Plant engineering, manufacturing M&A: January 2023

The Bundy Group reported 14 transactions in the month of January. Analysis on the acquisitions and reports are highlighted below.

By Clint Bundy January 26, 2023
Courtesy: Bundy Group

Bundy Group, an investment bank and advisory firm, provides an update on mergers & acquisitions and capital placement activity in the automation market.

With 2023 now in full swing, the plant management and automation solutions segments are well positioned for another robust year in terms of M&A and capital placement activity. The below transactions are continued evidence of the strong evidence that strategic buyers and financial sponsors have in these markets. In 2022, Bundy Group reported over 80 transactions through our monthly piece in Plant Engineering magazine, and in the December 2022 Plant Engineering piece we reported 13 transactions. While existing macroeconomic headwinds present some challenges, the Bundy Group team continues to be very optimistic about the growth of the plant management and automation markets and the M&A and capital activity tied to those segments.

Some interesting points to note as we begin 2023:

  • Avanceon client transaction: Bundy Group was proud to have advised Avanceon, a full-service industrial automation and information systems integrator, in a sale to an international conglomerate. This is one of the first announced automation transactions of 2023. VINCI will expand its U.S.-based industrial portfolio with the acquisition, and Avanceon and will join under the Actemium network, the VINCI Energies brand dedicated to the industry market.  A link to the transaction announcement can be found at the following: 

  • Observations from a Current Transaction: Bundy Group is currently representing an industrial maintenance services company in sale.  The business is over 30 years old, provides solutions to Fortune 500 industrial clients, and has an incredibly strong workforce in place. As a result of a highly competitive, Bundy Group-led process, our client anticipates selecting a buyer in the next month, and we anticipate a closing transaction close in the spring. I wanted to provide some observations from that process and engagement:

    • Industrial organizations are in dire need of talent and/or outside providers to help maintain and modernize their facilities.

    • Mission-critical solutions providers, such as our client, can regularly increase prices and rarely receive pushback from their industrial clients.

    • Organizations are aggressively looking for ways to improve productivity and streamline operations on the plant floor, especially with the current labor force challenges. Automation and industrial technology solutions are one of the most selected options by companies in need of accomplishing these goals.

    • With such a plethora of uninvested private equity capital in the market, there are plenty of strategic and financial sponsor buyer options actively seeking industrial maintenance and solution acquisitions. We have had no shortage of buyer interest or offers for the engagement we are currently representing.

  • The 2023 A3 Business Forum – An Atmosphere of Energy: I recently attended the Association for Advance Automation (A3) Business Forum. The conference certainly delivered the energy one would expect for such an exciting and innovative industry. I had a lot of great meetings with key players in the automation sector, and I heard positive industry comments from every person I met. Automation subsegments of particular interest include robotics, machine vision and automated material handling. As further evidence of the bright future for the industry, Alan Beaulieu, President of ITR Economics, stated, “Automation will be needed for the next 20 years to counterbalance anticipated labor shortages.”

  • Upcoming “Exit at the Top” Workshop:  For business owners and senior executives, Bundy Group is offering a workshop entitled “Investing in Your Most Important Asset – Your Company.” We are providing this one-day educational event in partnership with Clayton & McKervey, Capital Valuation Group and the Control System Integrators Association. We will cover a range of topics, including business valuation, how to build your company’s value, the state of the M&A market and methodologies to “exit at the top” in a sale. The event will be May 16th in New Orleans. Additional details and a registration link can be found here.

The Bundy Group team is excited to continue our relationship with Plant Engineering magazine in 2023 and providing its readers with updates on market trends and latest transactions. We anticipate a healthy number of business sale and capital raise transactions that will be announced in the coming months. Keep an eye out on future Plant Engineering publications.

The Bundy Group reported 14 manufacturing transactions in the month of January. Courtesy: Bundy Group

The Bundy Group reported 14 manufacturing transactions in the month of January. Courtesy: Bundy Group

January 2023 mergers and acquisitions


CMS Nextech, owned by Audax Group, is proud to announce the acquisition of Aire Rite, a California based air conditioning and refrigeration company that provides a broad range of comprehensive services throughout all of Southern California for more than 50 years. Learn more.


