GEMS Case Studies

Case Study 1: Aeromet International, plc

Results: From $18.5 million to $46.3 million = Premium Value Realized

Role: Paul Laud was brought in as board chair

Situation in 2011

Aeromet was a foreign subsidiary left behind when its parent, Pacific Aerospace & Electronics, was sold. Aeromet operated four aerospace parts in the UK: one engaged in titanium forming and three engaged in aluminum casting. In 2010 revenues and EBITDA were $46.6 million and $2.6 million respectively and had declined for three years. Existing “success” incentives were based on achieving and exit enterprise vale of $18.5 million.


Titanium forming had great strategic value. The titanium industry was dominated by a small number of very large players; there were very few potential targets available for acquisition. Aluminum casting, though a commodity, had a deep relationship with Boeing – unusual for a small, UK-based business. There were few synergistic possibilities with the titanium and aluminum combination.


The highest value would be achieved by selling the business parts separately. The company was split into two operations with “shared services”. We directly approached strategic acquirers for the titanium business and sold it to a NYSE metals business for $34.0 million.

We reengineered the management team so that the aluminum castings business could stand on its own. Grant funding was raised for the advancement of new, proprietary metal technology. Robotic shell making and 3D printing equipment was installed. The castings business was sold through a brokered sale process in 2015.

The combined exit consideration was $46.3 million. 

Case Study 2: Ames Tools

Results: EBITDA growth from -$1.1 million to +$15.4 million = Value Increase Achieved

Role: Paul Laud joined as a director in 2011and serves as compensation committee chair and on special board committees.

Situation in 2011  

Ames manufactures, rents and sells taping tools used in the installation of drywall. The company went through a bankruptcy in 2010 shedding about 60% of its stores. Ames operated two servicing centers in Atlanta and San Francisco, and had just added a headquarters in Chicago. In 2011 the company had revenue and deficit EBITDA of $23.9 million and ($1.1million) respectively. The company had an enterprise value of $27.3 million at December 31, 2011.


Ames had a commanding share of the taping tools market. The rental business had strong margins and inherently great operating leverage but was still carrying too much overhead. Rental fleet utilization would expand rapidly as home building recovered and stress capacity. A focus on new product development and alternative markets was consuming time and capital and diverting attention from the core business.


A new operationally focused CEO was recruited and hired. The servicing centers were consolidated into one location and the Chicago headquarters was closed. The company returned to its core rental business by developing a new, streamlined store model and opening several new stores each year. New technology enabled on-line tracking of tool rentals and servicing.

In 2016 Ames’ revenue and EBITDA had grown to $57.3 million and $15.2 million respectively.