Incoming CEO Steve Pudles on the Acquisition of Zentech


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Johnson: Shifting gears just a little bit, earlier, we talked about what might change around the business model or the customer direction, but from a customer perspective on the outside working with Zentech over the next 12 months or so, what should they expect to see that will be different?

Pudles: They will not see a change at all in our pricing model, the way we go to market, or how we provide technical support. If a customer requires some kind of change and wants to do something different that makes business sense, we’ll sit at the table and discuss it, but otherwise, it’s business as usual. The reason we acquired the company is because of the company, performance, and customer base are things that we place a high value on. To change that and the way we approach the market would be crazy when we think we have one of the better execution models out there. So, we’re happy to keep it in place.

Johnson: Do you want to comment on how this is structured for ownership?

Pudles: The company used to be a structure where NewSpring Capital and management owned the company, and in all cases, management shareholders have elected to keep a portion of their proceeds into the company. I’ve also made an investment, and BlackBern, through its fund and limited partners, has raised the balance of the equity. At the end of the day, the shareholders are the entire management team, including Matt and me, and then BlackBern has the lion’s share. The structure is what you typically see from any private equity, and we have a senior lender and a mezzanine lender, so we have a pretty conservative equity and debt structure.

We take it as a compliment that the management team, including Matt, felt comfortable enough that they wanted to be a part of the next phase of the company. That’s not something we see every time we do a transaction. If you go back to all of the things I said about our relationship with Matt and the relationships with customers, the fact that with are so similarly aligned with the way that Matt’s vision of this company was provided a degree of comfort for the management team to remain part of that investment.

Johnson: Steve, is there anything that I didn’t think to ask about that I should have?

Pudles: I bring 30+ years of EMS experience to this, and I always cherish my time. I’ve been on the IPC board for almost 20 years, and it’s just good to get back into the industry again. I’m happy to be working with a team of people that I think can take us to some new heights here. I’m just excited, and today’s day one, so we can talk again in six months and see how excited I still am (laughs).

Johnson: I’m looking forward to that!

Pudles: And I’m more than happy to do it.

Johnson: Thanks again, Steve.

Pudles: Thank you.

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