Mergers and Acquisitions

California company acquires Mequon firm; PDS to acquire Sheboygan firm; Zurn Industries to acquire Canadian company; Environmental Systems Inc. acquires ECC Controls Inc.

California company acquires Mequon firm
Simulation Technology and Applied Research Inc. (STAAR), a Mequon-based developer of 3D tools for electromagnetic simulation used in subsystems that operate at radio and microwave frequencies, has been acquired by AWR, an El Segundo, Calif.-based firm that specializes in electronic design automation software.

All of STAAR’s six employees, including founder John DeFord, will remain with the company, which has retained its name and Mequon location at 11520 N. Port Washington Road. STAAR is now an affiliate company within AWR.

"AWR has acquired the technology we developed and its people – both were important in the acquisition," DeFord said. "Our expertise is in 3D electromagnetic modeling, something their customers were asking for."

The acquisition will enable STAAR’s employees to concentrate on electromagnetic modeling, DeFord said, and AWR’s established sales force creates significant growth potential for STAAR.

"As a stand-alone company, we had a product but no sales channels," he said. "Now we can run the company more or less as we did before, but we don’t have to worry about the sales side. We’re able to focus on the technology."

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PDS to acquire Sheboygan firm
Oconomowoc-based Paragon Development Systems Inc. (PDS) announced today it has acquired Provident Technologies Inc. of Sheboygan.

Provident Technologies is a Novell Platinum partner specializing in identity management and Linux-based solutions with engineering and sales divisions in Sheboygan, Madison and Milwaukee. Provident also is an authorized sales and service repair facility for Hewlett Packard and Samsung printers, HP workstations, laptops and tablet PCs.

All Provident staff will be joining PDS as part of the acquisition, including chief operating officer Angela Daniels, who will lead PDS’s provisioning and platform management software services as a director in the computing architecture group. As part of the transition, PDS will maintain an office in the Sheboygan area indefinitely.

"Provident Technologies boasts rich IT infrastructure expertise, and we are pleased to welcome them to the team," said PDS chief technical officer Austin Park. "The skills added by the incoming group of consultants in open source, Novell Zenworks and Novell identity management solutions will complement our already strong consulting capabilities in configuration management with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and LANDesk.

"PDS continues to strengthen the Microsoft platform business, which we are well known for," Park added. "But we can now offer our customers more choice with expertise in open source software as well."

Provident’s long-term clients include Sheboygan Falls-based Johnsonville Sausage, for which Provident implemented comprehensive Novell identity and systems management solutions to achieve a single point of control for thousands of employee and digital partner identities.

"The merger of PDS and Provident Technologies will enable the company to offer its customers high-value IT solutions, which gives them the flexibility and agility to deliver on their organization’s IT objectives," said Joe McLaughlin, vice president of partner and channel sales for Novell.

Zurn Industries to acquire Canadian company
Milwaukee-based Rexnord LLC announced that Zurn Industries LLC, its wholly owned water management subsidiary, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the stock of Fontaine-Alliance Inc. and affiliates.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first calendar quarter.

Fontaine manufactures sluice gates and other engineered flow control products for the municipal water and wastewater markets. Fontaine is based in Magog, Quebec, Canada. Fontaine employs approximately 185 employees.

Rexnord anticipates funding the acquisition from existing cash balances and/or its existing credit facilities.

Fontaine will expand Rexnord’s strategic water management platform, which was created with the company’s acquisition of Zurn in February 2007. The acquisition further expands Zurn’s presence in the municipal water and wastewater markets, both domestically and internationally, along with providing a product offering that is complementary with Zurn’s recent acquisition of GA Industries Inc, which closed in January 2008.

Alex Marini, president and chief executive officer of Rexnord’s Water Management Group, said, "We are extremely pleased with the acquisition of Fontaine. Fontaine is a well-managed company with a strong brand name."

Andre Fontaine, CEO of Fontaine-Alliance Inc. said, "The merger provides Fontaine the opportunity to grow in our markets even further by leveraging the size and performance of Rexnord and Zurn. We are excited to be part of Rexnord’s Water Management business, which will greatly enhance the scope of products available to our customers."

Bob Hitt, president and CEO of Rexnord, said, "The addition of Fontaine serves as a complement to our existing water management business, and also strengthens our dedication to expanding valuable components of our water management platform."

Environmental Systems Inc. acquires ECC Controls Inc.
Waukesha-based Environmental Systems Inc. (ESI) has acquired ECC Controls Inc. of Milwaukee in a strategic growth move that expands ESI’s technology offerings and its Midwest presence.

ECC’s employees and operations have been integrated into ESI. The ECC Milwaukee office has moved to the ESI facility in Waukesha, located at W223 N603 Saratoga Drive.

ESI provides a range of technology and services in the areas of building automation, systems integration, networking and IT infrastructure, security, life safety, building operations and software applications in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

ECC provides temperature controls, building automation, energy management and security systems in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

"The acquisition of ECC Controls results in a powerful strategic synergy between the two companies," said Paul Oswald, president of ESI. "ECC Controls is a respected supplier in the building automation and management field. ECC brings a premier technology brand, T.A.C Andover, to ESI, which adds to ESI’s existing role as a T.A.C  I/A  partner. In addition, ECC provides an expanded customer base and an important regional location in Eau Claire, Wis., that will allow us to serve our customers in Western Wisconsin. “

ESI has facilities in Waukesha, Chicago, Ill., and Houghton, Mich.

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