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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Ace Security & Electrical Ltd and Churches Fire Security Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Essex-based Ace Security & Electrical to Churches Fire & Security.

Established in 1981 and specialising in all aspects of fire and security, Ace Security & Electrical designs, installs, and maintains a vast range of security and fire safety systems, specialising in technologically complex and intricate solutions. It supplies to commercial and domestic clients such as educational establishments and local authorities, as well as several well-known celebrities.

Churches Fire & Security has provided fire safety and security services to over 40,000 sites in the UK for over 20 years, offering fully integrated services including sprinklers, fire alarms, fire door inspections, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, dry risers, suppression systems, intruder alarms, CCTV systems and access control.

The acquisition of Ace Security & Electrical allows Churches Fire & Security to enhance its South East offering, supporting the business strategy of becoming the most comprehensive fire safety and security provider in the UK.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Jim Lander & Neil Armstong, Directors at Ace Security & Electrical, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the sale of Ace Security & Electrical to Churches Fire & Security. We are convinced that Churches will honour the almost 30 years of hard work that has gone into making Ace one of the UK’s leading supplier and service organisations in the fire and security sector. Looking after our staff and customers was the number one priority throughout this process, and we are confident that Churches shares this outlook.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Arcus Consultancy Services Limited and ERM-Europe Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Arcus Consultancy Services (“Arcus Consultancy”) to ERM-Europe (“ERM”).

Arcus Consultancy is an award-winning, multidisciplinary environmental, planning and engineering consultancy, specialising in the renewable energy sector. Clients include five of the ‘big six’ UK energy suppliers and projects include some of the most significant renewable energy schemes in Europe and Africa. 70 staff work from the company’s offices in Glasgow, York, Durham, Maidstone, and Cape Town, providing a range of connected services.

ERM is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, social consulting, and sustainability related services. The company works with the world’s leading organisations, helping them to understand their sustainability challenges. ERM employs more than 5,500 people who work in more than over 160 offices in over 40 countries and territories.

This acquisition will enable the continued growth journey of Arcus Consultancy, while providing an exciting opportunity for ERM to acquire Arcus Consultancy's specialism in renewable energy consulting.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Greg Shillabeer, Founder and CEO of Arcus Consultancy commented: “We have created a fantastic business in Arcus over the past 14 years and are keen to further develop and diversify geographically, in different market sectors and with new clients. By joining a market leader like ERM, with such a strong global platform and market presence, these aspirations will be immediately possible, whilst ensuring our clients continue to have access to the very best technical expertise. We also aspire to help organisations who are yet to fully realise the potential renewables can bring to their businesses and have ambitious plans to achieve this through our union with ERM, ultimately contributing toward the global transition to a lower carbon economy."

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Alliance Dx, LLC and Tesis Laboratory

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition between Alliance Dx LLC and Tesis Laboratory, doing business as Claro labs.

Alliance Dx is a clinical pathology laboratory that provides diagnostic testing services for physician-referred patients in the healthcare sector. The company examines and analyzes DNA, body tissue, and other bodily samples for testing specific to cancer diagnostics. The company provides laboratory testing services for end-user patient clients who have been referred by physician clients in hematology and oncology for the Greater Houston, Texas area.

Claro Labs provides physicians, physician groups, and hospitals with full-service complex clinical diagnostic testing in an accurate and timely manner. Claro Labs prides itself on maintaining state-of-the-art technologies and equipment, meeting the highest industry standards.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Sam Ruta, former owner and CEO of Alliance Dx, commented, “The Benchmark Team did an excellent job of facilitating a transaction quickly and went above and beyond to keep all parties on track and on schedule until the very end.”

Anthony Hernandez, Benchmark International Transaction Director, shared, “the Benchmark Team is delighted to announce the successful sale of Alliance Dx to Tesis Laboratory, resulting in a swift exit for the seller despite the negative macroeconomic headwinds resulting from the current pandemic. The team at Benchmark International is excited about the future of Alliance Dx under the strategic ownership of the Tesis Laboratory group and wish each of the parties every success in their future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Industrial Water Management Ltd and EnviroChemie Group GmbH

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Dublin-based Industrial Water Management to German-based EnviroChemie Group, a subsidiary of SKion Water GmbH.

Industrial Water Management has been established since 1974 and is engaged in the manufacture and supply of boiler and cooling water treatment chemicals and technical backup services, secondary disinfection equipment, remedial services and other water hygiene solutions to the commercial, industrial and healthcare sectors. With 30 employees, IWM generates an annual turnover of approximately €3 million.

Founded in 1976, EnviroChemie supplies sustainable system solutions worldwide for all the tasks involved in industrial water treatment and the treatment of process water, circulation water, cooling water, boiler water and wastewater. The company serves customers in industrial and commercial sectors such as pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, automotive, transportation, chemicals, dairy, food & beverage, metals, mining, public swimming pools & spas, and textiles.

The acquisition of IWM will strengthen the mutual competencies in the companies’ markets and expand the range of services available for customers. This transaction will give EnviroChemie a presence in Ireland, giving these customers the potential to benefit from EnviroChemie’s broad range of products and services as well as local support from IWM.

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

Conor O' Donovan, CEO of IWM, commented: "The high level of competence and diverse experience of the experts at EnviroChemie Group will enhance IWM’s capacity in providing comprehensive support to our customers in Ireland. We are also proud to bring our expertise, specifically in water hygiene and legionella treatment, to the customers of our new colleagues. Many existing and new customers will benefit from the expansion of EnviroChemie Group's range of services with complete solutions for process water and wastewater".

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties the very best going forward.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Card Geotechnics Limited and CET Infrastructure

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Surrey-based Card Geotechnics (CGL) and Palatine-backed CET Infrastructure.

CGL is a specialist geotechnical and geoenvironmental consultancy, providing services for a wide spectrum of ground-based challenges across the construction industry. Using advanced software, the company pioneers time and cost-effective solutions to accommodate clients’ specifications. Operating from seven locations across the UK and Ireland, the company serves clients across a range of market sectors including residential, commercial, infrastructure and energy.

CET Infrastructure is a provider of specialist geotechnical, environmental and materials testing services to the construction and engineering sector. The company is backed by mid-market investor, Palatine Private Equity.

The acquisition, the company’s largest to date, continues its buy-and-build strategy and will take annual revenues at CET Infrastructure to over £30m, as well as significantly broaden the breadth and depth of the technical services it offers to customers.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Peter Eglinton, CEO of CET Group, says: “We are delighted to welcome the team at CGL to CET and excited about the range of skills and services that we can now offer. From the first time we met the team at CGL, we knew that we had a very similar focus around developing our staff and delivering for our customers.”

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties the very best going forward.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Greenkey Garden & Home Ltd and Retail Equipment Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Gloucestershire-based Greenkey to Suffolk-based Retail Equipment.

Established in 2003, Greenkey is a trademarked brand and is an established distributor of its own brand of garden equipment, garden décor and animal habitats. The company supplies to garden centres, DIY outlets, agricultural merchants, and online retailers nationwide.

Retail Equipment is a wholesale company selling shopfittings. The acquisition is part of the company’s buy and build strategy.

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

The directors Jeremy and Emma Parkes will retire in six months allowing the opportunity for the new management to develop the business further.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Oracle Drive Systems Limited and Veruth Holdings Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of leading variable speed drive and control systems integrator, Oracle Drive Systems, to Veruth Holdings, owner of Europa Components plc and other companies, through sell-side advisers Benchmark International and Primas.

Veruth, a second-generation family holding company, has a policy of long-term development and growth for the companies it is involved with. It is delighted that John Mullins, founder of Oracle, is remaining as Sales Director.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Oracle will continue to build on its 16 years of experience and expertise with many blue-chip companies now with the backing to expand. Already in the last month new offices have been opened in Billingham in the North East of England, adding to the Batley unit in West Yorkshire, as well as taking on more project engineers and support staff to handle the new work the company is being awarded.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Tom Walker & Sons Limited and HMS Ltd

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Stockton-on-Tees food packaging firm, Tom Walker & Sons (TWS), to Glasgow-based food ingredients group, HMS.

