Patience pays off for Landauer

Friday, October 31, 2008

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y.--Landauer Metropolitan just keeps on growing. In August, the provider snapped up two Air Products-owned companies, A&J Care, a DME provider, and C.O.P.D. Services, a respiratory provider, adding $20 million to its annual revenues.

“In New Jersey, C.O.P.D. has a reputation of being a longstanding quality respiratory provider and it was a nice fit,” said Lou Rocco, CEO. “And A&J in New York was our No. 2 competitor as far as volume was concerned.”

The deal is part of Landauer’s slow-growth strategy. In five years, the company has done about half-a-dozen deals, the last one in 2007 when it acquired Metuchen, N.J.-based Home Care Services. That patience has paid off, says CFO Joe Luceri.

“We’ve been fortunate at finding the right deals at the right time,” he said. “Our profits have grown steadily over the years, partly due to the acquisitions. It’s a buyer’s market for those of us that have the credit behind us. The valuations haven’t gone back anywhere near the levels they were three or four years ago.”

Landauer runs a tight ship. Within three weeks of closing on A&J, it had folded about 75% of the company into its New York operations. A&J now operates under the Landauer name. Landauer consolidated its New Jersey DME and respiratory businesses under the C.O.P.D. banner and retained most of those employees, said Rocco.

“Our senior management team has spent many years putting together a solid infrastructure,” he said. “We’ve become pretty good at integrating companies quickly.”

Efficiency is at the heart of that infrastructure, from GPS systems installed in its delivery fleet to billing systems and procedures.

“You have to be very good at getting paid and that starts at the front of the business,” said Luceri. “There’s a process for taking an order, getting all the right documentation, making sure we bill it correctly and have a good follow-up process.”

The company enjoys about $85 million in annual revenues, and plans to grow that to $150 million in the next three years through acquisitions and organic growth. Landauer is focused on the Northeast region.

Despite the company’s large size, Landauer maintains a personal touch, added Rocco.

“We understand it’s a relationship business and we really haven’t lost that part of it,” he said.