Our Client – The Vendor
Computer Air Services was a leader in the supply, installation & maintenance of Mechanical, HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) and related industrial products and services. Since its establishment in 1991, the Business had evolved into a “total solution provider” encompassing Mechanical, Electrical, HVAC, Fire Protection Services, OH&S design and audits and 24/7 Maintenance Services. Its broad technical expertise spread across +55 staff combined with an East Coast presence in VIC, NSW and QLD enabled the Business to reliably service a broad range of customers from various sectors including: banking & finance, medical, data centre, transport, distribution, manufacturing, commercial property, entertainment and government.
Having established and grown the Business for more than 20 years, three of the four Directors sought to exit, by way of sale to a third party, in order to retire and pursue other interests. They initially retained a second-tier Corporate Advisor to assist with the sale process. The Advisor took the traditional corporate advisory approach and short-listed 9 prospective industry buyers. However, no deal was able to be negotiated, and the Advisor told the Directors the Business was unsaleable. Following that experience, in early 2012 the four Directors engaged Johnsons Corporate as specialists in mid-market business sales to undertake a divestment campaign on their behalf.
The Sales Strategy
At the time of sale Computer Air Services was run under management by a CEO, employed 55 staff and generated over $11.5 million in revenues with a history of year-on year annual growth. As an acquisition, the Business represented a great bolt-on opportunity for a larger operator seeking expansion in the commercial and industrial sectors. The Business offered future growth opportunities to expand via its separate Operating Divisions as well geographically via its interstate presence.
Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on HVAC, Mechanical and Industrial Services businesses, while secondary target sectors comprised Commercial & Industrial Maintenance, Fire Services & Essential Services, and Electrical Contracting as well as a shortlist of prospective private equity & financial buyers. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 30 qualified, interested parties. Further vetting and negotiations resulted in the selection of a preferred buyer as well as a backup buyer, with Offer and Acceptance secured within 8 weeks of going to market.
The Purchaser, Grosvenor Engineering Group, is a leading provider of intelligent HVAC services and design & construction solutions. Computer Air Services was a fit with Grosvenor’s corporate growth strategy to provide clients with innovative, intelligent & sustainable HVAC and Mechanical Services.
What Our Client Had to Say
"In July 2011 the primary shareholders decided to sell their interests in the Business. We initially engaged a second-tier corporate advisory firm... however after speaking to a handful of competitors [it] was unable to obtain a result. We were [then] introduced to Johnsons Corporate through a referral... In less than 8 weeks of going to market Johnsons had secured Offer & Acceptance from the purchaser. We were very happy with the way Johnsons handled each stage of the process and delighted at the end result."Norm Stoliar, Director - Computer Air Services