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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Design Environments and Boston Trade Interior Solutions

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Marietta, Georgia-based Design Environments, and Boston Trade Interior Solutions, with offices in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Design Environments is a nationally renowned interior design firm specializing in the interior architecture and merchandising of model homes, clubhouses, and amenity/sales facilities throughout the United States. The company was founded in 1991 by CEO Donna DeLuca, who has grown the firm into a national leader in delivering high-quality design services.

Regarding the transaction, Ms. DeLuca stated, “The whole Design Environments team is very excited about the opportunities this combination presents. We strongly believe that Boston Trade will make a great partner in our continued growth and expansion.”

 

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Acquirer Boston Trade is a national leader in renovation, conversion, and new-build projects for the hotel and hospitality industry. The company’s focus on design-forward interior environments that exceed their clients’ economic, aesthetic, and functional requirements aligns perfectly with Design Environments’ long track record of service excellence to similar client sets.

The acquisition is backed by Blackford Capital of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a leading private equity firm in the lower middle market with over $650 million in transaction value and 35 acquisitions at the time of the Design Environments acquisition.

Boston Trade CEO Greg Kadens remarked, “We are thrilled to add such a prestigious and well-respected company to our portfolio. Design Environments is so well run that we can immediately focus on the opportunities created by combining it with our hotel interior design and procurement business. Donna’s leadership throughout the years has brought the company to this point, and we look forward to continuing to work with her as we strive to provide industry-leading services and solutions to our clients.”

This transaction reflects the power of Benchmark’s International’s proprietary “Fingerprint” process, which focuses on each client's unique value proposition when going to market. Regarding the Design Environments transaction, Benchmark International Transaction Director William Sullivan stated, “Our client’s goals and values were highly aligned with the buyer we sourced for them. From the leadership tier of the acquiring firm to the fund partners backing the deal, a shared vision was clear from the start. We are very proud of the role that Benchmark International played in the process.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between WHS Homes and Jamaica Cottage Shop

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Londonderry, VT-based Jamaica Cottage Shop (JCS) and WHS Homes of Claremont, NH.

Jamaica Cottage Shop has been in operation since 1995 and is a builder of sheds and small homes. WHS Homes, which builds an array of home types under multiple brands, adds a key piece to its diversified set of homebuilding options through the acquisition of Jamaica’s smaller-signature capabilities.

“With the current demand coming out of the pandemic, the company is in a very good place, so it was very strategic to pull the trigger in 2021,” said JCS founder Domenic Mangano.

 

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At the time of the closing, JCS was producing 2,000 buildings a year - most of which are used as cabins, cottages, and storage. In addition, the company sells kits and fully assembled homes and structures. JCS experienced buoyed results due to home purchasing dynamics fueled by Covid-19 during 2020 and 2021 and sought a strategic partnership to grow off a strong basis.

JCS staff and current leadership will continue to play key roles post-integration, helping to drive the company’s growth under a new set of opportunities moving forward.

“JCS is a key segment operator in a market that has experienced a significant boom during the last year and a half,” according to Benchmark International’s Transaction Director William Sullivan. “We knew now was the time to make this great match in a growing niche market. We believe that both the buyer and seller will benefit tremendously from this combination, and we’re very pleased to have played a key role in that process.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Ratliff Hardscape and ERW Site Solutions

ERW Site Solutions (an RW Assets, Inc. company) announced the acquisition of Ratliff Hardscape, LTD.

Ratliff Hardscape is a well-established hardscape construction company with a long-standing history of providing various services for civil and hardscape projects. These projects include single-family, multi-family, commercial, municipal, state, and oil & gas projects. Their turn-key solutions include budget and time management, self-performed concrete and masonry, construction management, and quality assurance.

Booder McWhorter will continue operating Ratliff Hardscape as Chief Operating Officer and President along with the entire Ratliff team to continue to provide quality services to their customers.

RW Assets, Inc is an infrastructure construction holding company. It owns ERW Site Solutions, a retaining wall and site service company; LandTec, a landscape, and irrigation company; and DesignBuild Consulting Services, an engineering firm.

