We take immense pride in our PSAI membership. That’s why we’ve given them the inside scoop into the Satellite acquisition of PolyPortables. It’s important to us that all of our customers, and the entire industry, stay informed on our major company announcements. The PSAI has the capacity to make that happen.
The following blog by Karleen Kos, PSAI Executive Director, is an in-depth and thorough review of our recent acquisition. This article published in their Association Insights, Wed 5/9/2018 5:53 PM EST.
“The PSAI spoke to both companies to learn more about how this decision was made and what to expect from Satellite and PolyPortables going forward”
More Coverage of Satellite Industries’ Acquisition of PolyPortables
The industry was abuzz last week when Satellite Industries announced that they’d acquired their long-time competitor PolyPortables. Conversations sparked across social media and other networks as PSAI Members discussed the news. To some, this change was unexpected. Others in the industry claimed they saw this coming. Operators and suppliers alike voiced their opinions on how they believed this would affect the industry going forward.
After observing some of these conversations, the PSAI went straight to the source to learn more about how this merger happened and how it will affect customers. We reached out to John Babcock, Satellite Industries President, Todd Hilde, Satellite Industries Owner and CEO, and Eric Capers, PolyPortables President, who provided some insight into the future of both parties.
Each of them stressed how this is not the end of PolyPortables as a company. In fact, they view it as a new beginning. PolyPortables is a healthy, growing entity with talented people and quality products. Satellite Industries looks forward to benefiting from their knowledge and experience.
How and why this acquisition happened.
Because PolyPortables was owned by an equity partnership with interests outside of the portable sanitation industry, it was likely that they would someday want to sell. Satellite approached them in November of last year and they were open to the possibility. Conversations continued and on April 30, 2018 the sale was finalized.
John Babcock, Satellite Industries President, discussed the preliminary stages of the acquisition:
“The decision came quite naturally for both of us. We have very similar cultures, [and] our focus on customers and our people make the two organizations very complimentary. We had both been admiring each other from afar for many years, and through our contacts at the various shows and PSAI events, we eventually started talking about how we could become one. Discussions really gained momentum early this year and we knew after a short period of due diligence that it was a very complimentary match for both of us. When it feels as natural a fit as this did to us, you go with your instinct. I believe it will be a good decision for Satellite, for PolyPortables, for our combined customers and the industry.”
Todd Hilde, Owner and CEO of Satellite Industries, also explained why he supported this acquisition:
“As an owner, I feel as though I have a responsibility to grow the company and give our people more opportunities to advance in their careers and the possibility of making more money for their families. I also have the responsibility to make sure the company can sustain itself in the future. In my estimation, the best way to do that is to make sure the company is growing.”
Moving forward together.
Since the announcement was made last week, both the Satellite Industries team and the PolyPortables team have begun to adapt. Eric Capers, PolyPortables President, shared the following sentiment:
“Everything has been very positive, from both a customer and employee perspective. Everyone is so busy this time of year that we’ve really tried to minimize the distractions, even though there is a lot of work that is getting accomplished “behind the scenes” to merge both companies’ current systems into one.”
John Babcock echoed this message, saying the following:
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both teams, our core customers and beyond. The PolyPortables team is receiving much more detailed feedback as they are more affected and I am humbled by the positive energy and excitement from their side.
Change of any kind is always difficult, but the change has in reality been much smoother than I was expecting. The new organization has already created many new opportunities with our customers in the combined product offerings… much more than we anticipated. [These are] very exciting times for the customer.”
How this will affect customers and the industry.
Although the acquisition may cause the industry to “shift,” PROs shouldn’t notice much of a change. Customers will continue to work with their current sales representatives and there are no plans to discontinue PolyPortables products. In fact, clients can now purchase Satellite and PolyPortables products from their single representative. Both companies will continue manufacturing, assembling, and delivering their own products; everyone involved believes that less change is best, especially as the industry enters its busiest season of the year.
Todd Hilde shared this statement on the topic:
“The number one goal is for our customers to realize more value from combining these two companies by providing expanded product offerings and innovations, simplifying the order process, increasing our distribution points to minimize shipping costs, and use volume purchasing to minimize material increases.”
Focusing on the future, Eric Capers had the following to say:
“Our 2018 goals don’t change. We’ll continue to focus on our customer’s needs and servicing them. As a division of Satellite, we will be involved in developing our long-term strategy, which will cascade down from that of Satellite Industries… I’m very encouraged about the direction of the company and the impact we can have on our industry as one larger, unified team.”
Despite trepidation expressed by some people in the industry, both companies are focused on the positives that their unity will bring. John Babcock closed his thoughts on the following note:
“I know there are some in the industry that might not see this as a positive move for them, but I truly believe that by leveraging volumes, investing in technology and people it allows us to bring huge benefits to all in our industry. Every company out there, whether big or small, dreams of growing and providing opportunities to everyone involved – from employees to customers. This new platform will allow us to do just that. The excitement of the PolyPortables team helps validate the point in my mind. They see the benefits that our combined entity can bring to the market.”