Established in 1982, TWS is one of the UK’s leading distributors, importers and packers of cheese products, supplying to a national retail and wholesale customer base. Services include cutting and packing, co-packing, new product development and national chilled distribution of a vast selection of cheeses, including Cambozola cheese, of which it is the sole UK distributor.

HMS and its subsidiaries are one of Europe’s largest food ingredient distributors. Established in 1992, HMS has a turnover in excess of £210m and provides UK and European coverage through a network of six warehouses and 73 vehicles. The acquisition of TWS will allow the company to benefit from adding additional food products to its current offering.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Following the acquisition, TWS will continue to operate as a stand-alone business and will be headed up by Russell Eley who will take over from Peter Walker, the current managing director.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Rivanet Limited and Intec Business Solutions Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of education technology specialists, RivaNET™, by business technology company, inTec.

RivaNET™ is a provider of innovative enterprise grade IT solutions to independent schools and colleges in London and the South East. Delivering optimised technology and infrastructure, in addition to cyber security and managed support services, the company’s offering promotes an exceptional learning environment whilst safeguarding pupils, staff, and institutions.

inTec is a technology telecoms and IT support company offering 'Work Smarter' solutions, such as streamlining processes, improving workforce productivity, and reducing operating costs.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

RivaNET™ will play a leading role in inTec’s strategy to build a dynamic technology group, allowing inTec to expand its geographic reach and move into the education sector.

Going forward, RivaNET™ will continue to trade as such and will be led by current Managing Director, Nick Donoghue.

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Kent Catering Services (Bromley) Ltd and Catercall Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Kent Catering Services (Bromley) (KCSB) by Birmingham-based Catercall.

KCSB was established in 1995 by David Clarke and since then has operated within the commercial catering equipment maintenance industry, covering London and the Home Counties.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The company is a specialist in the installation, maintenance and repair of commercial catering equipment, working alongside a wide range of clients including hotels, restaurants and schools.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Development Processes Group Limited and ICS Learn

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Manchester-based Development Processes Group (DPG) by Glasgow-based ICS Learn, backed by Primary Capital.

DPG was established in 1991 and is a training and development provider specialising in CIPD qualifications to both B2C and B2B clients via online courses, traditional classroom workshops and blended online content.

Founded in 1889, ICS Learn has been a pioneer in distance learning for more than 130 years. It is an online learning provider with over 25,000 current students, offering award-winning courses with unlimited tutor support and operating over 100 countries.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Both companies will combine their collective knowledge and talent with the aim of delivering an unrivalled experience for students starting or advancing their career in HR.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between The Bailey Group Administration Company Limited and SKS Business Services Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the merger between Peterlee-based Bailey Group and London-headquartered SKS Business Services.

Founded in 2006, Bailey Group is an award-winning independent group of accountancy firms operating 10 practices throughout the UK, providing the preparation of management and final accounts, as well as auditing, cloud accounting, tax advice and planning.

SKS is one of the fastest growing SME-focused finance outsourcing, accounting services and tax/business advisory firms in the UK.

Its biggest merger to date, the aim of the transaction is to allow SKS Business Services to expand into the North East. The addition means that SKS now has a presence in five out of the eight UK regions, including the East of England, the South East of England, London, the North West of England, and now also the North East of England.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Going forward, Bailey Group will now be known as SKS Bailey Group and the combined entity now contains twenty-five offices across the UK and with nearly 11,000 SME clients.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Hall Building Products, Inc. and Reddi Industries, Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition between Hall Building Products, Inc. and Reddi Industries, Inc.

Hall Building Products provides an array of building supplies to commercial and residential works, primarily servicing customers in Oklahoma and the northern Texas region.

Reddi Industries is a Wichita, Kansas based home and commercial services company that added Hall Building Products to its growing business portfolio and geographical reach.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Zack Stevens, co-owner of Reddi Industries, Inc. stated “Oliver with Benchmark recently helped us with a multi-state business acquisition. Throughout the entire process, Oliver did a great job keeping the deal moving and communicating with us on updates. There are obstacles in every acquisition we have completed and this one was no exception. Oliver helped us work through those to the finish line. I’d highly recommend Oliver and Benchmark.”

Benchmark International Transaction Director Anthony Hernandez noted, “The Benchmark International team is delighted to have facilitated the sale of Hall Building Products, Inc. to Reddi Industries, Inc. Reddi Industries, a family-owned and operated professional home and commercial services company, proved to be the perfect buyer for Hall Building Products, Inc. The Benchmark International team did an excellent job bringing Reddi Industries to the table to execute a swift transaction with the seller.”

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Why You Should Consider Expanding Into New Markets

If your business is successful in your geographical region, it could be time to look at moving into new markets. Expanding your company into new markets can be a powerful solution for creating growth for several reasons. If your business is based in the United States, just stop and consider the fact that 96 percent of the world’s consumers reside outside of America’s borders. Globalization is becoming more and more common for brands, and it is here to stay.

Gain New Customers and Boost Revenue

When a business is performing well, it is not uncommon for its growth opportunities to become exhausted within its home market. By turning to expansion strategies, new markets open up significant potential to reach a broader customer base, in turn increasing sales and revenue. In fact, reports show that 45 percent of middle market companies make more than half of their revenue overseas.

Diversify

By taking your company into new markets, you have the opportunity to diversify, making revenue more stable. Say your domestic market is slowing. By being in a more global market, you gain the advantage of having it as a protective measure during slower economic times at home.

Enhance Your Reputation

When you provide your product or service to customers in new markets, it bolsters your reputation both abroad and at home. A favorable reputation inherently attracts new customers. Expansion also builds name brand recognition and gives your business more credibility on a larger scale.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Get a Competitive Edge

This one is simple. Get into new markets before your competitors do. This is especially important if you are operating in a saturated market. If you get there first, you get the customers first and can take measures to retain them. This is much easier than being the second or third in the new market and trying to lure customers to switch to your business for similar products or services. This is why it’s no surprise that nearly 60 percent of middle market companies include international expansion into their growth strategies.

Access More Talent

More geographical reach means a bigger talent pool. It also means adding valuable advantages such as language skills and varied educational backgrounds. It also allows you to employ local talent that has the expertise to effortlessly serve and communicate with your customers in the same time zone. This can be a key strategy if your company is older and has decades of experience operating in your home market.

Save Money

Believe it or not, expanding can actually lower your company’s operational costs and save you money, especially if your business involves manufacturing. In other markets, you may find lower costs of labor and more affordable talent. Also, advancements in e-commerce and logistics have lowered the cost of doing business overseas. And lets not forget about taxes. Several countries around the world offer tax incentives to companies looking to expand internationally because it brings new business opportunities to their homeland.

Contact Us

If you are a business owner looking for ways to grow your company, talk to our M&A experts at Benchmark International. We have extensive experience, a massive network of global connections, and plenty of great ideas. You can take comfort in knowing that everything we do is predicated upon doing the right thing for you and your business.

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10 Important Post-merger Integration Tips

Having a solid integration plan in place for your company merger is critical to the future success of your business. These tips can help prepare you for the process.  

