Dover wins Strategic Buyer of the Year for acquiring six companies

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Maker of fuel pumps and food equipment, Dover Corp. (NYSE: DOV) was prolific in M&A throughout 2016, spending $1.6 billion to acquire six companies. Dover also made two divestitures and negotiated a third, which closed in early 2017, to allow the company to focus on fast-growing core business units.

The most interesting deal Dover made was the $780 million purchase of Wayne Fueling Systems Ltd., which closed in December. The transaction leverages the upgrade to chip-reading payment systems at retailers, including gas stations, throughout the world. Under the Helix, Ovation and Vista brands, Wayne sells equipment for dispensing fuel and making payments at retail and commercial fuel stations. Wayne’s payment systems are expected to help Dover capitalize on the conversion of gas stations to EMV, the chip card technology developed by Europay, MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V). Wayne, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is already contributing to Dover’s revenue growth. The company said the purchase helped Dover’s fluid division grow revenue by 36 percent to $483 million.

“Dover seeks to acquire businesses that are not only great on their own, but can also help advance our business units’ strategies when they are integrated within Dover,” said David Martin, vice president of corporate development, in an interview. “These acquisitions are typically leaders in attractive markets with strong financial performance and management teams.”

Dover, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, looks for add-on deals that will grow its existing businesses globally, or standalone businesses that will add new technology in Dover’s growth areas. Core businesses include: printing and identification, refrigeration and food equipment, pumps and fluid transfer and some energy markets.

In addition to Wayne, Dover bought five companies in 2016: Alliance Wireless Technologies Inc.; Fairbanks Enviromental Ltd.; ProGauge; Ravaglioli SpA; and Tokheim Group SAS. Dover expects purchases to add about 10 percent growth to 2017 revenue.

Dover paid $274 million for Ravaglioli, located in Bologna, Italy. Ravaglioli manufactures automotive lifts and diagnostic equipment, complementing Dover’s vehicle service group, which owns several auto repair brands, including: Blitz; Chief; Direct-Lift; Elektron; Forward; Hanmecson; Nogra; Revolution; and Rotary Lift.

The acquisition of Tokheim’s dispenser and system businesses was for an undisclosed amount. The target manufactures fuel dispensers, retail automation systems and payment technology, and has a strong presence in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

To help focus on fast-growing business lines, Dover has been divesting slower-growing assets. In 2016, Dover sold Tipper Tie, a supplier of processing and clip packaging machines to JBT Corp. (NYSE: JBT) for $160 million. Also in 2016, the company sold hydraulic cylinders maker Texas Hydraulics to Wynnchurch Capital, for undisclosed terms.

In 2017, the company completed the sale of a majority stake in Performance Motorsports International, which produces automotive parts for the motor and power sports sector, to Kinderhook Industries-backed Race Winning Brands for $150 million. According to Martin, Dover is not currently looking to divest more businesses, but the company is “still actively looking for acquisitions across many of our growth markets.”

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