Does M&A Mark the Top?

first_imgBy Paul KonikowskiThe last week of February 2020 could go down as the worst week in Wall Street history. The U.S. and global markets plummeted as coronavirus fears escalated. Some think it may have had something to do with Bernie Sander’s wins in the early Democratic primaries, and some think it is tied to the price of oil.I personally think it has to do with the recent mergers and acquisitions in AV land.Am I kidding? Well, yes and no.Before I explain, let me first give props to Gary Kayye for scooping the story about Whitlock and AVI-SPL’s intention to merge on Wednesday, February 5, which was by far the biggest news of the month. Just a day earlier, Diversified announced the acquisition of Sensory Technologies. In both cases, the resulting companies should report more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Some might call them “unicorns,” but in my mind, that term is reserved for startups, and all four of the companies in these two deals were far from startups.In the same week, Yorktel announced the acquisition of Video Corporation of America (VCA) and Starin announced it was being acquired by Midwich Group PLC. Midwich, based in the UK, recently acquired MobilePro (Switzerland), Prase (Italy), AV Partner (Norway) and Entertainment Equipment Supplies (Spain).So, we had regional news, national news and global news. Integrators getting together, distributors increasing their distribution. Four stories in four days. “I think it may mark a top,” I told a few AV friends. I started to write this article on February 9, and then shelved it. Who am I to be calling a top? I thought.A few weeks later, and the stock market indexes are down 11%.It is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately call a “top” in the stock markets, the point when the market pivots from bull to bear market. They are easier to see in hindsight, and recently, some tops have been marked by large mergers and acquisitions and an increased number of stock IPOs (initial public offerings).In the late 1990s, the valuations of tech companies skyrocketed along with the adoption of the internet. The Telecommunications Act combined with the Taxpayer Relief Act gave investors more opportunities to invest. Low interest rates encouraged speculation buying. Similarly, today’s economy is also booming due to deregulation, tax relief and low interest rates.The dot-com bubble burst in 2000, what many call the “dot-com bomb” or more simply “dot-bomb.” On January 10, 2000, America Online announced a merger with Time Warner, the largest merger to date. Yahoo! and Ebay were also in merger talks. In February of 2000, Alan Greenspan announced a series of fed rate hikes, and the NASDAQ topped out in March 2000 before falling for the next two years.On October 9, 2000, Dayton, Ohio-based MCSi acquired Intellisys, part of a Chapter 11 reorganization of Intellisys. For a time, MCSi one of the United States’ largest AV sales and integration companies. In 2003, MCSi itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The MCSi downfall caused hardships for some while opening doors for others. Many smaller companies swooped in to capture the AV systems integration business. Executives, account managers, engineers and technicians eventually found jobs at other integration companies.Fast forward a few years, 2007 had a number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including big names like Alltel, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclay’s, BCE, Blackstone, Cablevision and Nokia. Audio equipment manufacturer Harman International Industries was in initial talks to be acquired by Kohlburg Kravis, Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs, but the deal was abandoned in the second half of 2007, when money became more expensive and private equity firms put the brakes on spending. The Great Recession officially started in December 2007. AV consultants and integrators saw a huge pullback in construction and spending. Some were smart to invest and embrace the emerging UC and digital signage markets.For the next 10 years, the U.S. stock market enjoyed a healthy bull market, one of the longest in history, but bull markets can’t last forever. My prediction depends on the results of this fall’s election: if the Senate majority and the White House go back to the Democrats, the stock markets will suffer, and the recession will begin. If the Republicans can manage to hold on to the White House and Senate, then the Republican tax cuts will be safe for the next four years, and my recession prediction may need to be equally pushed out.What we can count on this year is consolidation. If you overlap the office locations of Whitlock and AVI-SPL you can see which offices are redundant (with all due respect to those offices). Ideally speaking, the amount of business in those areas should stay the same, but the overhead can be combined. There will be layoffs. Front office workers will follow the lead of engineers and technicians who have been switching companies and shifting from integrator to client-side support. Others will decide whether the change in company cultures is enough reason to retire and/or try something new.I think the best word may be “shake-up.” The AV industry got shaken up last month with the M&A news. We need to lay on the couch and talk it out with our therapists. “It all started when I was in drama club …” I think the shake-up is going to continue. Add in a little coronavirus and market turmoil and I think it’s best to get ready for a recession, a number of bankruptcies and a roller-coaster of emotions.last_img read more

