Northern Digital

Guiding Growth with Surgical Precision

Summary

Completed one transformative add-on acquisition and established a direct sales model, making Northern Digital the market giant and driving a massively successful exit.

Background

Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Northern Digital, Inc. (NDI) owns the market for precision navigation and measurement systems for medical, industrial and life science applications. When Audax first invested in the company, it was a leader in a niche market and its founder wanted to partner with a private equity team that could help his successor properly scale the business.

Challenge

The founder of NDI was ready to retire, but he saw continued opportunity for his company as the pioneer in navigation for image-guided surgical applications. Viewed as the industry gold standard, its technology could be found in every major hospital. He wanted NDI to continue to dominate the space as image-guided applications became more widely adopted. The Audax team recognized the market opportunity and wanted to help guide NDI into its next phase of growth.

Audax acquired NDI in December of 2007. The team worked closely with the founder’s successor to create a more profitable and valuable company.  Together, the CEO and the Audax team executed one add-on acquisition that added a powerful, emerging technology to its product line and served as a strategic growth engine. In addition, Audax doubled the company’s consumable offering and drove aggressive revenue growth through sales force optimization.

The Audax Difference

Serving as a strategic partner, Audax Private Equity helped NDI fully reap the rewards of an expanding market. Audax executed a transformative acquisition with NDI that set the direction for its continued market dominance. In addition, the team helped NDI build out a direct sales channel, including internet-based sales, and properly scale manufacturing to meet the increased sales volume. This dramatically reduced costs and increased margin.

NDI is now the international leader in accurate, reliable measurement technologies with more than 20,000 advanced measurement systems installed worldwide across a diverse set of medical, life science and industrial markets.


Northern Digital’s founder wanted a partner to ensure a prosperous succession plan for the company he spent 30 years building from the ground up. Working with the Audax team gave us the strategic support we needed to execute a transformative acquisition that dramatically increased our margins by expanding our product line and sales channel.”

  • Jamie Fraser Former CEO of Northern Digital

Together, the Northern Digital management team and Audax were able to quickly grow Northern Digital into an international leader in accurate, trusted measurement solutions. Our joint focus on strategically growing the company at an international scale proved successful on all fronts and kept company ownership in good hands.”

  • Young Lee Managing Director, Audax Private Equity