  1. Begin planning from the earliest possible point in time. Outline all of your goals and objectives, employ best practices, and identify any gaps in your plan. Make sure all the key parties involved in the merger are in agreement on the integration plan. You should start implementing the integration process before announcing the deal. This enables you to begin integration immediately versus rushing to make important decisions at the last minute.
  2. Create an integration team and clearly communicate the strategy for moving ahead with all necessary parties involved. Assess your key areas of value and designate the teams or persons responsible for these areas, making sure they understand the exit criteria they will need to meet.
  3. Make sure leadership roles are clearly defined during and after the merger. You may even want to consider bringing in leadership from outside both companies to benefit from a neutral perspective. Insist that leadership is committed to both the big picture for the company and the details of getting integration done right.
  4. Synergy is important in all aspects of the business, but especially in its culture. Commit to one culture and take measures to ensure that it will be preserved.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

  1. You are going to want your staff to be positive and excited about the merger, rather than nervous and/or cynical. This means you are going to have to sell the deal to them, ensuring they understand why the move will be good for them. Craft an internal communication plan that makes sure that no one is left in the dark at any point along the way. You will want to make sure you keep the overall messaging consistent to manage expectations properly.
  2. Have a solid plan for all things IT. This is a critical component of any business. How the technology will be integrated must be completely planned out to avoid any communication breakdowns or loss of important data. Implement a structure to track progress and identify potential risks so that they can be addressed in a timely manner.
  3. Understand what type of deal you are making and how it will dictate the days ahead. For example, a scale deal is an expansion in the same or overlapping business. A scope deal is an expansion into a new market, product or channel. All of your integration decisions will be based on this.
  4. All sorts of things can crop up and slow down or sidetrack an M&A transaction. Do your best to stick to the timetable you outlined while ensuring that you make smart decisions rather than just following the process for the process’s sake.
  5. Just like easing the minds of your employees, you will need to do the same for your customers. Make every effort to ensure minimal disruption for all of your customers and clearly communicate your plans with them to address any concerns.
  6. Remember you are still running a business. Avoid becoming so distracted by the transaction that you neglect business priorities such as your customers’ needs. You must keep the company on track and running smoothly if you expect the deal to be a success.

Finally, be sure to celebrate your successes. After an arduous process, employees should feel that their work is appreciated and everyone should share in keeping the momentum going moving forward.

Contact Us

At Benchmark International, our highly esteemed M&A experts are eager to roll up our sleeves and get you a stellar deal for your company. Reach out to us at your convenience.

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Rivertop Contracting, Inc. and The Greenery, Inc.

Rivertop Contracting is a comprehensive landscape management service company with a strong presence in upstate South Carolina. The company offers lawn maintenance, new construction landscaping, and paver work.  Benchmark International worked with Rivertop Contracting to identify salient business metrics that present the fundamentals and prospects of the business. We marketed these metrics to key interested parties, negotiated multiple letters of intent, and ultimately facilitated the transaction between the two companies.

Owner and CEO of Rivertop Contracting, Inc. Rob Atema commented, "It was a pleasure working with the Benchmark International team. Their expertise, persistence, and knowledge of creative deal structure negotiation led to a mutually successful transaction and a newfound relationship for both sides of the deal. I know who I’ll be calling when I decide to sell my other business."

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The Greenery, Inc. was seeking to strategically purchase market share in the area that Rivertop’s South Carolina operations were located. Those goals aligned with the seller’s desire to divest and focus on other established locations of the business.

The Greenery was first established on Hilton Head Island in 1973 by Ruthie and Berry Edwards. Today, it has developed into a multi-location full spectrum landscaping and contracting firm that is employee-owned and continues to expand throughout the East Coast region of the US.

Benchmark International's Transaction Director, Don Rooney commented regarding the deal completion, “Benchmark International is happy to have successfully facilitated the transaction between Rivertop Contracting and The Greenery. We look forward to assisting Rob in the sale of his other companies when the time comes.”

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Alliance Air Solutions, Inc. and Climatech Mechanical Services, Inc.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Alliance Air Solutions, Inc. (“Alliance Air”) and Climatech Mechanical Services, Inc.

Alliance Air was incorporated in 2006 as a commercial and industrial HVAC installation and service company. Since its inception, the company has maintained a strong reputation within its market as a quality heating and air conditioning service provider. The company’s approach, centered on quality and integrity, ensures each client is treated well and each project is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

Climatech is a full-service mechanical contracting company serving customers in several states. Over the past 48 years, they have grown into one of the largest contractors for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration in their served regions. The acquisition creates additional capacity and geographic expansion to an already successful service model.Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

“Alliance offers an exciting opportunity for Climatech to expand its service offerings in a variety of different areas” explains Brad Taback, CEO of Climatech.  “This acquisition will provide significant growth opportunities and strengthens our management team so that we are able to achieve our goals in the Florida marketplace.”   

Regarding the deal completion, Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent Alliance Air in this strategic transaction. This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams to strategically accelerate the rate of growth. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Using Growth Capital To Grow Your Business

Every business owner wants to grow their company, but having access to capital to make it happen can make all the difference in the world. Growth capital is money that you borrow to help grow your business’s operations and, ideally, its profitability. There are many different forms of growth capital. It may be structured as a short- or long-term loan or as a line of credit. Long-term financing is the most common because it is easier to repay.

There are several reasons that growth capital can be secured by a business.

  • To purchase commercial real estate
  • To buy equipment to increase production
  • To increase workforce
  • To expand into new markets
  • To increase advertising and marketing efforts
  • To purchase another company

Growth capital is different from working capital because it is debt financing to create growth, while working capital is used for financing the daily operations of the business and keep it running. It is also different from equity capital, which requires relinquishing partial ownership and entering into a strategic partnership in exchange for investor funding. Growth capital does not require giving up any ownership.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Types of Growth Capital Loans

There are several financing options for small to mid-size businesses seeking paths to growth.

  • Conventional growth capital from bank lenders. This method typically offers the lowest rates and fees, and longest terms. The average conventional business lender approves between 20 to 50 percent of all growth capital loans.
  • SBA financing with an enhancement guarantee by the Small Business Administration to cover your losses if you fail to repay. This financing is used for startups, acquisitions, expansion, construction, revolving funds, and working capital.
  • Asset-based growth capital that shows lenders collateral and substantial cash flow for approval. If you do not have adequate cash flow to get approved, you can use assets such as real estate, equipment, or inventory as collateral. These lending rates are often higher than that of banks, and the terms are shorter.
  • Alternative growth capital from private lenders, non-bank lenders, marketplace lenders and mid-prime alternative lenders have shorter terms but can be amortized over up to five years.
  • Cash advance capital is a short-term advance that involves selling a part of your business’s future receivables for a lump sum. This form of financing is usually more expensive, so the ability to increase revenue needs to justify the cost.

Applying for Growth Capital

When you apply for growth capital, lenders will assess the profitability of your company. They will want to ensure that your business model is proven, cash flow is adequate, and operations are efficient. After all, they want to feel confident that the loan can be repaid.

As defined by the National Venture Capital Association, growth equity investments feature the following attributes.

  • The business’s revenues are growing rapidly.
  • The company is cash flow positive, profitable, or approaching profitability.
  • The business is founder-owned and has no prior institutional investment.
  • The investor is agnostic about control and purchases minority ownership positions more often than not.
  • The industry investment mix is comparable to that of venture capital investors.
  • The capital is used for company needs or shareholder liquidity and additional financing rounds aren’t expected until exit.
  • The investments use zero or light leverage at purchase.
  • The returns are mainly a function of growth, not leverage.

How Can We Help?

At Benchmark International, we have an award-winning team of M&A advisors ready to help you take your business to the next level, whether it’s through a growth strategy, an exit plan, a merger, or an acquisition.   

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Management Data, Inc. and Ridgeline Advisors

Ridgeline Advisors (“Ridgeline”), a Dallas-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce it has completed the recapitalization of insurance and annuity software developer Management Data, Inc. (“MDI”).

Founded in 1982, MDI has operated as a software developer and ASP provider to insurance and annuity companies. MDI serves its customers by customizing software needs and providing best in class service.

