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Benchmark International Completes Sale of Fast of Florida, Inc to Southern Air & Heat Holdings

International M&A specialist, Benchmark International, has successfully negotiated the sale of its client, FAST of Florida, Inc. (“FAST”) to Southern Air & Heat (“Southern HVAC”), a portfolio company of MSouth Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity firm.

Based in Clearwater, Florida, FAST is a leading provider of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and electrical sales, installation, and maintenance services to the residential and commercial markets. In 1972, the company was established as a small air conditioning repair shop by Eddie Vaughan. Eddie’s wife, Melissa, joined the company in the early 1980’s, assisting with administrative duties and bookkeeping. As the company grew, FAST evolved to expand its service offerings in order to remain competitive and add additional revenue streams. In 2005, Mr. Vaughan passed away after a long illness, and Melissa assumed ownership of the business. Under Mrs. Vaughan’s leadership, FAST has continued to experience tremendous growth while continuing to offer the same level of quality service the company was built upon. Today, the company employs nearly 50 people serving Pinellas County, Florida and the surrounding markets.

 

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Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Southern Air & Heat is a leading provider of essential maintenance, repair, replacement and new installation services for the residential and commercial HVAC markets. Currently, the Company serves over 100,000 homeowners across its target markets. Southern HVAC is financially backed by MSouth Equity Partners, a private equity investment firm that provides equity capital and expertise to support management teams of lower middle market companies. Founded in 2007, MSouth manages $1.3 billion with three active funds, and is the successor to Cravey, Green & Wahlen, which was founded in 1984.

President of FAST, Melissa Vaughan, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in helping me to exit my family legacy business gracefully. The team did an outstanding job of marketing my business toward motivated buyers, and ultimately finding the perfect fit in Southern HVAC. I would like to thank the Benchmark transaction team for the extraordinary effort in making this transaction a reality.”

“Our focus was to find the acquirer that shared FAST’s passion and commitment to providing a personalized level of service while retaining the culture that Melissa has worked so hard to preserve,” said Trevor Talkie, Senior Associate at Benchmark International. “FAST is a compelling addition to MSouth’s growing HVAC platform, and we are truly honored to have worked alongside Melissa and her team toward this successful outcome.”

Tyrus O’Neill, Director at Benchmark International added, “After the journey Melissa has been through, we’re happy to see the process reach an ideal end result. On behalf of Benchmark International, I’d like to wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

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We hope your holiday season is merry and bright!

Posted on December 22, 2017 By in Blog + What's happening at Benchmark

As the holidays come to an end and we venture into 2018, we want to thank you for your business. Happy holidays and happy New Year’s Day from the Benchmark International family to yours!

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Henderson Site Services Ltd to Western Thermal Ltd

Posted on December 13, 2017 By in Blog

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Henderson Site Services Ltd to Western Thermal Ltd.

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Tags: Blog

Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Jovic Plant to SRBE

Posted on December 13, 2017 By in Blog

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal between Jovic Plant and SRBE, a subsidiary of Merino Private Equity, has completed.

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Tags: Blog

Why Engaging in 2018 is Advantageous for your Business

As we embark on the year 2018, it is important to acknowledge the advantages of engaging your business for sale. Mergers and acquisitions was strong in 2017 and is expected to continue full steam ahead moving into 2018. You can count on Benchmark International to stay on top of current trends to bring you the highest level of professionalism in the sale of your business.

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Don't Kick the Can Down the Road

There are many things to consider when you are thinking of a potential exit, whether it be your own personal/business circumstances, the overall M&A market or potential tax implications.

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Engaging with Benchmark International is Not a Commitment to Sell

Engaging with a mergers and acquisitions firm is a huge emotional decision. It may feel like making a commitment to sell, and you aren’t sure if this is what you want. At Benchmark International, our purpose is to help our clients achieve their personal goals whatever they may be.

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Global M&A Activity to Reach Record Figure of £2.4 Trillion in 2018

Worldwide mergers and acquisition activity will hit £2.4 trillion ($3.2 trillion) next year, as deal-making is elevated on an increasing global economic tide, according to recent forecasts.

