August 2, 2017
From : Siddharth Bhattacharji & Victor Pais
On behalf of Siddharth and myself, I am glad and grateful to announce that, through an investment
group we put together including Larry Rybacki, our longtime friend and partner, Mitchell Rona and Jeff Marcus, key senior SIGMA executives, a few other management members, a couple of long time business friends and most importantly, certain affiliates of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) of Toronto, Canada, we have acquired the entire stock of SIGMA International Group, the parent company of SIGMA Corporation and related companies as of August 2, 2017.
Interestingly, it was almost ten years back that Frontenac Company of Chicago, IL had acquired
majority shareholding of SIGMA from the original shareholders that included us and several of the
key executives who are now new investors.
Over the challenging years under their ownership, including the severe financial crisis and the
ensuing market downturn, Frontenac provided sound support and guidance in any and all ways. And
after almost ten years, they decided to initiate a succession in keeping with their investment
As we both had continued to be close to SIGMA, we identified it as an opportunity – as a sound
investment, but also to head off uncertainty any new ownership change entails and instead, to make
a ‘fresh start’ to revive the dynamic, entrepreneurial and growth driven team ethos that marked our
Armed with a pragmatic ‘blueprint’ for long term growth, we approached Fairfax, a stellar
investment company, with proven commitment to sound and steady long term growth and healthy return on investments. Founded and led by a widely respected and internationally known visionary leader, Prem Watsa, Fairfax has grown from strength to strength over its 32 years since inception, as a value investor leveraging their vast resources from their growing core insurance business. Prem has guided Fairfax from its modest start in Canada to its current robust global stature, on the
strength of a set of ‘guiding principles’ he set out from the start and consistently followed —
such as sound financial management, long term value creation, decentralized management culture,
spirit of sharing and equally, having fun – at work! Incidentally, these were the very same values
we built SIGMA on,too…
I have been blessed to have enjoyed a close and trusting friendship with Prem that has thrived for
over 50 years, going all the way back to our years together at IIT-Chennai, a top engineering
institution, then and now. With experienced founders and a strong, reputed financial partner like
Fairfax, Frontenac welcomed our proposal favorably and in a relatively short time, we concluded a
transaction all stakeholders feel positive about.
Siddharth and I are humbled and honored, yet excited too – to have an opportunity to lead SIGMA
again, which has a loyal, experienced and market savvy team. Together again, we will strive to
build on the well- recognized SIGMA customer service, with new products, services and systems,
responding to the ‘voice of the customer’, to be a growing ‘value supplier’, while also bringing in
some newly developed synergies, from our other businesses in Waterworks and related industries.
Jim McGivern, the CEO for the last 8 years will also continue his association with SIGMA, albeit in
a non- executive but formal advisory capacity. He will assist SIGMA to identify and nurture any
strategic growth opportunities.
While Fairfax will be a great partner, to mentor and guide us with their proven financial and
governance acumen, their established philosophy is to extend complete autonomy to the new SIGMA team.
SIGMA going strong after 32 years…Siddharth and I celebrating our 40 years as partners and 27 years with Larry…Prem and I sharing a close friendship for 50 years…Durability and Long term are
certainly in our DNA!
We look forward to an enjoyable and rewarding journey…that we call SIGMA 3 .0 ……