Baycom Inc., an affiliate of Brookfield-based OwnersEdge Inc., has acquired Portage-based Communications Service Wisconsin LLC, the company announced Wednesday.
“This acquisition is significant because it clearly establishes BAYCOM as the premier partner in Wisconsin. Our level of expertise, technical services and employee count distances us from the rest of the field,” said Steve Elias, Baycom president.
Green Bay-based Baycom provides mission-critical voice, mobile data and video solutions for the public safety and commercial markets. CSW specializes in turnkey communications system engineering, implementation and maintenance for those same markets. The company has 22 employees and field locations in Madison and La Crosse.
The transaction price was not disclosed.
“As market conditions evolved, we considered a number of different strategic options for our business. In the process of evaluating those options, it became clear to us that OwnersEdge, Baycom and CSW were a perfect fit,” says Rob Dillon, CSW president. “CSW has always tried to instill an owner's mentality in each of our employees. Now there is a true financial motivation for our employees to do what's best for the whole. That alignment between individual and company interests will have a powerful impact on our operations.”
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Dillon will join Baycom’s leadership team as executive vice president and be responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day sales and service operations.
OwnersEdge is a 100 percent ESOP holding company with four portfolio companies – Baycom, CC&N, Next Electric and TourGuide Solutions.
“OwnersEdge is actively seeking company acquisitions in the Midwest that deliver share value to our employee owners,” says Lisa Reardon, OwnersEdge Inc. president, chief executive officer and chairman. “Companies that are aligned with our commitment to growth, expansion and employee ownership are ones we’re interested in talking to.”
Christine Adee, OwnersEdge vice president of finance, said the company is looking to have eight portfolio companies by 2023. The goal is to diversify the company, particularly by adding companies that are counter-cyclical to construction, she said.
The search for acquisition targets is primarily focused in the Wisconsin, but Adee said OwnersEdge would look throughout the Midwest, noting a company in Kentucky was considered last year.
"It's really going to depend on the companies that are available for purchase," she said.