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Giving in Order to Receive: A Surprisingly ‘Warm and Fuzzy Glow’ in the Harvard Business Review

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review made a perhaps surprising conjecture: that as far as mergers and acquisitions are concerned, those companies that focus on what they’re going to get from an acquisition are less likely to succeed, in terms of the deal outcomes, than those companies that focus on what they can give to the process.

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What Does the Autumn Budget Mean for Businesses?

Posted on November 23, 2017 By in Blog

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, yesterday unveiled his Autumn Budget to Parliament, which grabbed the headlines with its announcements on stamp duty, housing, the NHS and the National Living Wage.

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Tags: Blog

Benchmark International Advises on the deal between Sui Generis Holdings Limited to Milbank Concrete Products Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal between Sui Generis and Milbank has been agreed.

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Medical Sector M&A in Rude Health: Medisec Acquisition Part of Wider Trend for Synergetic Deals

We’ve recently been seeing at first hand the rise in medical and healthcare sector mergers and acquisitions both domestically and internationally, with Dublin-based Clanwilliam Group’s synergetic acquisition of Cheshire-based NHS technology provider Medisec (brokered by Benchmark International) the most recent example.

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Benchmark International Advises on The Sale of Levy Brothers & Knowles Limited to NNZ

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal between Levy Brothers & Knowles Limited (LBK) to NNZ has been agreed.

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Greening Due Diligence: Environmental Factors to Consider in M&A Preparation

‘Green-washing’ is pretty much endemic in the business world, with every company worth its salt aiming to showcase its environmental credentials, whether rightfully or as a PR exercise.

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Sale of Canaide Inc to Apprio Holdings, LLC.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of Canaide, Inc. to Apprio Holdings, LLC.

Canaide, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Canaide, is a revenue cycle management firm located in Central Florida. They are a provider of outsourced, self-pay services to hospitals across the Southeastern United States. The acquirer, Apprio Holdings, is a provider of specialized technology solutions, particularly for the Health, Defense and Homeland Security markets. They are headquartered in Washington, D.C. and now have 11 total offices from coast to coast.

Art Seypura, owner of Canaide, stated, “Benchmark made the sales process timely and seamless. We went to market just a few short months ago and they quickly found a great cultural fit that would allow me to step away quickly from the helm while partaking in future growth under the guidance of Apprio.”

Benchmark International Director, Dara Shareef, stated, “We are really excited that we were able to successfully locate a buyer for Art Seypura and Canaide. Every facet of this process, from engagement to close, went smoothly thanks to the dedication and effort from both the sell-side and buy-side teams.”

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Benchmark International Facilitated the Transaction between Silexx Financial Systems and Chicago Board Options Exchange

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Silexx Financial Systems, LLC and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Headquartered in Chicago, IL, CBOE is the largest U.S. options exchange in the nation. Silexx Financial Systems, LLC is a broker-neutral, multi-asset class trading platform in Sarasota, Florida.

Thomas Frey, president and majority owner of Silexx Financial Systems, LLC stated, “I would like to thank Benchmark International for their persistence, and focus during this transaction. As is often the case, this transaction faced numerous challenges during each stage of the process. The Benchmark team remained focused, and leveraged their experience to maintain forward progress during difficult times of the process.”

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Benchmark International Director Dara Shareef stated, “We would like to congratulate our clients, Silexx Financial Systems, LLC, Thomas Frey, and Michael Williams, as well as the buyer, Chicago Board Options Exchange. This acquisition enhances the CBOE delivery model and provides its customers industry-leading data analytics and trade execution tools for more than three dozen global markets. The buyer truly valued our client’s existing OEMS platform and access to major global markets in North America, Europe and Asia. We feel this deal was a win-win proposition for both CBOE and Silexx, and we wish them both all the best in the future.”

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Benchmark International Advises on the Deal Between SigmaRoc and Topcrete Limited

 

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Considering the sale of your business? If so, then the time might be now!

There is still the chance for you to capitalise on the extremely low 10% capital gains tax rates which are on offer via Entrepreneurs’ Relief, whenever you fully or partially sell your company.

