Involta Acquisition Represents Next Step for DRS

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – DRS LLC’s acquisition by an Iowa technology company is the next step in the Youngstown firm’s evolution, DRS’ founder says.

Involta LLC of Cedar Rapids and DRS jointly announced the deal this morning. A news release issued by the companies describes Involta as a “national leader in cloud, managed [information technology] and data center services.” DRS, which was founded in 2000 as NSI Group and adopted its current name in 2004, provides managed services and IT consulting.

“If you really look at the evolution of DRS, this will be name change no. 3 and they’ve all been around expansion,” DRS founder Mike Meloy said.
Involta has about 110 employees and facilities in Akron; Duluth, Minn.; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Ariz. DRS has 80 employees and operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Through a mutual acquaintance in Columbus, the two companies began discussing a potential partnership, said Carl Gordulic, DRS president. “It just made sense for both parties,” he remarked.

Involta, which acquired a new private equity partner just under a year ago, is in a growth mode, reported Chris Shroyer, vice president, sales and marketing. “At that time we made the decision to expand our business into additional markets, both through organic growth with existing customers and acquisition,” he said.

“It was a fit in the key areas by which we would evaluate all acquisitions,” he remarked. “The DRS team fit us very well.” Involta representatives have had conversations with several key DRS customers and have been “passionate” about the company, he said. The two organizations share similar values, they value their employees and their customers, and they “have a team focus on delivering value,” he added.

Involta officials also have “great respect” for DRS’ leadership team and how the business is run, he said.

The deal “really enhances both the employees and the customers,” Gordulic said.
“From an employee standpoint, we now have facilities in five different states. We’ll have a network of 140 technical engineers so they’ll have the ability to expand their knowledge, expand their professional employment if they want,” he said.

“For customers, we really offer now a new level of enterprise facilities that we didn’t have here in Youngstown,” he continued. The security and redundancy Involta has in place is “really top notch in the industry,” he pointed out.

With the acquisition, which is expected to be completed later this month, DRS will represent more than 40 %of the combined company’s employees and more than 40% of its revenue, Meloy said.

DRS will eventually adopt the Involta branding over time but little is anticipated in terms of staff or facility changes, Shroyer said. Both Meloy and Gordulic will maintain ownership interest in the company and executive rolls within the Involta corporate structure.

“The best part of the deal is most of the services are going to stay local,” Meloy said. “Even accounting and [human resources] is going to stay local, and that’s not common in an acquisition like this.”

The team in place in Youngstown “will continue to drive our Ohio business and our east region growth,” Shroyer said.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.