investor support maintaining the existing ESOP post-transaction?

“It was a challenging deal and quite a journey that we honestly wouldn’t have been able to make without the assistance and guidance of Bigelow. Still today it challenges people to understand what transpired. It was a great opportunity to leverage an investor that added a financial component into our business with a 51% ESOP, and in addition, then turn around and offer 35% growth of the business because we are going to make a substantial acquisition on the backside of the deal.” William D. Purington, President & CEO Maine Drilling & Blasting Group
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“This was not an easy deal, but talk about making my life easier by working with Bigelow. The real reason that this deal closed besides the skill that Bill & his team bring to the Company, was because of the Bigelow team; they never cease to amaze me.” Alan D. MacEwan, Esq., Company Counsel Verrill Dana LLP

Outcome

Bigelow created a rapid competitive process among several world class investors within MD&B’s supply chain, resulting in a very attractive offer from a key supplier to the industry, Dyno Nobel N.A., a subsidiary of Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX:IPL). Dyno Nobel represented a unique fit due to their focus on supplying explosives and related products to the worldwide mining, construction, and quarrying industries. Dyno Nobel also contributed certain blasting operations located in MD&B’s served geography in the Northeast, which solidified MD&B’s leading market position.

The transaction was structured creatively, allowing the existing shareholders to achieve a significant liquidity event, with a structured plan for the existing ESOP to increase its ownership in the future.

By joining the strong Dyno Nobel global consortium of joint venture partners, while keeping existing MD&B management in place, and not unduly burdening the Company’s balance sheet, the shareholders ensured MD&B’s longevity well beyond the original family’s ownership.