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Technically Speaking - M&A to Remain Strong in the Next 12 Months

Technology-related mergers and acquisitions are set to remain robust over the next 12 months, according to the recent semi-annual leaders’ poll from law firm Morrison & Foerster’s global M&A team.

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The Time For Health IT M&A is Approaching

Health IT mergers and acquisitions are now gaining traction, and at a rapid rate. While there are a number of reasons for this, the ultimate driving force is the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care.

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What Makes a Company a Likely Acquisition Target?

A fascinating report has been published by Intralinks who, in conjunction with Cass Business School in London examined 23 years of data from almost 34,000 companies worldwide to identify the factors that make companies attractive M&A targets.

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M&A Meat Processing Sector - Ireland

In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the meat processing sector in Ireland, M&A activity involving participants within the sector has continued apace in 2017, with the conclusion of some notable deals.

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People-Centred Data: A Crucial Tool in M&A

Of all the obstacles inherent in the M&A process, something that’s often overlooked is ‘the people factor’ – that’s to say, understanding, planning and correctly valuing the HR and employment side of a business, as well as company culture – an aspect that’s crucial when two companies come together.

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Benchmark International Completes Sale of Central Florida Solar, Inc. to Wayfare Impact LLC.

Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of Central Florida Solar, Inc. (“CFS”) to Wayfare Impact LLC (“Wayfare”).

Based in Altamonte Springs, Florida, CFS operates as a multi-service solar energy provider that designs, sells and installs solar energy systems for water heating, pool heating and solar electric power. The company primarily services the residential sector across the Orlando, Florida market. The company’s owner, Bill Park, has been designing and installing solar energy systems since 1984 and has completed the Florida Solar Energy Center’s photovoltaic system design program.

Since 2000, CFS has been committed to providing clean energy options that are both cost effective for the consumer and environmentally friendly. Since inception, the company has grown from a small family business to a profitable venture. The company’s technical knowledge, experienced staff, and professionalism not only ensure client retention, but foster additional growth opportunities within the industry.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Wayfare is a privately-owned investment firm with a focus on U.S. investments. Wayfare pursues a multitude of sectors and markets from an investment standpoint; however, the group primarily focuses on growth companies with clear potential to be not only profitable, but to have a positive impact on the environment. Today, Wayfare is further expanding its portfolio of socially responsible and environmentally conscious companies with the acquisition of CFS.

President and Founder of CFS, Bill Park, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in bringing my exit strategy to fruition. The team did an outstanding job of marketing my business toward motivated buyers, and even lined me up with first-rate legal counsel as the deal entered more mature stages. I would like to thank the Benchmark transaction team for the extraordinary effort in making this transaction a reality.”

Benchmark International’s Senior Associate, Trevor Talkie, added, “We have really enjoyed working with our client, Bill Park, and bringing to the table an acquirer with many of the same core values. Bill has built an excellent business over the years and this acquisition by Wayfare is a testament to the value CFS provides. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.” Tyrus O’Neill, Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent CFS in this transaction, and on behalf of Benchmark International, we are extremely pleased with the outcome. A win-win for the buyer and the seller is always an ideal end result.”

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The ‘Urge to Merge’ is Alive and Kicking Globally – With a Trend towards Smaller Deals

In a much-talked-about piece in the New York Times recently, Hernan Cristerna, Co-Head of Global M&A at JP Morgan Chase, diagnosed the global mergers and acquisitions market as alive and very much kicking – in spite of ongoing Brexit anxieties and considerable political uncertainty around the Trump administration.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Rochester Electro-Medical to Advantage Medical Cables

Posted on September 26, 2017 By in Blog + Deal completions

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of Rochester Electro-Medical, Inc to Advantage Medical Cables, a portfolio company of HealthEdge Investment Partners. The complementary nature of the acquisition is expected to enable both companies to build on their strengths and solid proprietary businesses, uniting the AMC, LifeSync and Rochester brands, to provide one of the most robust and diverse product lines in ECG, SpO2, NIPB, IBP, EMG, EEG, IOM, PSG, EP and Cath Labs.

The combined companies are expected to become one of the largest players in the US market.

