National Automation Services could be satisfied to simply continue providing world-class process automation solutions to its customers in the western U.S. However, the company has made no secret of its higher ambitions. It has stated clear intentions to expand into other markets in the continental U.S., reducing its concentration in municipal water management and wastewater treatment. Specifically, they want to acquire select small to medium sized privately-held industrial application automation companies, becoming something of a central management hub for these local and regionally focused operations.

What kind of acquisition targets are they going after?

• Established business with a proven operating track record – They look for strong financial performance, positive operating results, a good backlog of contracts, preferably with a potential for positive operating cash flow. They also look at the talent within the management team and staff.
• Opportunity for growth of the industrial base – They want a business with an established base of industrial end users that will represent a diversification for NAS, allowing for continued expansion outside of the water treatment and wastewater areas.
• Opportunity for geographical expansion – They seek businesses with established activity in a local metropolitan market where NAS has no current presence, but which are near an NAS existing regional footprint. It helps if the target is in a position to obtain water treatment and wastewater opportunities, an NAS strength, plus other industrial projects.

However, the above criteria are not intended to be exhaustive, and there may be other dominating factors that move a decision for or against acquisition, including, of course, the negotiated price. The purchase price involved in any acquisition will usually be paid in the form of common stock issued to the owners of the target company. But cash, from cash-on-hand or through credit resources, may also be part of future agreements.

For more information, see the company’s website at

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