Case Study 



The Industrial Technology Revolution  

How Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Industry  

Technology has been critical for industrial businesses for decades, but the ever increasing velocity of data information gathering, analysis and transfer, is set to accelerate these changes even more. Industrial internet platforms, predictive software, evolving robotics, machine learning and changing asset models are just some of the dynamic innovations impacting a vast array of industries. 

Traditional companies need to embrace these changes, and seek out the best strategies for their implementation. Companies that find themselves in sectors that are at the leading edge of the convergence have a huge opportunity to grow their businesses, as players of all kinds address these opportunities and needs.

As machinery becomes more autonomous, the role of sensors is increasing exponentially, providing a myriad of data that computers can then analyze. Data points on heat, gas levels, chemical reactions, liquid flow, and surface finishes together with many other variables are enabling software to optimize production quality and speed, and develop predictive maintenance which reduces downtime and avoids costly breakdowns. In fact, the complexity of production lines is such that the numerous suppliers of component parts of the line need to develop a common digital platform to ensure all data is collected and analysed.  

As these digital platforms proliferate, manufacturers are beginning to see their business offering as much a service as a product, creating a “sticky” on-going relationship with their clients.

We have seen the positive effects of embracing technology firsthand, a client introduced sensors into their continuous production presses that monitor oil temperature and pressure, product thickness and density and speed of movement in the line. Improved quality, reduction of rejects and increased velocity all combined to increase productivity and the entire 200 meter press is now controlled by one highly qualified operator, who also controls the furnaces and dryers. Predictive software ensures that optimum temperatures, pressures and speed are all maintained, alerting the operators to any possible problems before they occur.

In another instance, one of our client companies incorporated nano-technology to further understand the dynamics of raw materials when mixed with other elements and placed under pressure and heat, not just in the original formulation but also in the manufacturing process of the clients. Proprietary software was also developed to allow customers to quickly identify formulas for new products. The result has been faster product development and higher quality products, creating a much greater collaboration between client and suppliers. When Livingstone sold the business to a major multinational the technological advances in production and the deep relationships with clients were both recognized as being outstanding, leading to an above market transaction.

These dynamic and profound changes in how traditional industries are approaching manufacturing are in turn generating great interest in companies focused on testing and measurement. Industrial groups looking to expand controls in their own products, current manufacturers of testing and measurement devices and private equity groups are all extremely active in the space. Testing and measurement devices of a more generic nature, as well as niche products, are of interest. 

Multiples remain high in the sector and we are seeing activity across the developed world. As these advancements in inter-connectivity accelerate, we see no reduction in the appetite of buyers to invest in the digitization of industry. Indeed, the need to quickly embrace these changes will mean that mergers and acquisitions will prove to be a key strategy in obtaining these capabilities.

Arc Machines, Inc. sold to ESAB Welding & Cutting Products

Smiths Group plc divested John Crane's Bearing to Miba AG

10 to Know

Industry trends owners should know

In this issue

2018 M&A Industrials Outlook 

Is this "the new normal?"

Global Debt Market Trends  

EVs are near all-time highs

A Shift Away from Diversification

Buyers seek to strengthen market position

Corporate Divestiture Trends

Redefining portfolios for growth

Industrial Technology 

Emerging technologies take shape

Our Team

Livingstone is strategically positioned in Beijing, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Dusseldorf and Stockholm, and is a long-standing leader in cross-border and domestic M&A for the industrials sector, with over 275 successfully completed transactions. 

Our Global Industrials Group provides strategic advice and seamless transaction execution to private business owners, financial sponsors, and major corporations across Europe, North America and Asia. 

Graham Carberry

Partner, UK

Neil Collen

Partner, Spain

Karl Freimuth

Partner, US



Partner, Sweden

Thomas Lesch 

Partner, US

Steven Lewis

Partner, Spain

Ralf Hagelgans

Partner, Germany

Andrew Isgrig 

Partner, US

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