Mergers & Acquisitions

Competing medical billing companies merge

Kolb+Co. Medical Billing LLC and Medical Billing Professionals Inc. announced that the firms have merged to form one new medical billing company serving the Milwaukee area.

The combined firm operates as Kolb+Co. Medical Billing LLC, an affiliate of Kolb+Co. SC.  The Kolb+Co. group of companies has six affiliated entities and employs more than 100.

The new firm is owned by Mark Lieberthal, founder and president of Medical Billing Professionals, and the 10 equity shareholders of Kolb+Co. SC, Business Advisers/CPAs.  Lieberthal serves as president and chief executive officer of Kolb+Co. Medical Billing, LLC. He has more than 20 years of experience in health care consulting and medical billing.  Tammy Star, current managing director of Kolb+Co. Medical Billing LLC, serves as the combined firm’s chief operating officer. A CPA and health care consultant, she has worked in the health care industry for more than 16 years.

The new firm operates out of the corporate headquarters of Kolb+Co. SC at The Gateway Building in Bishop’s Woods, Brookfield. The employees of Medical Billing Professionals reported to that location on Sept. 10. 

Lieberthal said, “We are excited about joining forces with Kolb+Co. This combination will help enhance client service through an expansion of technical and specialty expertise, increased depth of staff, enhanced focus on compliance, and access to onsite advisers in the accounting, tax, technology, retirement plan administration, payroll and financial planning arenas.”

Kolb+Co. SC president Tom Luken said, “We’ve been looking for ways to expand our medical billing services, and Medical Billing Professionals is a great culture fit. They share Kolb+Co.’s vision of providing unparalleled service by embracing core values of respect, honesty and integrity.”


MGIC and Radian call off their merger

MGIC Investment Corp. and Radian Group Inc. jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement that terminates their plan to merge.

The companies said current market conditions

have made combining the companies significantly more challenging.

The separation is happening after each of the companies announced they stand to lose millions of dollars in a joint investment venture, Credit-Based Asset Servicing and Securitization LLC (C-BASS), that collapsed with the crash of the sub-prime loan industry.

Both MGIC and Radian said today they believe it is in their best interests to remain independent companies. All outstanding litigation between the companies will be withdrawn. Neither party made a payment to the other in connection with the termination.

Curt Culver, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based MGIC Investment, said, “I am pleased MGIC and Radian were able to reach this amicable resolution. During the course of the merger process, our MGIC team met many fine people from Radian. We wish them the best.”

S.A. Ibrahim, CEO of Philadelphia-based Radian Group, said, “Our mutual decision to terminate the pending merger represents the best outcome for both companies under the circumstances. We wish MGIC and its employees well.”


Atlanta software company acquires Catalyst International

CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corp. and a provider of industry-specific enterprise software applications and business services, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Milwaukee-based Catalyst International Inc.

Catalyst, which is a provider of supply chain execution solutions and services and is headquartered at 8989 N. Deerwood Drive, has annual revenues of about $35 million.

Catalyst’s software solutions and services are complementary to CDC Software’s IMI Supply Chain product line and the company’s CDC Global Services operations. The IMI suite of supply chain solutions supports demand-driven fulfillment in multi-company, multi-site and multi-channel environments.

Catalyst was acquired by ComVest Investment Partners in 2004.

After completion of the newest acquisition, the Catalyst SAP practice business segment is expected to be merged into CDC Global Services, which provides consulting and outsourcing services across a variety of technologies and industries.

“This acquisition will expand our global supply chain offerings and base of blue-chip customers, and at the same time, strengthen our CDC Global Services offerings by adding significant expertise and resources in large-scale supply chain execution,” said Eric Musser, chief executive officer of CDC Software. “We are also excited about the advanced architecture of CatalystConnect, an event-driven, rules-based workflow platform that will serve as an integration backbone in the future for CDC Software’s applications. The Catalyst International SAP logistics consulting practice will extend our strategy of building services practices across key areas of the ERP application space. We look forward to a continuing strong relationship with companies such as SAP.”

“CDC Software will bring the depth of its global resources focused on technology innovation, application development, and professional services, as well as sales, marketing and customer service,” said Michael Eleftheriou, president and CEO of Catalyst International. “They also bring a track record of investments in acquired products and extremely high levels of customer satisfaction. This big step in our evolution will be very beneficial to Catalyst and our customers.”

CDC, which stands for the “Customer-Driven Company,” is based in Atlanta, Ga.

A spokesman for CDC said he could not determine how many Catalyst International employees will be retained or what will happen to the Catalyst International management team. A spokesman for Catalyst International did not return calls for comment.