“We are pleased to partner with Pat and the MDI team, they have built an impressive organization that is well positioned to continue to serve its clients during this challenging operating environment. We are impressed with the MDI’s emphasis on technical expertise, product leadership and customer service,” said Worth Snyder, a Managing Director of Ridgeline. “MDI has developed a unique platform that creates a compelling customer value proposition, evidenced by its roster of blue-chip clients in the insurance category. We look forward to helping MDI continue to grow and enhance its product offering and value proposition,” commented Awais Shaikh, a Managing Director of Ridgeline.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

“After an intensive three-year search for the right successor, we have finally found an organization that shares our vision and commitment to total customer service and support for our employees. After 23 years of running MDI, I can transition control with the assurance that the legacy of our unique attitude of customer support and value for our clients will be carried on with the same commitment that I have had over these many years,” commented Pat Michael, President and CEO of MDI.

Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner with Benchmark International, added “We would like to congratulate Management Data and Pat Michael, as well as, Ridgeline Advisors on a successful deal. Everyone at Benchmark International was impressed by the professionalism of both parties throughout the entire process. Additionally, it’s fantastic to see continued deal activity despite everything taking place in the broader economy. We wish everyone involved nothing but the best moving forward and believe it’s the beginning of a great partnership for Ridgeline and Management Data.”

About Management Data, Inc.
Based in Pelham, Alabama, Management Data, Inc. (“MDI”), provides policy administration software and services and has supported insurance companies and banks offering insurance products since 1982. MDI is exclusively focused on the insurance segment, serving carriers who sell individual or group life, annuity, and health policies. MDI’s core system FIMMAS supports all product lines in a single implementation utilizing the synergy of cross product and client support for both Individual and Group products. FIMMAS supports complete end-to-end insurance functionality from a pre-sale quote through claims payments. FIMMAS is a robust and flexible policy administration system that helps insurers accelerate underwriting and claims to enhance the customer experience and support profitable growth. For additional information visit www.mgtdata.com.

About Ridgeline
Ridgeline is a Dallas-based investment firm that partners with seasoned management teams to invest in growing, profitable, privately-held companies across North America with a focus on four core industry sectors: technology, consumer, healthcare, and business solutions. The firm takes a selective approach to investing in high-potential businesses whose owners and management teams want an investment partner with the capital, experience, and record of successful collaboration required to achieve their liquidity and value-creation objectives.

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Benchmark International Is Honored To Support the TGH Foundation

Benchmark International received a thank you card from Tampa General Hospital (TGH), reminding us how important it is to support our neighbors and healthcare heroes during these unprecedented times.

On April 14th and 15th, our founders Steven Keane and Gregory Jackson purchased 400 pizza pies to feed the healthcare professionals at TGH. We wanted to give back to the community by supporting our favorite pizza place - Grimaldi's Pizzeria, while also feeding the healthcare professionals at TGH, who are selflessly working each day to help fight against COVID-19 and keep our community safe.

Benchmark International is honored to have supported Tampa General Hospital and their inspiring healthcare heroes.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Oasis Water Holdings (PTY) LTD and Both Fledge Capital (PTY) LTD & SLA Capital (PTY) LTD

Benchmark International is pleased to have successfully facilitated the transaction between Oasis Water Holdings (PTY) LTD and both Fledge Capital (PTY) LTD & SLA Capital (PTY) LTD.

Oasis Water (PTY) LTD (Oasis) is a franchise group that provides clean water to retailers, corporations, end-users, and mines. The franchise operations are of various sizes, ranging from full bottling plants to small retail outlets and in-store kiosks, located across South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. This well-known and highly regarded brand has a reputation for quality products at affordable prices, in easy-to-reach locations. A contract bottling plant and owned spring water source expand the supply chain offering.

Naas du Preez, the CEO of the Oasis Water Group was quoted saying “Our solid network of more than 300 franchised Oasis Water outlets in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia (RO3 Water) is the ideal springboard for further expansion and our Value-Unlock Growth Strategy. With the added value and vast experience of Fledge Capital and SLA Capital, we can unlock our full potential.”

Is transformation important to your business?

Fledge Capital is an independent investment company that provides capital solutions to private companies across a wide range of industries that meet its investment criteria. It prefers to provide capital to companies with proven business models and leading management teams to grow those businesses. Current investee companies include WeBuyCars, King Price, BetterBond, Safari Outdoor, Atterbury Properties, etc.

Bolstered by the positive significance of the transaction for the South African M&A industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andre Bresler the Managing Director at Benchmark International, added “It is genuinely gratifying to see such an impressive business attract two reputable growth partners and to conclude a value-oriented deal for all parties concerned.”

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Benchmark International’s Client Gasket & Packing Inc. Has Successfully Sold to a Subsidiary of German-owned Conglomerate Elring Klinger

Benchmark International’s client Gasket & Packing Inc. a Borger, Texas-based industrial supply and distribution company has successfully sold to a subsidiary of German-owned conglomerate Elring Klinger.

Gasket & Packing Inc. is an industrial supplier of fluid sealing & bolted joint assembly products.  The Borger, Texas-based company with four locations supplies fluid sealing products for industrial customers. Products include manufactured gaskets, pump and valve packings, mechanical seals, hydraulics, o-rings, lubrication equipment, metal and concrete repair equipment, industrial bolting, and corrosion prevention supplies. The company also sells, rents, calibrates, and repairs torque equipment for bolted joint assemblies.

As an independent and globally positioned supplier,  Elring Klinger is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it a car or commercial vehicle, an optimized combustion engine, hybrid technology, or electric motor – they offer innovative solutions for all types of drive system in-passenger cars and commercial vehicles. They also make a commitment to making a contribution to sustainable mobility.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Transaction Director Luis Vinals stated, “This transaction demonstrates Benchmark International’s global capabilities, and the quality of its creative marketing strategies to identify buyers for our clients’ businesses.  We are excited to see our client's legacy in the capable hands of such a reputable firm and look forward to their continued success.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Cello-Wrap Printing, Inc. and Cello-Wrap Packaging, Inc.

Benchmark International is proud to announce the acquisition of Cello-Wrap Printing, Inc. by Cello-Wrap Packaging, Inc. The Benchmark International team worked diligently on behalf of Cello-Wrap Printing and was a resource for the transaction through the closing date.   Both the seller and buyer have already indicated that the integration has been smooth, and we anticipate maintaining the relationship with Cello-Wrap Packaging, Inc. as we continue to work on relevant mandates. 

Cello-Wrap Printing, Inc. is a three-generation family business located in Farmersville, Texas.  The company is a full-service flexographic printing company that offers printing, lamination, and slitting services utilizing polypropylene, cellophane, and foil as substrates.  The company primarily serves the food packaging industry and has been in operation for over 60 years.

Cello-Wrap Packaging, Inc. is Southwest Michigan's premier provider of flexible packaging serving customers with diverse product lines and evolving needs.  CPI was founded half a century ago as a plastic bag manufacturer for parts to the Detroit automotive industry.  They are now a leading BRC certified manufacturer of plastic bags and flexible packaging serving a variety of industries, with an emphasis on the food-retail sector.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The Benchmark International team used its vast array of resources and experience to help facilitate a transaction structure that allowed for both the buyer and seller to come to terms.  This included a carve-out of real estate and ensuring that the seller and their family was taken into consideration as part of a respectful and considerate transition of the business.

Deal Associate, JP Santos commented, “The Benchmark team is excited for what the future holds for Mr. Whitaker, our client, and the new ownership of Cello-Wrap. Both parties were aligned in their desire to ensure the continued success of the business, and we are pleased that an equitable transaction was agreed upon and executed successfully.” 

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A Beginner's Guide To Finding An M&A Advisory Firm

Entering into a merger or acquisition is one of the most important decisions a business owner can make, so finding the right M&A advisory firm is equally important. In the news, we frequently hear about massive M&A deals happening between big corporations. Big investment banks typically broker these large-scale deals. These same banks usually cannot be bothered to represent companies in the lower to middle markets because it’s not enough of a moneymaker for them.

Why Do I Need an M&A Advisor?

