Overseas Trade Sale to Generate Strong Return
Small business specialist Anacacia Capital is set to achieve a strong return after negotiating the sale of Lomb Scientific (Aust) Pty Ltd to international trade buyer Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (NYSE:TMO).
No value for the transaction has been announced but sources close to the deal estimated a four-times return on the three-year investment.
Lomb is a major supplier of scientific laboratory consumables, chemicals and instrumentation in Australia and New Zealand. The company’s revenue last year is believed to have been about $34 million while earnings are believed to have grown more than 35 per cent year on year since Anacacia invested.
Anacacia managing director Jeremy Samuel said: “Lomb is a great example of sourcing a proprietary investment, adding value as active directors and then managing an outstanding exit.”
Mr Samuel first looked at Lomb soon after establishing Anacacia in 2007. At the time, he was looking for businesses with low correlation to the overall economic cycle. The company’s focus on supplying consumables and chemicals to scientific laboratories met that requirement. Anacacia began due diligence and negotiations and then invested in April 2008 alongside management and the family of the recently deceased founder.
Anacacia provided significant strategic and operational support. Mr Samuel joined the board as an active non-executive director in April 2008 and David Allman, a member of Anacacia’s business advisory council, joined shortly afterwards. Anacacia significantly strengthened the business recruiting a new chief executive soon after investing and then worked on improving operations to maximise its attractiveness to an international trade buyer.
Lomb non-executive chairman Gerard Bulters said Thermo Fisher’s acquisition represented the next step in the evolution of the business. The company had been acquired by Walter Parsons in 1984. Under ownership of the Parsons family Lomb grew organically and acquired a number of other businesses in its sector. “The Parsons family have been wonderful stewards of the business and Anacacia Capital’s involvement in the last three years has added tremendous value, including strengthening the board and senior management,” Mr Bulters said.