Rochester Electro-Medical, Inc, is a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of Class I and Class II medical devices for use in hospitals and clinics. The primary products sold are reusable and disposable supplies used in neurodiagnostic and neuromonitoring procedures. The company has been family owned and operated by the Berkins family since 1960, spanning three generations of family members at the executive level. The acquirer, Advantage Medical Cables (AMC), is an active portfolio company of HealthEdge Investment Partners (HealthEdge). AMC is based on Coral Springs, FL and is a manufacturer and distributor of accessories for the patient monitoring market. HealthEdge is based in Tampa, FL and is the control investor of AMC as part of their Fund II.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

The Rochester Electro-Medical, Inc shareholders stated, “We would like to thank the team at Benchmark International for their expertise, hard work and dedication in helping us find the perfect partner for our business with AMC and HealthEdge. Benchmark effectively marketed the growth occurring in our business in order to negotiate and procure the highest possible value, while guiding and supporting us throughout the entire process. We are very proud of our company’s history and dedication to our industry and customers, but we recognized it was time to move on to new ventures in our lives. Benchmark brought the same level of passion, innovation and energy to facilitating our exit that we brought every day as owners.”

Graham Woodard, Senior Associate at Benchmark International, added, “Being able to support a client in such a positive acquisition is rewarding for our entire team. We truly enjoyed working for our client at Rochester Electro-Medical and the group at HealthEdge and AMC were equally pleasurable to work alongside. On behalf of Benchmark International we would like to wish both sides the very best in future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International Closes 14 US-based Deals in the first half of 2017

Following on last year’s impressive 26 closings, Benchmark International’s US offices represented sellers on 14 transactions in the first six months of 2017. This was due in no small part to a 30-day span in which Benchmark International closed ten deals globally, with six of those being for US-based sellers.

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Cade & Associates Advertising, Inc Acquired by Eyeworks Advertising, Inc

Posted on September 26, 2017 By in Blog + Deal completions

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of Cade & Associates Advertising, Inc. to Eyeworks Advertising, Inc.

Cade & Associates Advertising, Inc. is a full service advertising agency that focuses on creative design, production and account management of digital media, social media, and in-house video production services. Cade also offers a full slate of traditional agency services like graphic design, brand development and media planning and placement. Cade & Associates Advertising, Inc. has been operating in the Tallahassee, Florida for close to a quarter of a century and has over 100 clients across a number of different industries.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

The acquirer, Eyeworks Advertising, Inc. is led by entrepreneur Robert Marshke. Robert has extensive experience in video production and advertising. Rob is looking forward to the addition of Cade & Associates Advertising to the Eyeworks Advertising brand and plans on building the companies footprint into the Midwest.

Rick Shapley and Linda Frandsen, owners of Cade & Associates Advertising, Inc., stated “Our experience with Benchmark has been first class since day one. Their attention to detail, professionalism and availability at a moment’s notice made us feel as if we were their only client. We would like to thank the team for helping us through the process and look forward to seeing the company grow under new ownership.”

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Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions: A Beginner’s Guide to the Top Five Areas of Interest

Due diligence by potential buyers takes up a serious amount of time in any M&A process. Essentially, it’s designed to make sure the buyer knows exactly what it is that they’re buying – and in other cases, ‘reverse diligence’ helps the target company understand whether a potential buyer or merger partner is right for them.

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Benchmark International’s client, Command Partners merged with Enventys

In July 2016, Benchmark International’s client, Command Partners (a digital Marketing Firm) merged with Enventys (a Product Development Firm). These companies cater to helping entrepreneurs and startups locally and globally. Command Partners focuses on digital marketing for burgeoning companies using crowd funding and Enventys; expertise is in product design, engineering, manufacturing and fulfillment. The joint company will provide the following services, among others: marketing research, industrial design, engineering, prototyping, commercialization strategy, software and app development, branding, video production, digital marketing, public relations, search engine marketing, web development, lead generation and more.

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Benchmark International Opens Ireland Office

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that after an exciting year of growth, we are expanding our international reach to Ireland.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Furlong Business Solutions Limited to Volaris Group

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Furlong Business Solutions to Volaris Group.