While you are an expert in your area of business, you likely do not have access to the connections and experience to identify opportunities that will result in the best strategic M&A solution. Partnering with an M&A expert will afford you many advantages. Selling a company is a complicated process and you will be relieved by how much they will tend to the many details and constant requests. A high quality M&A firm will:

  • Have established networks that will get you access to the right type of buyers.
  • Be skilled at managing expectations on both sides.
  • Know how to improve your business and market it appropriately.
  • Maintain the highest levels of confidentiality throughout the process.
  • Know the right timing for taking a business to market based on experience in that sector.
  • Appoint legal and financial services where needed.
  • Perform comprehensive due diligence and data management.
  • Conduct extensive negotiation and create a competitive bidding environment.
  • Finalize a fair and premium valuation of the business to get you maximum value.
  • Structure the transaction in terms of legal issues, payments, contracts, shareholders, debt restructuring, warranties, and indemnities.
  • Keep you informed at all stages of a deal while keeping you out of unnecessary minutia.
  • Assist with any necessary strategic decisions regarding integration, employees, timing, and announcements.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Finding Quality M&A Representation

As an owner of a small to mid-size business, where do you start when you are seeking M&A representation? After all, this is a major life decision and you absolutely want to get it right. M&A advisory services range from big investment banks to small boutique firms. You need to assess what is right for you in several aspects. These are some key considerations for your search:

  • Many M&A advisory firms do not have varied expertise that spans local, regional and global levels. Look for a firm that will expand your options through the farthest geographical reach.
  • It’s okay to be discerning. Talk to multiple firms and create a shortlist. This is going to be a long process so you should feel comfortable and have a liking for the people you are working with, while you should also feel confident in their abilities to get the deal done right.
  • Study the reputations of the M&A firms and look for one that is well known for getting maximum value in deals. Look at what types of deals they have done in the past and if their experience is applicable to your business regarding markets, products, services, and regions? Also, seek out any available testimonials from their clients and look for a firm that has proven strong relationships.
  • Pay close attention to the initial discussions you have with them. Do they seem aligned with your goals and motivated to get you exactly what you want or do they seem stuck on going their own direction? You want your M&A advisors to be as aligned as possible with your vision and aspirations for the future. You should feel confident that they are in your corner and not just there to make a buck.
  • Assess their ability to create a competitive bidding scenario among multiple parties. Are they known for doing this? Do they have a large enough network and the right resources to make it happen?
  • Consider how their fees are structured. Some firms may take a percentage based on deal size. Some may have upfront fees, monthly fees, and registrations fees. You don’t want to be met with surprise costs. Make sure they are transparent about their fees and that their justification for them makes sense. While you do not want to get ripped off, you should also keep in mind that selling your business is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you want to get it right, so this probably isn’t the time to cheap out.
  • Look for an M&A advisor that you know will work with you as a true partner. A good firm will offer you constant engagement and welcome active contributions from you. They will make sure you do not miss any details and that you never feel left in the dark. They will also make sure that zero communications are sent to a buyer without your consent and input.
  • Make sure you are getting an M&A advisor and not just a business broker. A broker is less likely to offer a comprehensive partnership that details long-term plans and integration strategies that are important to the process.

Are You Ready to Sell?

If you are seeking an M&A partner, we kindly ask that you include Benchmark International in your search. We believe that our award-winning team can offer you all the qualities you desire while getting you the most value possible for your company. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Suntech Electrical Contractors, Inc. and Investors Stanoy Tassev & Rocco Reffie

Suntech Electrical Contractors, Inc. (Suntech), a Florida company that engaged Benchmark International to market and facilitate the transaction of the business with investors Stanoy Tassev and Rocco Reffie.

Suntech was founded in 2003 by Tom Czajkowski. Suntech is a full-service electrical contractor specializing in large commercial projects. The company provides hardwire electrical services and improves electrical efficiency for a wide variety of industries. Suntech also provides electrical code compliance services.

Regarding Benchmark International’s services, Mr. Czajkowski shared, “From the initial meeting with Benchmark [International] and through the entire process of preparing all the documentation, keeping me informed of progress, reviewing the letters of intent and the final closing, I was confident I was receiving excellent advice and guidance. Thank you to the Benchmark [International] team.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

According to updated state filings, officers of the company are now Mr. Tassev as President and Treasurer, Mr. Czajkowski as Vice President, and Mr. Reffie as Secretary. With backgrounds in electric power and services, the Suntech investment provides Mr. Tassev and Mr. Reffie expansion in the electrical contracting space.

Nick Woodyard, Transaction Associate at Benchmark International was engaged throughout the transaction, from client on boarding all the way through to the successful closing. Nick commented, “The Suntech team was very focused. They moved quickly throughout the process, which led to a timely closing. We wish both parties all the best in their new partnership.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between Seltech, Inc. and Hatfield & Company

Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between Seltech, Inc. and Hatfield and Company.

Seltech specializes in engineering and industrial equipment sales. They specifically focus on instrumentation and process control, environmental monitoring, and filtration systems.  Seltech began in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a manufacturer’s representative firm and became a region wide wholesale provider of engineering and industrial equipment.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Benchmark International proved its value by finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  In addition, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional, and national associations.

Deal Associate, Amy Alonso commented, “Benchmark International added value by negotiating this deal.  We saw throughout the entire process that the buyer, Hatfield and Company, was a perfect fit who stood to benefit greatly from the experience, industry knowledge, and high quality service that they would gain from the existing owner. With this knowledge, the team was able to negotiate a deal that would allow for the existing owner to successfully transition the business to a capable buyer.  We wish Seltech, Inc. and Hatfield and Company the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

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Asset Sale Transaction Versus Share Sale Transaction

More often than not, the topic "asset vs share sale" has been discussed and debated at length. Although there are some aspects to consider, that could be beneficial to both parties and solely for the benefit of the other. Below are a few aspects to consider when deciding on a share/asset sale:

Sale of shares transaction:

In layman's terms, a buyer would be acquiring the incorporated business. This would include the assets and liabilities, goodwill, and inherent aspects of the business that would not have been capitalised.

The valuing of any business can prove to be a particularly complicated exercise. There are various aspects to consider as well as some key financial indicators. There may be sound reasons as to why specific objectives were not met in the past, but it is important that the buyer is aware of these permutations and understands the reasoning behind it. Likewise, a buyer would also be able to see opportunity/value in certain revenue streams, whereby the seller has been unable to secure orders in the past due to a variety of reasons. In a South African environment, Black Economic Empowerment status, vendor registration with key customers, integrated systems and technology, etc. are all aspects considered as intangibles and have been proven very difficult to value.  These are often subject to interpretation and most of the time the buyer would find reasons to reduce the company's value, purely because of personal interpretations and assumptions made.

In many cases, all shareholders are not always amenable to selling their share portion, as they might have alternative motives or plans for the business. To reach a successful outcome, it is important that all key stakeholders reach a consensus from the onset of the overall strategy and growth plan that they would like to achieve. The Articles of Association and/or the Shareholder Agreement may restrict shareholders from selling their shares.

Third party approval of the transaction is sometimes required, and this can often prove problematic and delay or even completely nullify the deal. An example would be a Landlord that often proves difficult when it comes to transferring the lease to a new owner. Their lawyers may require the buyer to come up with large deposits, provide personal guarantees, agree to a higher rental or require the new tenant to extend the lease term. This could prove detrimental to the transaction and there is a fine line to balancing the objectives of the respective parties.

From a seller's point of view:

  • The sale: A share sale would be regarded as the simplest way in disposing of a business. Subject to any arrangement/warranty commitment agreed between the buyer and seller during an agreed period, the seller would be relieved from his/her obligation.
  • Time: The seller may want to expedite the sale, however a purchaser will take his time when deciding on an acquisition. They would want to examine as much information as possible, extending the length of time to complete the transaction. Sale of share transactions typically takes longer to complete than the sale of asset transactions.

