The Business

North Star Imaging, Inc. ( is a Rogers, Minnesota-based developer and manufacturer of nondestructive testing systems and software for industrial and research applications. NSI develops technologies that allow its customers to advance innovation through the use of state-of-the-art computed tomography (“CT”) and digital radiography (“DR”) imaging systems. The company’s products, primarily marketed under the X-View™, ImagiX™ and eXpress-CT™ brands, utilize advanced methodologies to nondestructively produce images of objects with exceptional resolution and contrast. NSI’s systems are widely used by industry leading customers in diverse markets, including life sciences, military/defense, aerospace, security, research/education, industrial and electronics, among others.

The Industry

NSI participates in the $350 million X-ray inspection systems segment of the $1+ billion global nondestructive testing equipment industry. The company has established itself as an innovator and leader within its niche, with commanding market shares in the CT and DR product categories. The company’s primary competitors are GE Inspection Technologies (a division of General Electric Co.) and Yxlon International (a division of COMET AG).

The Process

Prestwick Partners initiated this transaction and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to North Star Imaging, Inc. and its shareholders. Prestwick designed an M&A process, prepared marketing materials, evaluated acquisition proposals and negotiated the transaction with Illinois Tool Works Inc., a global multi-billion dollar diversified manufacturer. Prestwick’s process included both domestic and international strategic acquirers as well as private equity groups.