Gregory P. Range

Managing Director

Duff & Phelps LLC

Specialty: Mergers and acquisitions and fairness opinions

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, there is no more valuable commodity than information. And information is Greg Range's specialty.

As manager of the West Coast office of Duff & Phelps LLC, Range often spends months putting together transactions for companies on either the buying or selling side a process that involves weeding through thick stacks of SEC filings, financial statements and spreadsheets in search of data.

"It's not an exact science at all," says Range, a 14-year veteran of the deal-making trenches. "The dynamics of each company are as different as night and day. Every deal is different."

Most recently, Range brought his skills to the sale of Aerospace Rivet Manufacturers Corp. in Santa Fe Springs to New Jersey-based TransTechnology Corp. The $27 million deal, finalized in June, ended up being profitable for both sides, Range said. He also helped put together the July sale of Brea-based Frame & Lens to National Vision Associates in Atlanta. His role in that deal was to draw up a fairness opinion for the one-third of the Frame & Lens stockholders he represented.

Range has a degree in economics from Stanford University and his MBA from UCLA. His first job was at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Inc. in Los Angeles in 1983, where he worked on mergers and acquisitions until 1990. He has been at Duff & Phelps ever since.

Although he oversees a staff of accountants, Range usually is the one to give a transaction the final thumbs up or thumbs down. "We want to make sure shareholders are getting the best price," Range said. "It is our job to get the best possible price in the quickest time frame."

With the stock market in such a volatile state, obtaining favorable valuations for clients has grown increasingly difficult. Range said he has seen a considerable number of transactions get reduced in value or adjusted over the past few months. In one particular case, a seller went down 20 percent from the original asking price.

"We are not seeing the transaction activity drying up," said Range. "But we are definitely seeing pricing move downward."

Jessica Toledano

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