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Post-Brexit Benefits for Mergers and Acquisitions

Irrespective of the outcome and the eventual deal Britain strikes with the EU, there will be greater uncertainty for businesses in the near-term.

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Benchmark International Announces Acquisition of Carl Amber Isiah and Associates Co. by Whalen Strategies

International M&A specialist, Benchmark International, has successfully facilitated the transaction between Carl Amber Brian Isaiah and Associates Co. (“CBAIA”) and Whalen Strategies, Inc. (“WSI”).

Headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia, CBAIA is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) which was established in Partlow, Virginia in 2005 by Carl Lawson Sr. CBAIA’s main offerings include Logistics Management and Hardware Lifecycle Support with a primary focus on providing outstanding support to the Department of Defense. In 2005, CBAIA’s efforts were honored with the United States Marine Corps Systems Command (USMS MCSC) Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Award and were highlighted for outstanding support services supporting the Marine Corp Logistics Command (Care of Supplies in Storage – Barstow, CA) in an official Marine Corp publication.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

With over 30 years of experience in the defense contractor space, Kelly Whalen of WSI will be leading the CBAIA team as Chief Executive Officer. After spending his last 10 years in various executive positions in the life cycle logistics sector, Kelly will immediately take part in executing strategic initiatives to bolster CBAIA’s growth. The acquisition of CBAIA represents an excellent addition to WSI’s growing presence and further expands on its current footprint.

“Benchmark International played an instrumental role in marketing my family company, interviewing potential buyers, and properly cementing a deal that was beneficial to both parties, ultimately facilitating a successful acquisition,” said CBAIA’s Chief Operating Officer, Carl Lawson Jr. "From the beginning, the Benchmark team was diligent in identifying the perfect buyer for my business and brought multiple candidates to the table. Overall, WSI was the ideal fit from an acquirer standpoint and I’d like to extend a big thank you to Benchmark for the hard work and extraordinary effort that made this transaction a reality."

Trevor Talkie, Senior Associate at Benchmark International, added, “It was a pleasure working with the Lawson family from the early stages of our marketing process right through to the transaction closing. Given Carl Sr.’s vision for CBAIA and the strategic value that Kelly (WSI) brings to the table, we feel this deal was a win-win for both sides.” Director, Tyrus O’Neill, added, “Carl Sr. has built a tremendous business and we’re ecstatic to have brought his exit strategy goals to fruition. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both parties the very best moving forward.”

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The Five Most Common Seller Mistakes in M&A Deals

‘To err is human’, it’s said … but for sellers and buyers alike, the M&A process is surely not a good time to make mistakes.

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What Do Major Mergers and Acquisitions Mean for Small Retailers?

It seems as though every other day, the headlines announce a new acquisition among major retailers. The giants in the industry are diversifying their products, sucking up more stock, and building mighty kingdoms that boutique and small business owners can’t even throw stones at. How can these smaller businesses possibly compete? First, take a look at what’s happening…

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The Importance of Disclosure Schedules In Mergers & Acquisitions

Disclosure schedules are an integral part of any merger or acquisition (M&A) transaction. They contain information required by the acquisition agreement—typically a listing of important contracts, intellectual property, employee information, and other materials as well as exceptions or qualifications to the detailed representations and warranties of the selling company contained in the acquisition agreement.

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Timing: A Critical Factor in M&A

Timing is, without doubt, one of the most critical factors in mergers and acquisitions; a recent report found that it is, in fact, the single most reliable predictor in terms of creating real shareholder value.

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To Sell or Not to Sell: The Top Four Reasons Entrepreneurs Choose to Sell

Entrepreneurs, by nature, are people who spend a considerable amount of time looking for the next opportunity. And for them, 'the next opportunity' often includes a suitable time to sell their company.

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Out of Africa: How the M&A Market is Evolving South of the Sahara

Benchmark International has recently opened a new office in Cape Town, South Africa (see 3rd July blog post), headed up by Andre Bresler and Dustin Graham. This is an exciting development for Benchmark International, in a dynamic evolving market.

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