Manitowoc company acquires Illinois firm

Tower Tech Holdings Inc. (TWRT) of Manitowoc announced it has agreed to acquire Brad Foote Gear Works Inc., a Cicero, Ill-based -based manufacturer of gearing systems for the wind turbine, oil and gas and energy-related industries.

Established in 1924, Brad Foote manufactures and repairs gear systems at locations in Cicero and Pittsburgh, Pa. During the first six months of 2007, Brad Foote had revenues of approximately $37 million, with a significant portion of the revenues related to the sale of gear components to the wind turbine industry.

Brad Foote anticipates continued growth in its revenues due in part to the growth of the U.S. wind turbine market.

Upon completion of the acquisition, J. Cameron Drecoll, the chief executive officer of Brad Foote, will assume chief executive responsibilities for the combined company.

Company management expects to operate its Brad Foote and Tower Tech subsidiaries separately but also expects to integrate aspects of the businesses, including customer relationship management and certain administrative functions.


Miller’s parent company acquires Chinese breweries

China Resources Snow Breweries Limited (CR Snow), SABMiller plc’s joint venture in China with China Resources Enterprise Ltd. (CRE), announced that it has agreed to acquire four Chinese breweries in separate transactions.

London-based SABMiller is the parent company of Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Co.

Two of the acquired breweries are in Liaoning province, one brewery is in Anhui and one is in Hunan province. The total investment cost for the four acquisitions is $79 million.

CR Snow has agreed to acquire an 80-percent equity interest in Liaoning Yalujiang Brewery Company Ltd. and the brewing assets of Huludao Juhua Brewery Co. Ltd., through a joint venture in which it will own an 85-percent equity interest.

CR Snow also is acquiring the brewing assets of Anhui Wanpi Brewery Co. Ltd. and a 100-percent equity interest in Hunan Xinghua Brewery Co. Ltd.

Mark Chen, managing director of China Resources Enterprise Ltd., said, “The acquisitions in Liaoning and Anhui will generate synergies with our existing breweries, refine the distribution network and strengthen our leading position in the provinces. In Hunan, the acquisition will provide a solid platform for our national brand “Snow” to expand and concurrently complement our existing operation in Wuhan given its close proximity.”


National City completes MAF Bancorp acquisition

National City Corp. announced the completion of its acquisition of MAF Bancorp, the holding company for MidAmerica Bank, which operates 82 branch offices throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee markets.

“We’re excited to partner with MidAmerica. With a shared passion for doing what’s right for our customers and communities, we look forward to bringing National City’s broader mix of products and services and delivery channels to our expanded Chicagoland network and new Milwaukee market,” said Peter Raskind, president and chief executive officer of Cleveland, Ohio-based National City. “The acquisition of MidAmerica Bank aligns perfectly with the strategy we have articulated over the last several years. It accelerates our expansion in the attractive growth market of Chicago and marks our retail entry into Milwaukee.”

Conversion of MidAmerica business systems to National City’s platform will be completed in the first quarter of 2008, at which time the company will begin offering National City’s full suite of products and services and operating under the National City name.

MAF had acquired St. Francis Capital Corp., the former parent company of St. Francis Bank, in 2005.


Regal Beloit acquires Jakel Inc.

Regal Beloit Corp. announced it has acquired Jakel Inc. and has completed its previously announced acquisition of the Fasco Residential/Commercial and Fasco Asia/Pacific operations from Tecumseh Products Co.

Both of the acquired businesses manufacture and market motors and blower systems for a variety of air-moving applications, including alternative fuel systems, water heaters, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and other commercial segments. The two independent businesses will be combined and operate as a single unit as part of the Regal Beloit’s Electrical Segment.

The six facilities included with the acquisitions are Fasco’s manufacturing and distribution facilities in Eldon and Cassville, Mo.; Piedras Negras, Mexico; Bangkok, Thailand; and Melbourne, Australia; and Jakel’s manufacturing facility in Piedras Negras, Mexico.

The purchase price for the Fasco businesses was approximately $220 million. The purchase price for Aurora, Mo.-based Jakel was not disclosed. The purchase prices for both businesses were paid in cash, but are subject to final working capital and other customary post-close adjustments.

Regal Beloit financed the purchases by utilizing the proceeds from the recently completed private debt placement. The Beloit-based company expects the combined businesses to add approximately $30 million and $85 million to sales for the third and fourth quarters of 2007, respectively.

The acquired businesses are anticipated to add approximately $355 million in sales to 2008.

Henry Knueppel, chairman and chief executive officer of Regal Beloit, said, “These businesses are a synergistic and natural fit with Regal Beloit’s current product offerings. Specifically, these acquisitions will allow us to expand our offering of energy efficient systems solutions to our customers, in addition to expanding our global manufacturing and commercial footprints, and furthering our ability to bring innovative products to our customers.”

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