Building a nationwide network of laboratories through multiple cross-border transactions …

“Mertz opened the door with many prospective sellers, which ultimately gave us the opportunity to put together a nationwide network of laboratories. Mertz was there when we needed help and was skilled at conducting a comprehensive acquisition search.”

– Rob Heim, Managing Director of Stork Materials Engineering

“It's a pleasure to work with a dedicated, professional intermediary like Mertz. They will do whatever it takes to help their client's team.”

– Patrick Heinrich, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., legal counsel for Stork's U.S. acquisitions

Stork is a Dutch public company that supplies high-level technological products and services to the worldwide industrial community. Stork Materials Engineering, an operating company within the Technical Services Group, focuses on heat treatment, surface technology and testing, calibration and consulting. Stork Materials Engineering had successfully operated metallurgical testing laboratories throughout Europe and had started expanding into the U.S.

Stork retained Mertz to assist with a buyer search for metallurgical testing labs in the U.S. Stork’s goal was to create a nationwide network of labs that could share knowledge, competencies and customers.

Scope of Mertz’s role
Mertz advised Stork in designing the acquisition search program, developing a customized database, contacting potential sellers, assisting with letters of intent and other related services.

Because of the large number of metallurgical testing labs in the U.S., the first step was to analyze gross state product for certain key industries (those that rely on metallurgical testing) and narrow the search to the top states.

Mertz then researched each company to learn its approximate size and business focus. Thorough background research allowed Stork to select the best fits for eventual contact.

The approach to each prospective seller was up front and informed. Mertz initiated discussions with half of the businesses contacted. Each of these interested parties invited Stork to visit.

Ultimately Stork acquired four business entities with more than ten locations across the U.S.

Mertz’s value add
By initiating discussions with a number of qualified prospective sellers, Mertz provided Stork with options. Because Stork gained a good understanding of each business prior to initial contact, Mertz could be certain of the available synergy and the fit with Stork’s existing operations. Through this approach, Mertz developed several prospects that initially were “not for sale.” Mertz’s presence in the U.S. helped Stork orchestrate a series of cross-border transactions.