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Briefly: PureSafety has acquisition target list
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Bill Grana

PureSafety CEO Bill Grana says his company has compiled a list of 350 potential acquisition targets and will acquire at least one of those in 2010.

Grana told VNC during a recent interview that PureSafety is now at a sufficient scale operationally and financially to secure and integrate as many as three acquisitions in 2010.

He said a transaction is not likely in 2009, partly because many of the best target companies have been "hunkered down," and partly because he, working mostly alone, had not been able to build a "fat enough" deal pipeline.

PureSafety announced earlier this month it had retained Avondale Partners to assist in the acquisitions strategy. Grana said while Avondale did not help with the company's acquisition a year ago of Unique Software Solutions, or with any other formal projects, the two firms have close relationships, which he did not detail.

Grana said that, without revealing the company's strategy, it is clear that his priorities will lie in strengthening its already dominant position in workplace safety and health, by expanding into environmental management, ergonomics, handling of chemicals and other fields.

Grana said that although PureSafety products are distributed in about 30 nations abroad as a result of global operations of domestic customers; and, third-party relationships are inplace in South America, Europe, Middle East and Australasia.

He said that while North American targets are probably higher priority, in time equity stakes in ex-U.S. operations will make sense, mainly because it is difficult for a third party to demonstrate much value added in the context of a global online operation. Consequently, distribution in such nations as Australia might soon be brought in-house by one or more acquisitions.

Grana stressed, "Money is not the issue, at all. Capital is the easy part. I think finding the right deal is the more difficult part. We have a very well defined product roadmap, really for the next three years, and then I think we have some general shared vision for what happens, even beyond that."

Acquisitions may be largely driven, he said, by a determination to satisfy product-extension requirements through lower-cost purchases, rather than research and development investments.

Prior to joining PureSafety, Grana, now 41, led or consulted to early-stage and other tech companies, including leading acquisitions for iXL Inc., an Internet solutions provider, and as chairman and CFO for Zoaport Inc., an animal health Internet start-up. He earned his J.D. and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and his bachelor's from the University of Virginia.

Privately held PureSafety, chartered as PureWorks Inc., offers software and information technologies to support organizations focused on workplace safety and health.  The company serves more than 2,000 corporate clients and employs 160.

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Tags: acquisitions, Avondale Partners, Bill Grana, online, PureSafety, PureWorks Inc.

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