Edited by Scott Morgan

Public Offering

MISTRAS Holdings Group/Physical Acoustics Corp. (MG), 195 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-716-4000; fax, 609-716-0706. Sotirios Vahaviolos, president and CEO. Home page: www.pacndt.com.

Mistras Group, an engineering company that announced it would go public a year ago, finally has.

The company’s initial public offering of 8.7 million shares, at $12.50 per share, was announced last week. The offering was lower than expected by about $4 per share on opening, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mistras, founded in Princeton Junction 30 years ago and now has a 1,700-employee operation with 34 offices around the world, initially filed for an IPO in June 2008, before the stock market sank. In the midst of the economic rubble, the company simply never held the offering.

“It’s not a good time,” said Sotirios Vahaviolos, founder of Mistras, which began its life as Physical Accoustics. But, he explains, the company’s equity investors “want to get some of their money.” A Greek immigrant and graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson (Class of 1970), Vahaviolos controls a majority interest in the company, his employees are part owners, and outside investors have about a 33 percent interest.

The offering last year was expected to raise some $172 million. On the first day of trading for the new stock, October 8, it raised nearly $109 million.

Vahaviolos, a former AT&T employee, said he started his own company to go his own way. “Before the breakup the old AT&T was the greatest company ever created,” he told U.S. 1 in a 2002 interview. “It paid for my education and made me a better person. But you could not survive there if you were a loner. They wanted team players. I wanted to create a more nimble Bell Labs, to make decisions more quickly, without all of the signatures, and be more market driven.”

Mistras provides nondestructive testing services for the oil and gas, aerospace and defense, transportation, nuclear power, pharmaceuticals and food processing industries.

Nondestructive testing is the examination of infrastructure to identify any defects and to optimize safety and operating performance without affecting the usefulness of the assets. NDT is seen as an alternative to many traditional inspection techniques, which may require dismantling equipment or shutting down a plant.

Mistras provides outsourced NDT inspection services, as well as software for capturing, analyzing, storing, and monitoring inspection data. Its clients include Boeing, BP PLC, Dow Chemical, and General Electric.

The IPO was issued to raise money to go into alternative energy solutions.

Relaunch

Lawrenceville Inn, 2691 Main Street, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-219-1900; fax, 609-219-1901. Dennis Foy, owner. Home page: www.lawrencevilleinn.com.

Barely a month after the owners of the historic inn and restaurant lost their lease, a husband and wife team has reopened the doors.

Chef Dennis Foy and his wife, Estella Quinones-Foy, will reopen Lawrenceville Inn as a contemporary American restaurant. Quinones-Foy will oversee the operations.

Dennis Foy has owned and operated restaurants in New Jersey and New York City for more than 30 years, including Mondrian, EQ, and Dennis Foy in Manhattan, as well as the Tarragon Tree in Chatham.

“Estella and I are conscious of the need for a contemporary reasonably priced restaurant in the Princeton area,” he says. The menu is to be based around organic, locally available, and sustainable ingredients.

The restaurant’s executive sous chef will be Michael Metzner, a Johnson & Wales University graduate who has worked in all aspects of the restaurant industry.

Expansions

Matrix Development Group, Forsgate Drive, CN 4000, Cranbury 08512; 732-521-2900; fax, 609-395-8289. Joseph S. Taylor, president and CEO. www.matrixcompanies.com.

Matrix Development Group has announced a new lease with Princeton Allpoints LLC at 14 Applegate Drive in Robbinsville’s Northeast Business Park. The new lease brings the building to full occupancy following another recent lease with Scholastic Books.

Princeton Allpoints is a joint venture between market support firm Princeton Fulfillment Solutions, located on Thomas Rhodes Industrial Drive, and Ohio-based data processing firm Towne Allpoints Communications. Princeton Allpoints will occupy 150,000 square feet and employ 40, who will process data for marketing companies.

There is no word when Princeton Allpoints will be open.

Matrix remains one of the most active developers in the region, having recently bought the 342,000-square-foot office/laboratory complex once known as the Mid-Atlantic corporate Center off Exit 8A in Cranbury. It is now called Matrix Corporate Center. Matrix also made two recent land sales at Gateway Business Park in Salem County, with National Freight Industries for 1 million square feet and with Manfredi Companies for 174,000 square feet.

Lawsuit Filed

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY), 90 Nassau Street, Second Floor, Princeton 08542; 888-798-3131; fax, 609-683-3815. Robert Carr, CEO. Home page: www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com.

A lawsuit that consolidates 16 class action complaints against Heartland Payment Systems over a massive data breach was filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

In January it was announced that data storage at Heartland, a credit card debt and payroll processing firm that processes more than 100 million payment card transactions for more than 250,000 merchants, had been compromised. The scope of the breach was estimated at at least 130 million stolen payment card numbers. Major retailer TJ Maxx alone claimed the breach compromised 94 million of its receipts.

The suit filed last week seeks undisclosed compensation, claiming negligence in security by Heartland. Among the financial institutions listed are the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, Lone Star Bank of North America and Amalgamated Bank of New York.

In August three men — Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami and two unnamed Russian conspirators — were arrested in connection with the breach. In September Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the data heist at Heartland and several retailers, including TJX Companies Inc., BJ’s Wholesale Club, Hannaford Bros. and the Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced in December and faces 15 to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea agreement.

Legal Action Ended

PharmaNet (PDGI), 504 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6242; 609-951-6800; fax, 609-514-0390. Jeffrey McMullen, CEO. www.pharmanet.com.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has completed a two-year investigation into PharmaNet’s revenue recognition, earnings, company operations, and related party transactions and has found no reason to pursue formal law enforcement action, according to a report by the company released last week.

The SEC launched a probe into the drug development group in 2007, two years after an allegation that PharmaNet had surrendered misleading SEC filings. The original complaint, made a year after the company was accused in a Bloomberg article of inadequate clinical trial and patient recruitment actions, sparked an informal look into PharmaNet’s practices. the investigation took a more formal turn in 2007.

Despite the investigation the SEC will not pursue any further action.

Jeffrey P. McMullen, president and CEO of PharmaNet said “this very favorable outcome now allows us to put this matter behind us.”

Management Moves

Utrecht Art Supply Co., 6 Corporate Drive, 8A Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512; 609-409-8001; fax, 609-409-8002. Michael Ippolito, CEO. www.utrechtart.com.

Utrecht Art Supplies has named Michael Ippolito as its new CEO.

Ippolito comes from a 20-year career in senior-level retail management, e-commerce, direct marketing, and merchandising. He formerly was president of Ballard Designs Inc., and president of Domestications Catalog specializing in home furnishings as well as of Popular Club Plan, a division of J. Crew.

Utrecht, a retailer of fine arts supplies with 37 stores nationwide, has its corporate headquarters and distribution facility in Cranbury. The company, founded in 1949, also manufactures its own line of oil-based and acrylic paints.

Klatzkin & Company LLP, 1670 Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road, Box 8188, Hamilton 08690-8188; 609-890-9189; fax, 609-890-6235. Barry Snyder, managing partner. Home page: www.klatzkin.com.

The Hamilton CPA firm has added Frank Sweeney to its ranks of partners, bringing the total number of partners to 11.

Sweeney joined Klatzkin in 2006. He holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Rider and lives in Trenton.

Klatzkin, which offers the gamut of accounting services to individuals and commercial clients, has offices in Hamilton and Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Facebook Comments