Mergers and Acquisitions

Minnesota firm acquires LaserNet Inc.; GE to acquire Dresser Waukesha’s parent company for $3 billion; Wipfli acquires Illinois accounting firm

Minnesota firm acquires LaserNet Inc.

LaserNet Inc., a document processing firm with operations in Green Bay and West Allis, has been acquired by Little Canada, Minn.-based Apex Print Technologies LLC.

Both companies provide document processing for the health care industry. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Apex is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Tonka Bay Equity Partners.

LaserNet has about 35 employees in its two locations. Apex also has a facility in Green Bay. LaserNet’s Green Bay location is not targeted for closure, said Ane Ohm, president of LaserNet.

“That’s what we’re really excited about,” she said. “The bigger you get, the more important it is that you have true backup with full facilities that are capable of taking on the work between the two. That’s what this allows us to do. This is not about consolidation. This is about growth.”

Although APEX has several customers in southeastern Wisconsin, the acquisition of LaserNet will give it a physical presence in this market. The acquisition is giving LaserNet access to new software and processes, Ohm said.

“There were some investments we needed to make in the business, and these are things that APEX has already been able to create,” she said. “We’re excited that we can have access to these things, which are important to our clients.”

The two companies have similar corporate cultures and operational models, Ohm said. Brian Kueppers, founder and chief executive officer of Apex, agreed.

“LaserNet’s like-minded management team and marketplace synergies, combined with our world class systems, will create significant opportunities for our clients and our combined firm going forward,” Kueppers said. “Clients of both firms will gain access to the industry’s most advanced electronic statement and electronic payment platform, as well as an enhanced client support and end user experience.”

GE to acquire Dresser Waukesha’s parent company for $3 billion

Dresser Inc., the parent company of Dresser Waukesha, today announced it has reached an agreement to be acquired by General Electric Co. for $3 billion.

Dallas-based Dresser is majority-owned by funds managed by Riverstone Holdings LLC and First Reserve Corp.

The deal includes all of the Dresser businesses, which provide products and services for compression, flow technology, measurement and distribution infrastructure for customers in more than 150 countries.

Dresser Waukesha manufactures natural gas-powered engines. The Waukesha plant has about 600 employees.

When asked about the GE acquisition’s impact on Dress Waukesha, Dan Nelson, spokesman for Atlanta-based GE Energy, told BizTimes today, “Right now it is still to early too tell what will happen, but we value (Dresser’s) expertise and the space and what they bring to the company. They have a strong workforce and a strong reputation in the industry. Right now there are no plans to alter the current operation of the business and we plan to work with the Dresser employees to ensure a smooth transition.”

Dresser president and chief executive officer John Ryan said, "Joining the GE family will enhance our company’s capability to provide best-in-class energy technologies to a much broader segment of the energy sector. Our employees have worked hard to build a world-class reputation and we are confident that our tradition of putting the customer first will continue to be the standard. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a great opportunity for our customers and employees as we put these two 100+ year old companies together and create new paths for growth and innovation."

"Dresser is a great fit for the GE business model," said John Krenicki, vice chairman of GE and president and CEO of GE Energy. "Dresser has a global franchise and brand with 60 percent of revenues outside of North America which will be accelerated by GE’s global footprint. Through the acquisition we will bring to bear our focus on research and development to Dresser’s highly-engineered custom solutions and create an opportunity for Dresser’s 6,300 talented employees to dramatically expand their businesses."

"We would like to express our sincere appreciation to John Ryan and the entire Dresser management team for the unprecedented levels of success achieved by the company in recent years. Dresser and GE are both world-class companies and storied franchises with market-leading products," said John Lancaster, managing director at Riverstone.

Wipfli acquires Illinois accounting firm

Wipfli LLP, an international accounting firm based in Milwaukee, has acquired Lindgren Callihan Van Osdol & Co., Ltd (LCV) of Rockford, Ill.

LCV specializes in providing audit, accounting and consulting services to businesses in a variety of industries and to individuals.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“This is one of the largest acquisitions in our firm’s history and the largest in the last 20 years,” stated Rick Dreher, Wipfli’s managing partner. “We have known LCV for quite some time and have always been impressed by their reputation as a firm that is dedicated and committed to their clients and that provides exceptional client service. With the addition of LCV, Wipfli will deepen our capabilities and resources in the state of Illinois,. We are very excited about this development.”

“Wipfli and LCV are very similar firms, so this combination is a perfect match. This is a great step for our firm,” said LCV president and chief executive officer Neal Richardson. “We are thrilled to join Wipfli and look forward to continuing to serve our clients with the same quality service they have come to expect from us. The only difference is now we can offer our clients more subject-matter experts and additional resources whenever and wherever they need them.”

Wipfli provides a range of audit, tax and consulting services to thousands of clients across the nation and focuses on a variety of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, health care, community financial institutions, nonprofits and government, construction and real estate,  and auto-dealerships and retail.

LCV has 135 employees, including 21 partners.

The combined firm will have approximately 950 associates, including 132 partners, and 20 office locations.


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