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Books by Thomas Metz:
Defining Excellence
Perfect Your Exit Strategy
Selling the Intangible Company

Case Study


has been acquired by

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We negotiated a very attractive price based on the strategic fit.


The Situation

Gaard Automation, based in Portland, OR, designs and manufactures Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) equipment for chip manufacturers. Intel was their primary customer. These robotic machines polish the wafers from which semiconductor chips are manufactured. Gaard's differentiating strength was that their machines could polish the wafers smoother than  competitors, a significant competitive advantage.

The Response

T.V. Metz & Co., LLC was engaged to represent the selling shareholders and negotiate the transaction. The family-owned company wanted professional assistance in order to achieve the best price and terms. The buyer, Integrated Process Equipment Corp. (IPEC), was a publicly traded company based in Phoenix, AZ. 

We performed financial modeling on Gaard to determine a valuation range. We also performed financial analysis on IPEC to estimate the long-term value of its stock price. After a series of meetings, we realized that the Gaard technology would give IPEC a significant competitive advantage. 

The Solution

We negotiated a price based on Gaard's strategic importance to IPEC. In addition, we advised our client, the Gaard shareholders, to accept only a cash transaction. Our financial analysis concluded that the price of IPEC's publicly traded stock was quite high given its history and growth prospects. 

The transaction closed successfully and both sides were pleased with the result. The shareholders of Gaard Automation's received a price, $30 million, that was significantly higher than they had hoped to receive.

In Review

The key to this transaction was understanding the nature of the strategic fit between the two companies and particularly the importance of Gaard's technology to IPEC.


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