September 7, 2021
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., a major automation solutions provider, recently announced it has acquired NCC Automated Systems, Inc., a provider of engineered to order sanitary automation solutions and stand-alone precision conveyance equipment for US$40 million (~C$50 million), subject to customary post-closing adjustments, representing 11.4x NCC’s FY2020 adjusted EBITDA or 6.2x post synergies. ATS has funded the acquisition by drawing on its revolving credit facility.
“The acquisition of NCC expands our portfolio of precision conveyor technologies through the addition of adjacent and complementary products to ATS’ SuperTrak, addressing an important pillar of ATS’ automation products strategy while enhancing our position in the food and beverage end-market,” said Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS. “NCC’s strong design software toolkit also allows us to play a more holistic role in supporting the needs of our customers from the design phase through to implementation by bridging the connection between the design engineer and manufacturing operator.”
Founded in 1986 and based in Souderton, Pennsylvania, NCC, an employee-owned company, provides turnkey automation solutions under the NCC and Nutra-Pack brands and manufactures high precision pallet handling and sanitary conveyance products under the Glide-Line and SideDrive brands, serving customers in the food and packaging, ophthalmic, assembly automation and nutraceutical markets. In FY2020, NCC generated revenues of US$31 million and EBITDA of US$3.5 million. Over the five-year period ending in FY2020, NCC posted approximately 8% revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The majority of the company’s revenues are derived from customers in North America. By end-market, in FY2021 NCC is expected to generate approximately half of its sales from food and packaging, 25% from optical, 21% from assembly automation, and the balance from other markets. The sale of automation systems is expected to comprise approximately 68% of revenues, with standalone conveyance products generating approximately 23% of revenues and the balance derived from aftermarket services. NCC employs 92 employees at its US manufacturing facility.
NCC will continue to be led by its President, Kevin Mauger. “It was evident from our early conversations with ATS’ management team that our two companies share strong alignment when it comes to our culture, business plans, vision and purpose,” commented Kevin Mauger, President of NCC. “By being part of the ATS family, we are better able to execute on our plans and drive strong growth across our business units.”
Attractive Synergy Opportunity
ATS expects to realize approximately US$1.2 million in annual cost synergies within three years of acquisition, including supply chain savings and operational efficiencies. ATS also expects revenue synergies to generate approximately US$1.8 million of additional EBITDA within three years by leveraging the combined ATS and NCC technologies in turnkey customer solutions and joint product development. The transaction is expected to be accretive to ATS’ earnings and cash flow per share metrics in the first year following the acquisition. ATS expects double-digit returns on invested capital (ROIC) by year three following completion of the acquisition.