Case Study


Aspen began its relationship with HealthTronics, Inc. (formerly Prime Medical Services, Inc.) in 2000, when HealthTronics engaged Aspen regarding a potential acquisition for HealthTronics’ manufacturing subsidiary, AK Specialty Vehicles (“AK”). Based in Austin, Texas, HealthTronics is a NASDAQ-listed company that had two divisions: a healthcare division that is the leading provider of urological services and products in the U.S. with a network of 3,000 urologists in 47 states; and a division that designs, engineers and manufactures specialty vehicles for the transport of high technology medical, broadcast and communications equipment.

HealthTronics acquired AK in 1997 as its platform to enter the specialty vehicle manufacturing market. AK was initially focused on specialty vehicles for the medical imaging industry, generating revenue of approximately $22 million and EBITDA of $4 million in 2000. HealthTronics engaged Aspen to assist in the purchase of the leading specialty vehicle manufacturer for the medical imaging sector, Calumet Coach Company (“Calumet”). AK was the successful bidder, in a competitive auction, and purchased Calumet from its private equity owner. Pro forma for the Calumet acquisition, AK generated revenue of approximately $70 million and $11 million in EBITDA.

After the Calumet purchase, Aspen and HealthTronics worked together on acquisitions that expanded AK geographically, vertically and by sector through an additional four acquisitions. In 2002, AK acquired its platform business in the media and broadcast industry with the acquisition of Frontline Communications and expanded its medical imaging and European presence with the acquisition of Smit Mobile Equipment in Holland. In 2003, AK expanded further in the broadcast and communications sector through the acquisition of a company that specializes in the remanufacturing of broadcast and satellite communications specialty vehicles called Winemiller Communications. Also in 2003, AK acquired Aluminum Body Corporation, which specializes in large broadcast production trailers as well as military and government related communications trailers. Pro forma for these acquisitions, AK generated revenue of approximately $115 million and EBITDA of $20 million.

In addition to AK, Aspen has also advised HealthTronics' healthcare division. In 2004, HealthTronics completed an all-stock merger with Medstone International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MEDS). Medstone International was a vertically integrated competitor to HealthTronics' lithotripsy business with an installed base of over 300 units and approximately 1,100 physician users. Pro forma for this acquisition, HealthTronics' healthcare division generated $77 million in revenue and EBITDA of $20 million.

Since the Medstone acquisition, Aspen has advised Healthtronics on a variety of transactions in both the urology services and device sectors including: in 2005, the acquisition of a one-third interest in Cascade Urological Services, LP, a leading urology partnership in the Pacific Northwest; in 2007, the acquisition of a 31% interest in Keystone Mobile Partners, LP, the largest lithotripsy partnership in Pennsylvania; in 2008, the acquisition of Advanced Medical Partners, Inc., a leading provider of cryosurgery and other urological services based in Arlington, Texas; and in 2009, the acquisition of Endocare (NASDAQ: ENDO), a medical device manufacturer of proprietary cryoablation technologies for treating cancerous tissue and tumors.

The long-term relationship with HealthTronics represents Aspen’s execution ability in mergers and acquisitions both domestically and internationally. Aspen has been responsible for numerous parts of the acquisition process including identifying target acquisition candidates, structuring the transaction, negotiating the closing of the transaction and developing post-merger integration plans. The success of HealthTronics to date clearly illustrates how successful acquisitions should be executed, and Aspen is proud to have been a part of the process.