BioDot is a provider of R&D and manufacturing equipment to the world's largest diagnostics and life science companies. The 28-year-old company went through two significant deals in the last two years, including a leveraged buyout through Artemis Capital Partners back in 2020.
Tony Lemmo, BioDot CEO, president and vice president, says the company had an initial shareholder base that was ready for a liquidity event in order to satisfy some needs of the shareholders as well as to position the business for some more growth. That made it the right time to enter into discussions, and the company was successful in consummating a deal with Artemis Capital in the early part of 2020.
The company's most recent transaction took Lemmo by surprise. In April 2021, BioDot was acquired in an $84 million deal by Automation Tooling Systems via Artemis. That ran counter to Lemmo's expectations of multiple years of investment and growth to get the business to the next launch point.
What spurred the interest in the sale, he says, was a combination of events triggered by the pandemic. BioDot, in its role providing equipment to manufacturing companies, was center stage of the requirements for COVID testing to increase across the world.
"So, as a result, we were the most popular kid in town for a while," Lemmo says. "There was a lot of inbound interest from outside parties once they understood the acquisition from Artemis and understood what BioDot was about."
There were assumptions, he says, that the business was probably doing — assumptions that were correct. That just led to further interest from external parties.
The speed at which the deal came about was surprising, Lemmo says, as was the desire overall for people to get a deal done.
"Never having gone through that kind of situation with a potential strategic buyer, I was surprised at the conviction that that was present during the deal negotiation.
Lemmo spoke at the Boston Smart Business Dealmakers Conference about the two deals. Hit play to catch the full discussion.