Furthermore, the buyer's legal team and advisors will insist on various protections for their client and would want the seller to provide warranties, guarantees and indemnities to limit any risk on behalf of the purchaser. The negotiating of these terms can also contribute to further delays in the successful completion of the transaction.

  • Personal sureties: Over the years, the seller may have offered personal sureties to various parties.

When selling a business, these parties will generally not want to release or waive any sureties that are in place or transfer them to the new owner. These loans/liabilities will generally have to be cleared by the seller if he wants to be relieved of his/her responsibilities under the personal surety

If the seller fails to remove himself as a surety, he/she will put themselves in an onerous position and is exposed to risk in the sense that he/she has no control of the business, once sold.

  • Professional fees: Share sales are more expensive when it comes to professional fees as there is usually more work involved, during the due diligence phase and the legal process.

From a buyer's point of view:

  • Tax advantages: Should there be an accumulated loss existing in the company, those losses can usually be carried forward to be written off against future tax liabilities.
  • Risk: Buying shares is a lot riskier for the buyer as they would be taking on all the business liabilities, and the true nature/cost of some of the liabilities may not be fully apparent until a year or two down the line. There could also be liabilities that the buyer had not discovered during the due diligence process.
  • Transfer: Generally, customers and suppliers' relationships would transfer over seamlessly. The business continues operating without any major interruptions and by acquiring the shares, the buyers become owners of the assets (tangible & intangible) and associated liabilities.

Asset sale transaction:

As mentioned earlier, the buyer would prefer an asset sale as opposed to a share sale. This is purely because the buyer would have identified the key assets to produce future income, not take ownership of any associated liabilities, and would limit their exposure to unidentified liabilities held against the company.

A buyer would be able to write off wear and tear allowances against the assets purchased, thereby creating a favorable tax structure for the acquirer.

In terms of an asset valuation, this can also prove to be very complicated as there are a couple of methods of determining asset value, with the following methodologies applied:

  • Value in use
  • 2nd hand value
  • Book value
  • Replacement value
  • Expected useful life (Overall state of assets)

A buyer would normally dictate the method to be used, however there must be a consensus between the seller and the buyer when determining a value.

A buyer would typically drive an asset value down as far as possible, but would need to substantiate this together with independent valuations, market trends and foreseeable production. Similarly, the seller would like to ensure his value is protected and supported by trade history and sound future projections.

Intangible assets such as patents, trademarks and customers lists are always difficult to value. However, when they are backed with a legal document that helps create barriers to entry or where a  service level agreements have customers tied in with long-term contracts, this assists the buyer in determining value and alleviates the seller from encouraging the buyer.

From a seller's point of view:

  • Better negotiating power: As buyers prefer to buy assets, the seller can often negotiate to get a higher net benefit for himself under an asset sale than a share sale. The seller is taking on the responsibility (and cost) of clearing the liabilities and would therefore require a higher reward.
  • Quicker sale: As there is less due diligence required for the buyer to perform in an asset sale, the transaction can often be completed more quickly.
  • Retained assets: The seller can choose which of his assets will be sold and which will be retained.
  • Taxation: Sellers will be exposed to CGT as well as withholding tax.

From a buyer's point of view:

  • The due diligence process is less cumbersome and far easier; Assets still need to be thoroughly assessed and the true value of the assets needs to be determined. However, less emphasis needs to be placed on creditors, as these assets will be unencumbered, once sold.
  • Tax advantages: The buyer will in many cases be able to attribute the purchase price as the base cost of the new asset, and accordingly be able to claim wear and tear allowances against a greater amount.

When the buyer purchases assets from the seller's company, they may agree on a value for the entire set of assets, however the assets could later be revalued, once recorded in the books of the acquirer.

  • Loss of customers: It is important to effectively communicate to all customers the change of control and ensure there is minimal disruption to any client relationships.
  • Suppliers: The same applies to suppliers, and the sale needs to be effectively communicated with each supplier to ensure that critical relationships are not hindered.
  • Assets transferred: Where there are numerous individual assets - there are different routes to securing the title and can prove to be a time-consuming exercise. For example, the transfer of a licence works differently than the transfer of a lease, which works differently than the transfer of patents.

For a variety of legal, accounting and tax reasons, some deals make more sense as share deals while others make more sense as asset deals. Often, the buyer will prefer an asset sale while the seller will prefer a share sale. The decision on which route to go will be imperative and forms as the crux of the matter for every negotiation required to conclude a transaction successfully.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Apex Training & Development Limited and Interact Training Group Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the transaction between training and development provider, Apex and Rockpool Investments-backed Interact Training Group.

Established in 1993, Apex is a multi-award-winning training technology business, providing learning solutions that specialise in service, sales, account management, negotiation, management, coaching, and leadership. The business has offices in Falkirk, Plymouth, London and Dubai.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Interact Training Group is a family owned business that was founded in 1994 to help organisations identify performance improvements and create interventions to drive those improvements. Rockpool invested in Interact Training Group through a management buy-in in March 2018 and has looked to drive both organic and acquisitive growth for the business.

The acquisition will allow Interact Training Group to continue its plans to build a UK-based technology training group.

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Becker Communications, Inc. DBA BCI Integrated Solutions and Midwest Alarm Company, Inc.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Becker Communications, Inc. DBA BCI Integrated Solutions and Midwest Alarm Company, Inc.

BCI Integrated Solutions is a Florida-based company celebrating 20 years in service. They offer integrated solutions in security, audiovisual, fire & life safety, data & network cabling, and healthcare communications. The company mainly services markets in the following sectors: corporate, education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, sports venues, and housing.

Grant Becker, President of BCI Integrated Solutions commented, “Benchmark International’s team was great to work with. From on-boarding through close, there was always someone to talk with that was extremely knowledgeable and had my best interest in mind. I would highly recommend Benchmark International for anyone selling their business.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Midwest Alarm Company, Inc. is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and they are experts in life safety integration solutions. The company works primarily with contractors, building owners, property managers, and facilities directors to design and implement reliable life safety solutions. They are the largest notifier distributor in North America and have seven locations location the Midwest.

Regarding the transaction, Transaction Director Leo VanderSchuur at Benchmark International commented, “We are glad to have helped BCI secure a buyer and deal that achieved their objectives. It was a pleasure supporting their team throughout the transaction. We wish both businesses ongoing success and continued profitable growth.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Pebble IT Limited and Optimity Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of managed IT services provider, Pebble IT, to internet service provider, Optimity.

Pebble IT offers a vast array of flexible IT services to clients deriving from a range of sectors, such as branding and design, market research, recruitment and architecture. The company has grown revenues 94% over the last five years and has key partners including Google, Microsoft, Cisco and Sophos.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Optimity Limited is a leading London-based connectivity, IT, and managed services provider. Backed by FPE Capital, a growth focused private equity investor in UK mid-market companies, Optimity has transformed London’s high-speed connectivity market by providing a unique alternative to fibre connectivity and has since extended its product set into a full IT service for smart campus and workplace environments.

The acquisition will help Optimity to accelerate strong organic growth in managed services and in the provision of smart, secure and intelligent IT solutions for campus and workplace environments, and will strengthen the services Optimity provides to existing customers.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Aventura Magazine and Palm Beach Media Group

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Aventura Magazine, asset of Stern Bloom Media, Inc. (“Stern Bloom”) and Palm Beach Media Group (“Palm Beach Media”).

Stern Bloom is an integrated print publishing company in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Its flagship lifestyle magazine, Aventura has established itself within South Florida as the source for entertaining editorial, exciting layouts, and high visibility for advertisers.

