Private investment firm Auxo Investment Partners announced today that it has acquired Altus Industries Inc., a Grand Rapids, MI-based designer, manufacturer, assembler and marketer of medical, point-of-care workstations used across the healthcare industry. As part of the deal, Spectrum Health Ventures, one of Altus’s larger customers, will join as a strategic partner in the transaction.
Serving the healthcare sector, Altus’s product portfolio includes powered and non-powered mobile technology workstations (also known as workstations on wheels, medical mobile carts or mobility workstations) and wall-mounted workstations, along with related accessories. The transaction is part of co-founders’ Craig VanderHeide’s and Eric Kahkonen’s succession plan for Altus, which they founded in 2001.
“As a well-run and growing company, Altus has tremendous growth potential that can be further accelerated through deployment of Auxo’s playbook to enhance the company’s infrastructure and operations,” said Jeff Helminski, Auxo co-founder and managing partner. “Spectrum Health’s involvement will be transformative for Altus as we leverage their experience as an Altus customer and their deep relationships in the healthcare industry. We’re excited to partner with Spectrum Health and Altus co-founders Craig VanderHeide and Eric Kahkonen to accelerate the company’s strong historic growth.”
Well-Positioned for Accelerated Growth
Altus has a proven track record of product innovation, which Auxo believes will allow it to continue to be a leader in a sector facing disruption from telehealth and other trends. Altus has built its reputation in the industry as the go-to provider of customized yet cost-efficient product solutions for demanding customers such as Spectrum Health. In addition, the company has existing relationships with an array of other hospital systems including Banner Health, Beaumont Health, Health First and Indiana University Health, and its products are used across multiple departments, including patient rooms, emergency departments, surgical centers, continuing care and radiology departments.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in our company over the years, but we got to know the Auxo team and felt confident about what working with them would mean for Altus and our employees,” said Craig VanderHeide, Altus co-founder and CEO who will remain in his current position. “Based on Auxo’s work with similar companies, we are excited about how this partnership will enhance our market position by expanding our sales and product development infrastructure. Even more importantly, we can count on them to be careful stewards of the business with a genuine commitment to our people and community –because they live and work here too.”
“With an established market position among notable health systems, Altus is the corporate standard for top quality and highly customizable point-of-care workstations,” said Scott McLean, Managing Director of Spectrum Health. “We believe we can help accelerate the company’s already tremendous growth by leveraging our network of relationships in the healthcare industry around the country. In addition to the relationships we will facilitate, Spectrum will bring to bear its knowledge as a purchaser and user of mobility workstations to drive user-centric product development innovations.”
“In today’s healthcare environment, taking cost out of the system is something we talk about every day,” said Bill Selles, Senior Director of Procurement at Spectrum Health. “Altus’s products helped us do just that, all while standing a cut above its competition in terms of quality, ease of customization and overall level of service. The investment in Altus is not only an investment in a product we believe in, but also one that we know will help our partners around the country continue to deliver care in a cost-effective manner for decades to come.”
Advisors and lenders on the transaction included Miller Johnson PLC, Dickinson Wright PLLC, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, BDO USA LLP, BHS Insurance, Strategies Wealth Advisors and Comerica Incorporated.
Prior to its acquisition of Altus Industries, Auxo has acquired 10 companies, including Bernal Rotary Dies, Atlas Die, AtlasFlex, Midway Rotary Die Solutions, DieCraft Engineering & Manufacturing, and GC Dies, which comprise the Auxo Die Holdings platform. It’s marine platform, Auxo Marine, was formed by the acquisitions of M/G Transport Services, a leading inland barge transportation and logistics company, and Andrie, the premier Great Lakes marine services company serving customers with challenging safety and specialty material handling and transportation requirements. Other acquisitions include Paramount Tube and Euclid Medical, niche manufacturers of custom-engineered spiral wound tube and pharmaceutical packaging, and Prestige Stamping, a high-speed manufacturer of custom engineered stampings for the fastener industry.
Auxo has a passion for investing in and growing Michigan-based business. This deal marks Auxo’s 5th acquisition in the state where it seeks to partner with Michigan-based – and largely family-owned – businesses, with the aim of preserving these companies’ legacies, creating and retaining jobs, and driving sustainable, long-term value for Michigan businesses and communities. Throughout Michigan, baby boomers are set to retire, leaving many of the state’s family-owned businesses in need of generational succession planning solutions – a need which is being accelerated as the pandemic lingers. Since the majority of capital available to address these needs currently comes from outside the state, Auxo is one of the select few in-state options to support these businesses.
A Long-Term, Collaborative Approach
Auxo was named after the ancient Greek goddess of growth and the firm seeks to partner with companies that meet the following investment criteria:
- North America-based
- Manufacturing, industrial, value-added distribution or business services industries
- EBITDA (cash flow) of $2-$20 million
- Owner-operators seeking retirement, family succession planning solutions or existing teams seeking to grow their businesses
- Prefer majority-control investments but will consider select minority-partner opportunities