Roto AG, the parent company of Roto Frank of America Inc. announced the acquisition of Fasco Die Cast Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer of window and patio door hardware earlier this week and DWM interviewed Roto Frank president Chris Dimou to gain further details into the acquisition.

DWM: Why were you interested in Fasco? Did their Canadian location play a role in your decision?

Dimou: First, to give a little background, when I came here from the German headquarters in 2009, my first task was to discover how to develop the company further and determine what our next step would be in North America. We analyzed market segments—residential versus commercial–and U.S. versus Canada and the third item we looked at was product offerings and whether we had gaps in the market.

I came up with acquisition targets and Fasco was a great fit for us. Their location did play a role as they have a manufacturing facility in Ontario. In September they acquired Vanguard’s zinc products so they have warehouses on the West Coast. Third, I wanted a company that offered a less premium product and that was geared more toward the medium price point. Lastly, Fasco has been around for many years, and all that led me to the conclusion that [the company] would be a nice target. The acquisition also gives us sales force synergies, new customer bases and cross-selling opportunities.

When you want to buy there are two parties. Fasco was one of the first ones I approached and for me it was target number one. Harvey Blatt, former owner, told me he saw growth opportunities for Fasco as well through becoming part of a larger group.

DWM: What other plans/growth strategies are there to further increase your North American presence?

Dimou: We have been focusing on just the residential market but where I see growth moving forward is the light commercial market, particularly for our European product offerings as there are growth opportunities for products with a European heritage. We can also expand in the vinyl market.

DWM: Why is Roto posting increases when others are not? How are you able to gain market share as you referred to in your acquisition announcement?

Dimou: We focused on specific market segments and I call it the right customers in terms of size. We also increased the sales force by adding independent reps. We were also doing a lot of market research and developing products that were market inspired. We focused on the right decision makers and offered different benefits according to their specific needs. Overall we have defined very well what our mission is and how to position ourselves. So we have the right tools and the right sales structure. It is also about how to manage the organization–it’s not just sales oriented but improving the cost structure. We became much leaner and improved our processes and are well-balanced.

DWM: I know you are addressing your employees later today regarding the change. What will you tell them and what changes are coming for both companies?

Dimou: I developed a post-merger acquisition plan and over the next few weeks we will analyze Fasco’s existing structure and identify real synergies for us in terms of products, personnel, etc. This will be the first step but until then it is business as usual. But at the end the consolidated effort will be the outcome and we will take advantage of the two locations.


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