The Palm Beach Media Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hour Media. Hour Media Group headquartered in Troy, Michigan, is recognized as an influential publisher of city, regional, and custom publications. The marquee titles include: Hour Detroit, Minnesota Monthly, and Sacramento Magazine. The company has offices in Michigan, California, Florida, and Alabama. This acquisition fits well with Hour Media’s strategic growth plan.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

David Bloom, Partner of Stern Bloom Media, stated, “We feel that Palm Beach Media Group is the perfect organization to honor our brand and elevate our legacy far into the future.” He also commented, “Choosing to partner with Benchmark International was a great decision.”

“Aventura magazine is a 20-year success story,” said John Balardo, President of Palm Beach Media Group and its parent, Hour Media. “This acquisition represents an ideal opportunity to extend our current roster of lifestyle, design, and custom publications into the greater Miami market.”

Regarding the deal, Transaction Director Leo VanderSchuur at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent Stern Bloom Media in this strategic transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both parties continued success.”

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction of Professional Development Psycle (PTY) LTD T/A Dale Carnegie Training

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction of Professional Development Psycle (PTY) LTD t/a Dale Carnegie Training.

Dale Carnegie & Associates is a global training organisation established in the USA in 1912 by the company’s namesake Mr. Dale Carnegie; a prolific author and public speaker, widely considered to be the greatest pioneer of the self-development field. The company now operates as a franchise in over 76 countries around the world.

Our client, Professional Development Psycle (PTY) LTD & Professional Development Psycle KZN (PTY) LTD t/a Dale Carnegie Training are a Southern African franchisee, offering Dale Carnegie certified training to a blue-chip client base. At its core, the company gives individuals the critical skills needed to live, lead, sell and present successfully. In so doing, these individuals take command of their personal and work lives and are more intentional in how they influence relationships, becoming more effective at home and work.

The buyer is a private equity company with a strong focus on transformation through social up lifting, including education and training. Dale Carnegie’s effective training methodology underpins the dynamic South African training team which will continue to form part of the company’s ongoing success. 

Is transformation important to your business?

The CEO of Dale Carnegie Training Gauteng & Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mr. Neville De Lucia said, “With zero experience in buying or selling businesses, it was nice to know that there was someone in my corner that could give me guidance. Being in the soft skills business, I tend to emphasise the personal side of the relationship. This is great if it serves you, but not so good if the hard data is what needs to be emphasised. Benchmark guided us on how to leverage the softer issues and coached us on the harder, more data driven decisions that needed to be made. This was overall a win-win engagement. The transition process is more meaningful between us as incumbents and the new owners as a result of how the negotiations had taken place between the parties involved.” 

Benchmark International Transaction Director, Johann Haasbroek commented, “The deal concluded represents a great result for our client. Not only have we secured a private equity buyer that has a vested interest and passion for people training and transformation space ,but at the same time provided the client with an exit strategy that enables them to take up a new international opportunity within the same franchise group of companies.” 

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between Dempsey, Dilling & Associates and Thomas & Hutton

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between Dempsey, Dilling, & Associates to Thomas & Hutton. 

Thomas & Hutton (T&H), a Southeast-based, privately-held, professional consulting and engineering firm, is pleased to announce the addition of Smyrna, Tennessee-based Dempsey, Dilling & Associates (DDA) to the team. With offices in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, T&H’s addition of DDA will increase its presence throughout middle Tennessee. The combination was effective February 1 and DDA will operate under the Thomas & Hutton brand. Smyrna and Nashville office locations will combine in representing the T&H Nashville region, and will be well positioned to provide more municipal services in Tennessee.

On growing the Nashville region, Regional Director Travis Todd says, “Our team in Nashville has been steadily growing since our opening three years ago. We’ve been fortunate to work on quality projects with top tier clients all over Middle Tennessee. The addition of DDA only serves to make us even stronger in the region with additional resources and expertise to continue serving our clients well.”

Jerome Dempsey, PE, serving in his new role as a T&H Principal with a primary focus on client service in Tennessee, states, “It was evident from the beginning of our discussions that T&H embraced the same philosophy as DDA in providing quality based professional services to clients, while also focusing on the community and personal growth of its employees. Our combined expertise will provide a broader range of professional services to our clients, while maintaining the personal client relationships. We are thrilled to be part of Thomas & Hutton and can’t wait to see what the future holds for our new combined team.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

During its 74-year history, Thomas & Hutton has provided water and wastewater services across the southeast. The addition of DDA’s expertise provides the growing company additional skilled workforce and strengthens the services offered by T&H’s Water & Wastewater department, especially in the surface water treatment arena.

Formed in 2004, DDA provides consulting engineering services for municipalities and utility districts throughout Tennessee. These services cover the full spectrum of needs for municipalities, including water, wastewater, stormwater drainage, roadway, recreational facilities, municipal buildings, bridge replacements, GIS/GPS mapping, and environmental related projects.

Brad Dilling, PE, serving as a T&H Principal and Project Manager/Group Leader says, “We are extremely excited about the synergy between our companies, our people, and our cultures. The Nashville area is rapidly growing, and we see this partnership opportunity as one that will help meet and exceed our clients’ needs throughout Middle Tennessee.”

Thomas & Hutton operates in nine regions across four states. An established and well-respected leader in providing professional consulting and comprehensive engineering and related services, Thomas & Hutton looks forward to continuing its legacy of providing engineering and design solutions to a diverse group of public and private clients.

With the addition of the DDA team, Thomas & Hutton CEO Samuel McCachern states, “On behalf of T&H, we are excited about our growing team. Jerome and Brad have a successful practice built on long-term relationships. Together, our combined relationships and expertise will add value and benefit to our clients as we continue to expand service capabilities in markets throughout the southeastern United States.

Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner at Benchmark International added, “Everyone here at Benchmark International was very excited to see this deal close. Thomas & Hutton is a great reputable firm which aligns well with Dempsey, Dilling & Associates. Jerome and Brad will be in good hands moving forward, and we wish the best for all parties involved in the deal.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Industrial Applications to Rogers & Morgan

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between Industrial Applications to Rogers & Morgan in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Industrial Applications (“IA”), is a Knoxville-based sole proprietorship with a rich history dating back to 1938 when it was first established by G.W. Sutton, a retired engineer. The current form of IA is a specialized steam distributor focusing on equipment distribution, systems integration, ground support and engineering conservation control. IA offers a wide variety of products including steam traps, pumps, control valves, process valves, meters, coils, skid mounted process systems, as well as consulting and troubleshooting for independent contracts and services.

Benchmark International worked alongside Bob and Joy Sutton, the third-generation owners of IA, to plan and execute a successful acquisition process. The buyer, Rogers & Morgan, was identified as a prominent organization and a strong candidate for a synergistic acquisition.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Rogers & Morgan is a manufacturers representative firm specializing in engineered equipment for air. The company has a proud tradition of servicing the greater Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky area since 1956. Rogers & Morgan focuses on best-in-class customer service and solving low-pressure air problems with quality products by applying expertise and experience in the field.   

Bob Sutton, owner of IA stated about the transaction, “I would like to send a special thank you to the deal team at Benchmark International. I was skeptical when starting the process but they really found me a unicorn of a buyer that is a perfect fit for my company. We’re excited to start the next chapter and look forward to working with Rogers & Morgan.”

Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner at Benchmark International added, “Bob and Joy were wonderful clients and the team couldn’t be happier to see this deal close. The buyer aligns well with the organization and their values. We are happy to see this result for Bob and Joy but will miss having them as clients.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Acquisition of Local Bulk Haulage (PTY) LTD by Leopard Line Haul (PTY) LTD Trading as Elite Line Haul

Benchmark International is pleased to have successfully facilitated the acquisition of Local Bulk Haulage (PTY) Ltd by Leopard Line Haul (PTY) Ltd trading as Elite Line Haul.

Founded in 1995 by Peter Scholtz and Len Pretorius, Local Bulk Haulage (PTY) Ltd is a logistics company delivering specialised primary chemicals and liquid bulk commodities from the point of supply to the end-user effectively and efficiently. LBH has grown into a significant asset over the years servicing an enviable customer based comprised of blue-chip chemical and commodity entities.

