Headwaters MB advised Bell and Howell (the “Company”), a portfolio company of Versa Capital Management, on the sale of its mail-sorting business and certain parcel-labeling technologies to Fluence Automation. Fluence Automation is a newly formed company that is owned by a group of investors which includes members of the Bell and Howell mail-sorting leadership team.
“This strategic move is part of our plan to accelerate Bell and Howell’s continued growth as we extend our capabilities in our traditional mail-production business while also expanding our industry-leading innovation in areas such as e-commerce, robotics and track-and-trace technologies,” said Dr. Ramesh Ratan, President and CEO of Bell and Howell. “This move, along with the acquisition of Sensible Technologies earlier this year, and other initiatives we are currently pursuing, means our mail-production customers can feel confident that Bell and Howell is committed to providing the products and services they rely on – now and in the future.”
As part of the transaction, Bell and Howell and Fluence Automation will remain close strategic partners in several areas. The two firms have entered into a service agreement that will allow Fluence Automation to leverage Bell and Howell’s extensive service-technician network when and where appropriate. Bell and Howell will also be licensing certain technology from Fluence Automation.
“This move is a win-win for all parties involved,” said Gregory Segall, Chairman of Bell and Howell, and CEO of Versa Capital Management, whose affiliates, along with co-investor Access Value Investors, own and control Bell and Howell. “It’s good for the customers, the employees and each company. Both businesses are very healthy and on a significant growth trajectory. With this new direction, each can now focus their time, resources and development efforts to better serve their customers. The Headwaters Industrial Technology Group was outstanding and we were extremely pleased with their investment banking services.”
Peter Nam, Managing Director of Headwaters MB’s Industrial Technology Group, commented, “The successful carve-out of Fluence Automation allows Bell and Howell to continue focusing on providing industry leading services and solutions for factory and warehouse intelligence and automation and omni-channel delivery applications.”