AEM, a designer and manufacturer of mission-critical electronic circuit protection components, has acquired Renaissance Electronics & Communications and its subsidiary HXI (collectively “Renaissance”). Renaissance is a designer and producer of high-reliability passive and active radio frequency (RF) and millimeter wave frequency (mmW) components, sub-systems, and higher-order assemblies, primarily serving the custom needs of the defense and commercial markets. Learn more.


Capacity, the AI-powered support automation platform, announced the acquisition of Textel, a cloud-based texting platform. With the acquisition, Capacity will enhance the end-user customer experience by expanding its capabilities to include AI-powered SMS business texting features. Learn more.


Salt Creek Capital is pleased to announce the acquisition of Cotta Transmission Company, LLC (“Cotta”), a leading designer and manufacturer of highly durable, tight tolerance gearboxes and transmissions. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Beloit, Wisc., Cotta designs and manufactures high-speed transmissions, transfer cases, fan drives, rail products, speed reducers/increasers, pump drives, and custom gearboxes for customers in a wide variety of end markets. Learn more.


Barcoding, Inc., the leader in supply chain efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity, announced its acquisition of FRED Automation, Inc., an automated guided vehicle (AGV) company. This acquisition represents continued expansion and investment in industrial automation for Barcoding, Inc. Learn more.


United Robotics Group (URG) has acquired a majority stake in Robotnik Automation, a Valencia, Spain-based provider of technologies in mobile service robotics. Financial details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Learn more.


VINCI Energies acquires Avanceon LLC., an Industrial Controls and System Integration company in the USA with their office in Exton, Pennsylvania and resources throughout the country. Avanceon provides project management, controls integration and manufacturing IT services for clients in a wide variety of industries. Learn more.


Motor City Industrial, Birmingham, Mich., a technology-driven value-added distributor of fasteners and other class-c components, was acquired by AFC Industries. Learn more.


GrayMatter is excited to announce the expansion of its Industrial Intelligence Platform of premiere industrial technology solution providers with the strategic merger of Columbus, Ohio-based Phantom Technical Services, Inc. Learn more.


Triad Technologies, LLC completed the acquisition of Industrial Service Products, LLC on December 30, 2022. ISP is a value-added distributor of custom fabricated hose, valves, fittings and other related products for the safe, efficient transfer of liquid and dry goods to a wide array of industrial customers. Learn more.


VINCI Energies is acquiring the Norwegian company Otera AS and its subsidiaries from Roadworks AS and Å Energi AS. This transaction will enable VINCI Energies to strengthen and expand its offer and expertise in Norway through its Omexom brand, with ownership of one of the leading companies in the sector. Learn more.


Supply Chain Equity Partners (“SCEP”) announced the sale of its portfolio company Air Hydro Power (“AHP”) to Houchens Industries, a diversified holding company. SCEP was a minority investor in AHP. AHP’s management team had majority control. Learn more.


Photonis a global leader of highly differentiated technology for defence and industrial markets, held by HLD since 2021, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Xenics, a specialist developer and manufacturer of leading-edge infrared solutions. Learn more.


Carlson Private Capital Partners (“CPC”),has made a significant investment in founder-owned Thermo Systems based in East Windsor, NJ. Thermo Systems is a global automation control systems integrator for applications across the data center, life sciences and district energy end markets. Learn more.

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Bundy Group is a boutique investment bank that specializes in representing controls and automation, Internet of Things, and cybersecurity companies in business sales, capital raises, and acquisitions. Over the past 33 years, Bundy Group has advised and closed on over 250 transactions, which includes numerous automation-related transactions. You can learn more at or by contacting Clint Bundy.

Author Bio: Clint Bundy is managing director, Bundy Group, which helps with mergers, acquisitions and raising capital.