Elite Line Haul, a subsidiary of Elite Truck Hire, is an innovative logistics company servicing clients across South Africa. As an established Level 2 B-B BEE Contributor, Elite Line Haul specialises in both short-term and long-term local distribution and line haul contracts. Over the years the company has developed a strong presence in the transport industry, operating from its headquarters in Elandsfontein, and ancillary branches in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Is transformation important to your business?

The transaction was strategic in nature and represents Elite’s diversification into liquid bulk haulage. As a consequence of the transaction, Elite Line Haul will now boast the largest fleet of Volvo trucks and trailers in South Africa.  

Commenting on this, Andre Bresler of Benchmark International South Africa said: “On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties every success for the future.”

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction of Aquatic Foods (PTY) LTD and National Foods (PTY) LTD to Econo Foods Holdings (PTY) LTD

Aquatic Foods (PTY) LTD was established in 1996 to service leading restaurants, hotels, caterers and wholesalers by supplying live, fresh and frozen seafood on demand. After securing a broad customer base in South Africa and earning a reputation as a reliable and sustainable supplier, Aquatic Foods (PTY) LTD made the decision to expand their product offering to existing customers, using their established distribution network.

This led to the incorporation of National Foods (PTY) LTD in 2012, which distributes chilled and frozen products such as meat, dairy and pastry products.

Aquatic Foods (PTY) LTD and National Foods (PTY) LTD have successfully established themselves as a leading food services organization with a majority market share in the Western Cape. The company’s modern cold storage facilities and sophisticated stock control system enable it to hold significant inventory, thereby reducing stock risks and ensuring reliable and consistent delivery of high-quality products.

Michael Niese, founder and shareholder of both Aquatic Foods and National Foods, commented on the transaction saying, “Considering the transaction size and the respective intricacies thereof it was concluded exceptionally well without any difficulties. This I attribute to the skill and productivity of Benchmark International and the spirit of Econo Foods.”

The acquirer, Econo Foods (PTY) LTD boasts a nationwide chain of 18 outlets specializing in frozen and chilled food products. With over 100 refrigerated trucks operating among their five distribution centers, they successfully supply the wholesale and foodservice trades with frozen, chilled, and grocery lines throughout the Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape, North West, and Lesotho regions.

Pleased with the outcome, Henk Smith of Econo Foods (PTY) LTD said “It was a pleasure to work with the Benchmark International team.”

Tiaan Smit, Transaction Director at Benchmark International added, “Throughout the process, both our client and the acquirer were exceptionally responsive, thorough, and professional, resulting in discussions progressing quickly and delivering a fantastic and timely result for both parties. I am delighted that our client was able to monetize the great business he has built while handing the keys over to an organization that will carry on his legacy as Econo Foods grows the business to the next level.”

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish all parties every success for the future.

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Benchmark International Facilitated the Transaction between Angelo Superior Services, Inc. to Affordable Services West Corp

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Angelo Superior Services, Inc. to Affordable Services West Corp.

Superior Services, Inc., is a Texas-based corporation established in 2002 by Monty Greathouse.  Over the past eighteen years, Superior Services has grown from a plumbing start-up to a plumbing and HVAC entity.  The company became an established entity with an exceptional reputation for high-quality work and has shaped the plumbing and HVAC landscape of San Angelo, Texas and the surrounding region.

Benchmark International proved its value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  In addition, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional and national associations.

Monty Greathouse, President of Angelo Superior Services, Inc. mentioned, “Benchmark International’s team delivered on finding a buyer for my business that would carry-on the high level of service that our customers have come to expect as well as taking care of my team after the sale.”

Scott Spencer, President of Affordable Services Corp added in reference to working with Benchmark International, “I recently acquired a business in San Angelo, Texas and was assisted by Amy Alonso at Benchmark.  I found her to be very responsive and diligent with all inquiries and requests and would recommend their services.  Often times the Broker plays the mediator during the entire process to help both parties get through all the obstacles. I highly recommend Amy.”

Deal Associate, Amy Alonso commented, “Benchmark International added value by negotiating this deal.  We saw throughout the entire process that the buyer, Affordable Services West Corp, was a perfect fit who stood to benefit greatly from the experience, industry knowledge and high-quality service that they would gain from the existing owner. With this knowledge, the team was able to negotiate a deal that would allow for the existing owner to successfully transition the business to a capable buyer.  We wish Angelo Superior Services and Affordable Services West Corp the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Veolia Water Technologies UK and Biochemica Water Ltd

Benchmark International has advised water technology expert, Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK), on the acquisition of water and wastewater treatment specialist, Biochemica Water.

VWT UK provides the complete range of services required to design, deliver, maintain, and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities and systems for industrial clients and public authorities. By optimising both processes and monitoring, VWT UK helps clients reduce their water footprint whilst generating considerable savings in energy and chemical consumption.

Biochemica Water is a national water and wastewater treatment specialist. Its key service areas include Legionella control, monitoring and management services, wastewater treatment, boiler water treatment, cooling water treatment and chemical supply. The company’s unique Total Water Management approach – encompassing influent and effluent process requirements – accurately diagnoses water and wastewater operating issues and delivers the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The move will see the organisation become one of the UK’s leading end-to-end suppliers to the municipal and industrial sectors – one of the few genuinely able to provide a complete technologies and services solution.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction of Osborn Equipment Sales, Inc. to Still Holding Company

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction of Osborn Equipment Sales, Inc. to Still Holding Company. Osborn Equipment Sales, Inc. has been in business for over 60 years and serves as a manufacturer’s representative of dry process material handling equipment to customers located within Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, and the Texas Panhandle.

Still Holding Company is owned by Roy Still, an individual with an M&A advisory background, who currently owns a diverse portfolio of businesses in the Tulsa, Oklahoma region, including funeral homes in the area.

Vice President, Keith Garoutte of Osborn Equipment Sales, Inc. commented, “We are a 60- year-old company located in Oklahoma. After 40 plus years of owning the company, my business partner and l were thinking about retirement. We were contacted by Benchmark International wanting to know if we were in the market to sell our company. It was perfect timing for both of us. Benchmark International sent a gentleman to meet with us and after several phone calls we had reached an agreement to have Benchmark International solicit our company for sale in March 2019. We supplied Benchmark International with all the information they had requested, and they proceeded to market our company. Benchmark International found several companies interested in purchasing our company and after only a few months we were in negotiations. We were finally able to close and collect our money on January 6, 2020. Benchmark International did an outstanding job in marketing our company. We were very impressed with their sales team and their sales and negotiation knowledge. Their sales experience made selling our company very easy and without headaches. I would definitely recommend Benchmark International if you want a professional and aggressive sales team to sell your business.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

J.P. Santos, Associate at Benchmark International added, “Randy and Keith were a pleasure to work with and the Benchmark International team is excited that we were able to play a role in the successful sale of their business. From the beginning of the sales process, Randy and Keith were looking for a buyer who could continue their legacy of decades of high quality service, as well as, meet their goals from the sale as they look towards their future endeavors. Roy Still was able to accomplish both of those objectives and the company looks to continue its success under his stewardship.”

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Laser Trader Limited and MBA Engineering Systems Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Laser Trader and MBA Engineering.

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

Laser Trader is an importer and distributor of high-tech laser cutting, cladding and welding equipment to UK customers in sectors including aerospace, research and heavy manufacturing. The company is the sole distributor in the UK and ROI for several world leading manufacturers of laser processing and diagnostic equipment in addition to retailing laser optics and a range of consumables and non-genuine parts.

MBA Engineering was founded in 2009 and sells Kimla fibre lasers, second hand Bystronic lasers, spare parts and consumables, as well as offering services such as breakdown assistance, preventative maintenance, customer training, machine moves, and installations.

The deal will allow MBA Engineering to access key distribution agreements with European manufacturers.

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