Roman Harmansa, managing director and sole shareholder of Euromechanics Medical, wanted to sell his life's work in order to take care of other priorities in a new phase of his life. His objective was achieved by selling the company to LAP GmbH Laser Applikationen. Exclusive advisor to the seller was WaltherTransaction GmbH.
Former Managing Partner of Euromechanics Medical GmbH
Mr. Harmansa, why did you become an entrepreneur?
I had always wanted to be self-employed. The opportunity presented itself when the company Wellhöfer (now IBA Dosimetry GmbH), where I was a senior employee, was sold. I was able to take a product, the Mulileaf Collimator (MLC), out of the old company. Together with the Italian company 3DLine, I founded Euromechanics Medical GmbH in 2000, in which I held a 50% stake at the time. In addition to MLCs, water phantoms (dosimetry) for radiotherapy were the second product group in which we specialized. In 2003, I founded a second company in which I held a 100% stake, and in 2007 I finally took over 50% of 3DLine and merged the two companies.
What led to the decision to sell your company and how did you feel emotionally about it?
I had already been thinking about selling for a year before I finally contacted several M&A consultancies. I was worried about the company's continued existence, because some major customers were seeing their order backlog decline. In the meantime, the loss of our most important customer meant that we even had to cope with a 50% drop in sales. In the end, these worries turned out to be unfounded, because we were already able to acquire new customers during the sales process. In addition, none of my four children wanted to follow in my footsteps and continue the company. At first, I felt very comfortable with the decision, but immediately before the notary appointment I started to feel queasy. But after signing the contract, things went steadily uphill again.
Why did you decide to seek the support of an M&A consultancy?
I had not previously dealt with the topics of company valuation and sale, which is why I was looking for an M&A consultancy that would take the pressure off me and work professionally. My wish was to be involved in the sales process as little as possible, so that I could still take care of the operative day-to-day business.
Why did you choose Walther Transaction?
Because of a recommendation. In addition, Mr. Walther impressed me right from our first personal meeting with his honest and open manner.
What requirements did you place on the investor?
It was important to me that the buyer was a strategic investor and not a financial investor with little familiarity with our medical technology sector. The company had to be continued, the site had to be maintained and the employees had to be kept on. Another criterion was the purchase price.
Why did you ultimately choose LAP?
On the one hand, LAP met the above criteria, and on the other hand, they made me the safest offer that could be realized the fastest. With all other alternatives, the sales process would have dragged on for months.
How do you currently rate your personal satisfaction after the sale?
I'm doing well, I'm still available to the company in an advisory capacity with a high level of time commitment. I'm enjoying the fact that I can now concentrate primarily on product development, where we're making really good progress. I also continue to be active in sales. On the other hand, I really appreciate the relief in the administrative area, which I never liked.
CEO LAP GmbH Laser Applications
Mr. Wache, why did you buy Euromechanics?
Since 2014, our strategy has been to expand our presence in all important markets. The aim is to drive LAP's growth both organically and through acquisitions. The acquisition of Euromechanics will allow us to further expand our business in radiotherapy, where we are already the global market leader with laser systems for patient positioning.
Do you have experience from another acquisition?
In 2013, we acquired the company A2J Laser Technology in France. Our experience there was that you have to tackle integration immediately after the transfer. For this purpose, a member of the transaction team is regularly on site. Today, we are very satisfied with what we have achieved.
What are the steps in the integration of Euromechanics?
It is important to us to secure technical know-how on the one hand and market access on the other. Thanks to the intensive cooperation of Mr. Harmansa as a consultant and the two managers, continuity has been ensured. In addition, the structures we have introduced give us new freedom. We are currently working with new customers on the development of new products that we had not even envisaged six months ago.
How satisfied are you with the acquisition of Euromechanics?
Very, also with regard to the integration of Euromechanics into the LAP Group. Of course, there is a reciprocal familiarization effect, which also requires significant commitment from our transaction team and other specialists in Schwarzenbruck. I took over the management immediately after the acquisition, and for the first few months we were on site once a week to ensure the integration of Euromechanics. In the meantime, everything has settled in well.
Managing Partner Walther Transaction GmbH
Mr. Walther, what initial situation did you find?
The entrepreneur Mr. Harmansa, who deserves a lot of respect for his life's work. He has built up and expanded a company with clear unique selling points. It was and is profitable, has no external liabilities, has a qualified second management level and a great team with long-standing specialists.
What was special about this sales process?
On the one hand, talks were already underway with a strategic interested party, to whom we granted an exclusivity period of three months at Mr. Harmansa's request. The latter also signaled interest twice in the main process, but was then not prepared to commit. On the other hand, Euromechanics Medical held shares in three minority interests, each of which was essential for one of the product areas; their integration into the sales process proved to be very complex.
What are your main lessons learned from this project?
We generally do not believe it is right to grant an interested party an exclusivity period at the beginning. Instead, we advocate carrying out a competitive process from the outset, as this is the only way to find a good solution for both seller and buyer. As far as the issue of minority interests is concerned, we would pay even more attention to this before the start of the sales process. Otherwise, we were right and were able to fulfill all Mr. Harmansa's objectives.