The past year saw plenty of local merger and acquisition activity. One of the area’s biggest deals was one that did not actually come to fruition.
After pressure from activist investors, Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. retained Goldman Sachs to engage with bidders for the company. After engaging with more than 25 different parties, the company negotiated exclusively with Ohio-based Franchise Group in June. The deal started with a $60 per share offer for Kohl’s, worth around $7.7 billion in total. Amid a shifting economic environment, the offer was cut to $53 per share or around $6.8 billion.
Ultimately, Kohl’s decided against a sale.
A big area deal that did become a reality in the year was the sale by St. Louis, Missouri-based Emerson Electric of Mount Pleasant-based InSinkErator to Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool in a $3 billion cash deal. Whirlpool said it plans to keep the headquarters of the garbage disposal maker in Mount Pleasant.
BizTimes Milwaukee has covered more than 100 different M&A transactions since the start of 2022, here’s a sampling of some of the biggest deals:
Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. spent nearly $1 billion on five acquisitions. Businesses the company bought included Yacaré, Merchant One, NexTable, City POS and the remaining ownership stake in Finxact.
Town of Genesee-based Generac Holdings Inc. paid a combined $25.7 million for two acquisitions including Massachusetts-based industrial generator distributor EEC and Blue Pillar, an industrial IoT platform. The company also reached an agreement to accelerate a contingent consideration in its acquisition of Canadian home automation company ecobee that included a $45 million stock payment.
Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith paid $5.5 million in cash for Atlantic Filter Corp., its fifth water treatment acquisition since 2016. The Milwaukee-based company also had $4.3 million in expenses and $1.1 million in income tax benefit from a terminated acquisition during the third quarter.
Milwaukee-based law firm Davis|Kuelthau s.c. merged with Chicago-based SmithAmundsen as of Nov. 1, creating a new firm called Amundsen Davis that has 230 attorneys operating in 12 offices across Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio.
Norway-based Orkla Food Ingredients acquired an 84% stake in New Berlin-based ice cream and frozen desert maker Denali Ingredients for $168 million.
Brookfield-based Patina Solutions Group was acquired by Los Angeles-based Korn Ferry for $42.9 million, according to PitchBook.
Sussex-based Power Test, a maker of dynamometers, was acquired by Dallas-based StoneTree Investment Partners. Terms were not disclosed. In 2020, Power Test made big acquisitions of its own, acquiring Milwaukee-based Taylor Dynamometer, a major competitor, as well as New Hampshire-based DynoMite Dynamometer.
Brookfield-based Wolter Inc., an industrial equipment distributor, made two acquisitions in Ohio, acquiring Ohio Valley Maintenance in December and Valley Industrial Crane in April. The company also acquired Ohio-based Integrity Industrial Equipment in August 2020.
Oconomowoc-based Sentry Equipment, a global provider of representative sampling and analysis technologies, acquired Utah-based Rebuild-it Service Group, a rebuilder and installer of clarifier drives and thickeners for municipal wastewater treatment applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Milwaukee-based EmPower HR, a professional employer organization and human resources outsourcing firm that made the Inc. 5000 list in 2021, was acquired by Arizona-based Vensure Employer Services. Terms were not disclosed.
Campbellsport-based Drexel Building Supply, a wholesale building materials supplier, acquired McMahon and Co., a Jackson-based supplier of doors and millwork. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Franklin-based Krones Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-based integrated packaging and bottling line system manufacturer Krones AG, acquired a majority stake of Salem Lakes-based R+D Custom Automation LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. R+D moved from Illinois to Kenosha County in 2020.
A group led by two former executives at Cudahy-based Lucas-Milhaupt, Rich Ballenger and Erik Thompson, acquired CR Industries Inc., a metal fabrication shop also based in Cudahy after Ballenger met deal advisors at the BizTimes M&A Forum.
Milwaukee-based Neostella, a global hyper-automation company, acquired Chicago-based Work-Relay. Terms were not disclosed. Work-Relay helps companies systemize and scale complex business operations.
Menomonee Falls-based Engman-Taylor Company Inc., a distributor of metalworking tools and supplies, was acquired by Melville, New-York based MSC Industrial Supply Co. for $24.8 million.
Milwaukee-based Rite-Hite, a manufacturer of loading dock equipment, industrial doors and safety barriers, acquired two Canadian companies: interior door firm Alpha Door Systems Inc. and loading dock company King Materials Handling. Both businesses were based in Ontario. Terms were not disclosed.
Plymouth-based Sargento Foods acquired Fond du Lac County-based Baker Cheese Factory Inc., one of the top string cheese makers in the country.
Milwaukee-based Healics Inc. sold all of its nationwide wellness operations to Pittsburgh-based Integrated Health 21 LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Integrated Health is a portfolio company of Pittsburgh-based Tomayko Group Holdings, an investment and consulting company specializing in health care with a concentration in preventative health and wellness services.
Union Grove-based American Roller Co. made two acquisitions, adding Illinois-based Bonell Manufacturing in January and purchasing Arkansas-based Big River Roller in early December.
Nashotah-based design and construction company MSI General Corp. acquired Milwaukee-based architectural firm Tredo Group LLC.
Plymouth-based Van Horn Automotive Group acquired David Hobbs Honda in Glendale, giving the dealership group a presence in the Milwaukee area and adding a Honda dealership to its portfolio.
Brookfield-based Krause Funeral Homes & Cremation Service Inc. was acquired by Orlando-based Foundation Partners Group, an operator of funeral homes and cemeteries across the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Milwaukee-based Bartolotta Restaurants took full ownership of Harbor House from The Endeavors Group, which was led by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Cudahy. The late Joe Bartolotta and Cudahy opened the upscale seafood restaurant on Milwaukee’s downtown lakefront in 2010.
San Diego-based Guild Mortgage, a mortgage lending company originating and servicing residential loans since 1960, acquired Pewaukee-based mortgage lender Inlanta Mortgage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wauwatosa-based My Choice Wisconsin, a Medicaid managed care organization serving customers throughout the state, was acquired by California-based Molina Healthcare Inc. for a net price of $150 million.