Tucson shopping center along Wilmot Road sells for $47.3M

first_imgDSW Wilmot Plaza LP, an Arizona based investment group, acquired Wilmot Plaza shopping center.The group’s managing director Michael Sarabia along with partner James Hardman (DESCO Southwest) believe strongly in the fundamentals of the 139,000-square-foot multi-building “trophy” asset.Wilmot Plaza was purchased for $47.3 million from BP Wilmot Plaza, a Bourn Companies destination retail development. Bourn fully redeveloped the center with an all-star tenant line up including: TJ Maxx, Dicks Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack, Payless Shoes and AT&T.The substantial visibility from both Broadway and Wilmot Roads, access to the major arterial intersection, and close proximity to Park Mall (General Growth Properties) benefit the center. Wilmot Plaza offers a diverse shopping experience including off-price retailers, sporting goods and signature fast casual dining. The center has a long history of being a landmark retail center in the central-east corridor.Toufic Abi-Aad (CFO Bourn Companies) handled the disposition for the sellers, and Michael Sarabia and James Hardman (DESCO Southwest) represented DSW Wilmot Plaza LP. Tim Storey with Newmark Realty Capital assisted with the financing for the acquisition.The acquisition reflects DSW’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona marketplace where Michael Sarabia, managing member of DSW Wilmot Plaza LP, has been an active participant for the last 16 years. Sarabia states “when looking at submarkets we take into consideration several mitigating factors such as household income, growing population, quality of building, tenant mix, term of leases and strategic location of asset. Don Bourn and his team have been able to source high profile sites and develop signature projects in irreplaceable locations, we are pleased to be able to work with them on this acquisition.”The acquisition is part of DSW’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona region, a market where they own/manage over 600,000 square feet of retail and office.last_img read more

Mary Aichlmayr, Tire Review Managing Editor, to Join the Advisory Panel of Ask Patty

first_imgSARASOTA, FL —, Inc., announced today that Mary Aichlmayr, managing editor of Tire Review magazine, will join the automotive advisory panel of industry-expert women for their new woman’s portal, Ask Patty. The Ask Patty website,, which launched June 8, 2006, provides a safe place for women to get advice on car purchases, maintenance and other automotive related topics online. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Mary Aichlmayr is managing editor of Tire Review magazine, a business publication read by more than 30,000 independent tire dealers in North America. Tire Review is dedicated to the success of tire dealers serving the passenger, commercial, agricultural, specialty and off-the-road tire markets. Aichlmayr writes several feature articles for the monthly magazine as well as a regular column that focuses on business operations and management strategy. She also manages the Tire Review website. During her eight-year career as a trade journalist, Aichlmayr has written for several publications in the manufacturing, supply chain, trucking, warehousing, distribution and real estate arenas. She graduated summa cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace College with a degree in English. In her automotive advisory role, Aichlmayr will respond to questions from female consumers on automotive related topics via the website. The Ask Patty interactive advice blog launched May 22, 2006. “Knowing how to serve women customers is absolutely essential to the success of today’s tire dealer,” said Mary Aichlmayr. “Women represent a powerful force in the automotive industry, and their influence will only get stronger. Fully 65 percent of a typical tire dealer’s customer base is made up of women, yet most still report negative experiences when shopping for tires. That has to change for tire dealers to be successful in the long run.” Advertisement “Mary Aichlmayr has an understanding of the needs of women when it comes to a great buying experience in the automotive industry,” says Jody DeVere, president of Ask Patty. “Her experience with Tire Review will be invaluable to women consumers who come to Ask Patty for answers about their vehicles and dealership interactions.” According to DeVere, Ask Patty provides the safe environment for women to get advice and information needed to feel empowered and confident when they go to their local dealership for car service, repairs, maintenance and when they negotiate and purchase a new or used vehicle. Peter Martin, CEO of adds, “Adding Mary to our Automotive Expert Panel is a great step for Ask Patty. It will allow us to expand our knowledge base to cover even more information about tires and the aftermarket world of the automotive industry.”last_img read more

