Maxxam plans more acquisitions for its future

Testing services firm Maxxam Analytics plans to acquire more companies in the coming year as it expands across the country, says CEO Jon Hantho.

Hantho said the company, headquartered on Minnesota Court in Mississauga, sees lots of opportunities in Canada, especially in testing food and examining oil quality in the Alberta oilsands industry.

“You’ll probably see us do more acquisitions even over the next 12 months,” said Hanthro, who helped engineer a recent takeover of  a Mississauga-based environmental lab.

“Sometimes acquiring a company is faster than greenfielding. It’s a hard way to start a business. Versus acquiring an expertise, a reputation and great people.

“I think we’re going to continue to do great organic growth but acquisitions are definitely high on the agenda,” he said.

Maxxam recently acquired Mississauga-based testing radiology and neutron test provider Becquerel Laboratories, a deal announced in June.

After a few months of transition and integration into Maxxam, Hantho already has high hopes for the lab on Kitimat Road. “We think that Becquerel has the potential to double its business over the next couple of years,” he said.

“Our job is to help them, through our business development organization, that can help position Becquerel to clients that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.”

When it comes to the future and expanding their business nationally, Hantho’s first concern is customer satisfaction.

“One of our biggest challenges as an organizations will continue to be, how do we make sure we can scale the business and to keep up with the growing demand for these kinds of services?” he said, citing the company’s significant growth in staff over the last six years.

“We are going to continue to focus in on what we are good at, what we have access to in terms of new technologies but also leveraging an amazing client base so I think we’re going to continue that.”

Hantho said Maxxam plans to be measured in its international expansion and focus primarily on domestic opportunities, despite plenty of exportable expertise. “Whether it’s sciences or expertise on how to do things, we’re doing some stuff that’s so phenomenal, it’s exportable,” he said. “The question is, ‘how do we do that?’ We’re still working on figuring that out.”

Hantho was also proud to point out the company was recently highlighted in a marketing video by McDonald’s Canada about the contents of the popular Chicken McNugget, which were analyzed at Maxxam’s laboratory in Mississauga.

Hantho praised senior quality manager Susan Bigg, who was featured in the video, saying her authentic portrayal and ability to explain things to a non-scientific audience is “exactly what embodies what is great about the company.”

“But you’ll also see inside and physically how we operate too,” Hantho said of the video. “For me it’s just so great to see employees be such great brand ambassadors. And she was great.”

Hantho, 51, started at Maxxam six years ago in May 2006 after working in information technology, software development, a small startup and a few years as president of customer communications business at Symcor. He is also a finalist for this year’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which will be handed out later tonight.

In addition to Maxxam’s headquarters, the company also operates both a laboratory on Campobello Road and a campus on Sladeview Crescent in Mississauga.

Maxxam now employs 2,400 people across Canada.

(McDonald’s story)

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