Forensic purchases two firms Annapolis company aids in litigation

Consulting

October 02, 1997|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,SUN STAFF

Annapolis-based Forensic Technologies International Corp. announced yesterday that it has acquired two smaller firms in a move to become a one-stop shop in litigation consulting.

Forensic Technologies, a company that grew from $20 million in annual sales in 1995 to $30.6 million last year -- the year the company went public -- acquired LWG Inc. of Northbrook, Ill., and a subsidiary, RestorTek Inc., as well as Nevada-based Bodaken Associates. The company did not disclose terms of the separate transactions.

"When we went public a year and a half ago, the strategy was to begin to build a national organization with resources available for major litigation cases," said Gary Sindler, Forensic's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We're getting there. The intended way of getting there was to find the right people and add them to the company."

The acquisitions add new services or complement existing ones, Sindler said.

Fifteen-year-old Forensic often serves as a consultant to law firms defending corporate clients, advising on jury research, selection and trial analysis, and designing visual presentations for juries, such as computerized reconstructions of events. Another arm of the company consults for insurers, analyzing accidents and determining cause of losses.

LWG Inc., with annual revenues of about $10.1 million in 1996, consults for insurance companies, determining whether damaged electronics or computer equipment can be restored or should be taken as a loss.

"This will be a natural extension of the whole recovery process," Sindler said. "We're already involved in why there is a loss, then how to minimize the loss. [The LWG acquisition] will provide a broader range of services to the insurance companies we're dealing with."

Bodaken Associates, on the other hand, is a trial consultant with annual revenues of about $2.5 million in 1996, providing research and analysis for jury selection, "so it fits right in to our existing litigation services," Sindler said.

Philip Anderson, an analyst with Unterberg Harris in New York, said the acquisitions make Forensic the leader in litigation support in terms of the array of services.

"The company has been positioning itself as a full-service provider of litigation support and related services," Anderson said. "Their experience with client base has shown clients want full-service trial work, from forensic analysis to visual communications, where they create graphics and presentations that recreate an accident."

By adding Bodaken, including Edward M. Bodaken, company founder and one of the founders of trial consulting, Forensic will be able to market its visual communications to Bodaken's clients, among them Exxon Corp. and Caterpillar Inc., Anderson said.

The acquisitions also should help boost revenues to more than $50 million in 1998, said Ray Reed, an analyst with Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. "That is an important benchmark for them," he said. "The deal from a conceptual standpoint looks positive. The assumption is it will be additive to earnings next year."

Forensic's stock closed yesterday at $9.75, up 75 cents.

Pub Date: 10/02/97

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