$1.3M housing project for San Sauvier progressing

first_img Share News $1.3M housing project for San Sauvier progressing by: – March 26, 2015 Share A 1.3 million dollar housing project for San Sauvier could soon be completed.The project which consists of ten (10) houses is being funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Acting Prime Minister Reginald Austrie led a delegation to a visit of the project on Wednesday 25 March 2015, along with officials from the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Austrie noted that the project is a continuation of the housing revolution. “It represents the first phase of a commitment the Government made to Dominica this first phase as you heard it is there to lend support to the persons who were displaced by the landslide and also some support after hurricane Ophelia where funds have been allocated for the construction of some eleven homes on the west coast which will be the second component of that project,” he said. This is not the first time that the Chinese government has supported the construction of houses in Dominica. It funded some 28 houses in the Carib Territory to the tune 3.7 million dollars. “It shows a demonstration of friendship and respect and the benefits that Dominica derive in from having an established relationship with the People’s Republic of China and on behalf of the government and the People of Dominica I really would like to extend my thanks to the Ambassador and his team and to convey on his capital our great appreciation for this very handsome donation as far as reliving the plight of Dominica is concerned,” he said. He says Dominica’s decision to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China has lived up to expectations. “We have always told the people of Dominica to that we entered in that relationship with our eyes wide open, we knew that in this global crisis where our support would come from an economic stand point and for infrastructure and other development and the Chinese have been true to their word, in fact that every promise that they have made to the people of Dominica they have in fact delivered on that promise and I can only hope that the future of those two countries to work together looks very bright in deed,” the Acting Prime Minister said. He said government’s aim is to improve the housing stock but also to allow “our people to live in decent housing conditions,”Parliamentary representative of the constituency Johnson Drigo said the Impact of the project on the community should not go unnoticed. “The overall investment cost well over two million dollars, the purchase of the land, the general excavation, what I was most happy about is that fact that not only did we employed two young contractors but at one time they both had approximately 40 young men working for them learning various skills like masonry, carpentry, plumbing and so on”.“There are quite a few guys who are leaving this project ready to work where ever they were to get a job and they were able to bring an income to their homes,” Drigo said. China’s Ambassador to Dominica Li Jiangning said the San Sauvier housing scheme project represents the relationship which exists between the two counties. “I think this is a true reflection of the friendship between the two countries and also the deepening corporation between the two countries we see that in many areas economics, in infrastructure, in culture also in issues of multilateral global importance I think this relationship will continue… our relationship has a very bright future,” he said. Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Tweet 260 Views   2 commentslast_img read more

EPL on alert as Ayew confirms Marseille exit

first_img0Shares0000Marseille’s Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew, who has announced he will be leaving the French side, has attracted interest from English Premier League clubs.MARSEILLE, May 18- Ghana international forward Andre Ayew moved a step closer to a dream move to the English Premier League after announcing he would be ending a 10 year stay at French giants Marseille.The 25-year-old winger — a member of the Ghana side that lost to Ivory Coast 9-8 on penalties in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final — said despite Marseille still being in contention for a Champions League place next term it wasn’t enough for him. Ayew, whose younger brother Jordan was also at Marseille before leaving for Lorient at the beginning of the season, has attracted interest from several English clubs including relegation-threatened Newcastle, a regular raider of Ligue 1 for players, Spurs, Arsenal and the club he idolised as a boy Liverpool.“The president (Vincent Labrune) has spoken thus everything has been brought out into the open more or less,” said Ayew, who scored 10 goals in 27 appearances this season as Marseille enjoyed a superb first-half of the campaign and top the table before a series of poor results saw them fall off the pace.“I am going to leave the club and it is a page turned.“There are lots of thing behind the decision. We tried to find a solution which would enable me to stay but for both parties it was complicated, whether it be for sporting or financial reasons.“I was expecting more, I wished that the club would have a more competitive team for next year that could be title contenders and that is not certain.“Also the club cannot offer me the same salary that I’m on at the moment,” added Ayew, son of former Ghana and Marseille legend Abedi Pele.Labrune said that the club simply could not offer the wages an English club could to Ayew, who came through the youth system at the club and became a key player for them in the past five years after returning from a loan spell with Arles-Avignon.“We cannot keep Ayew,” Labrune had told Wednesday’s edition of English daily newspaper ‘The Independent’.“He is a very important player for Marseille but we cannot offer him the sums that the English clubs can.“Unfortunately, he is going to leave the club and we hope he enjoys the great career he deserves in England or elsewhere.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more