Hill & Smith PLC - National Signal
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National Signal

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National Signal, LLC
Fullerton, California

National Signal, LLC is a high growth business that engineers innovative clean energy products for a range of markets in the USA and abroad. Its principal customers comprise the largest plant hire businesses in the USA, who partner with NSL to drive exciting production innovations. NSL’s CEO, Mark Fernandez, is an entrepreneur who acquired the business in a management buyout from its corporate parent 16 years ago and has grown the business seven-fold since then. National Signal became part of Hill & Smith PLC in October 2022.

Mark has been pleased with the acquisition process and says “I was reaching the point where I knew that I needed a strategic partner to help my business grow faster and open up new opportunities, but it was actually Hill & Smith who approached me. They had invested in a similar business in the UK, so they understood what I was doing and believed in my vision. It was important to me that the next owner of National Signal would be a long-term investor who would back me to continue growing the business until I wanted to hang up my boots. Hill & Smith is nearly 200 years old, and they have owned and nurtured some of their businesses for decades – this gave me the confidence to go with them, and I am very happy with that decision.

The team at Hill & Smith were very honest with me at the outset. The acquisition process can be stressful and distracting, but they did everything that they could to minimise the load on me and my team and were pragmatic throughout. The transaction felt more like a team effort than one versus the other and Hill & Smith were fair and transparent throughout the financial and legal parts of the deal.

Because Hill & Smith’s devolved operating model is built around the freedom of the companies in their Group, businesses they acquire really aren’t integrated in the classic sense. There are things that have to be done because Hill & Smith is a UK public company, but their approach to this is clearly designed with us in mind – they kept it as light as possible, with the M&A team that ran the deal from their side, who know me and my business the best, supporting this process.

Hill & Smith are there to offer support and advice, often from their other operating companies, but the day-to-day decisions remain my own. I am really excited about using Hill & Smith’s resources to get my business where I know it can go in the next few years and am already starting to see the clear benefits of being part of this Group.”

Hill & Smith are delighted to welcome National Signal to the Group and looking forward to working with Mark and his team to fulfil the next step in the Company’s exciting growth story.