 

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Randy O’Neal, Chief Operating Office of RW Assets, commented in the company’s press release, “This acquisition will further RW Assets’ market penetration from retaining walls, landscape and irrigation, engineering services and site services, into hardscape solutions such as screen walls, monuments, concrete solutions, such as sidewalks, patios, and other flat works. With the addition of Ratliff Hardscape, this aggregation will strengthen the brands of ERW Site Solutions, LandTec, and DesignBuild Consulting Services through the synergism created across the various product lines that are offered to our customers. Ultimately, we are now able to offer an array of products with an increased scope to better deliver our customers’ projects on time and on budget. The management team RWA has built over the last 5 years includes one hundred years of experience doing subcontracting and general contracting work across Texas and Southeastern United States.”

Kendall Stafford, Managing Partner at Benchmark International commented, “We are excited for ERW Site Solutions’ acquisition of Ratliff Hardscape. It appeared that the two companies share similar views in their visions and philosophies. We look forward to what the future has in store for the entities and wish them the best of luck with integration.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between The Fox Consulting Group, Inc and SIB Fixed Cost Reduction

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction of The Fox Consulting Group, Inc to SIB Fixed Cost Reduction.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between an Undisclosed Client and Patrol Protect Secure, Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that their client, a vehicle patrol security company in select neighborhoods to both residential and commercial properties on the West Coast, sold to Patrol Protect Secure, Inc (PPS).

  • The acquisition was PPS’s fourth investment in the U.S. security industry. The value of this addition to PPS includes:
  • Partnering with a long-tenured, energetic management team will be a force multiplier for the PPS team.
  • Expanding the geographic footprint to include the West Coast market.
  • The company’s vehicle patrol services are staffed by off-duty law enforcement officers, a segment of the security market where we have had much success, driven by market demand and the desire to staff armed functions with highly-trained law enforcement officers.
  • The partnership provided ongoing leadership roles and opportunities for its management team while allowing one of the leaders to take a step back and transition into a part-time role, consistent with his goals.

PPS is backed by Sunlake Capital LLC and Mangrove Equity Partners. Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, Mangrove and Sunlake Capital worked closely with this add-on and Benchmark International’s transaction team to close the transaction with a straightforward structure.

 

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Sunlake Capital LLC is a private investment firm focused on flexible, long-term investments in family and entrepreneur-owned companies with a sustainable competitive advantage. With diverse capital relationships, Sunlake is able to devote its resources to the operations and strategy of its portfolio of businesses. The firm further differentiates itself through its long-term investment style, unique management partnership approach, and focus on industries and situations often under-served by the private equity community.

Mangrove Equity Partners is a private equity fund in the lower middle market that leverages its extensive experience creating solutions and getting deals done. Mangrove’s four-person internal operating team allows them to work through the complexity and help the owner/operators build enduring value. Mangrove has completed 140+ deals in 60+ industries.

Kendall Stafford, Benchmark International Managing Partner, commented, “We are very excited for our client and the team at PPS, Sunlake Capital, and Mangrove Equity. Based on our client’s goals and the buyer’s position in the market, our team anticipated that there could be a strong fit between the various companies. We discussed the acquisition with the acquirers before going back. Once we went to market and our client had additional options for potential acquirers, it was clear that the cultural fit between the parties and the deal being offered was a great solution for our client.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Talema Group, LLC and KAMIC Group AB

KAMIC Group AB has acquired all the shares in Talema Group LLC (“Talema”). Talema is a leading manufacturer of magnetic components such as transformers, toroids, inductors, and chokes with associated design work. The majority of components are developed specifically for bespoke customer applications, but standard components are also offered. The company’s customers are across a broad spectrum of sectors where the most important include logistics and warehousing, freight and transport, audio, and renewable energy.

Talema was founded in 1975 and has its registered office in the USA, but operational management is based at the head office in Donegal in northwest Ireland. The company has its own production facilities in the Czech Republic and India. Sales are conducted through own sales offices in the USA, Germany, Czech, India, and Ireland as well as a global network of agents and distributors. Talema has approximately 750 employees and annual sales of about EUR 12 million.

Former part-owner and President of Talema, Madison “Mac” Daily, commented, “We were a very unique family-run company: five companies in five countries on three continents. We had a potential buyer but needed expertise and guidance through the process of executing the sale. Tyrus O’Neill of Benchmark International provided the methodology, experience, and support needed to guide us successfully to completion. Without Tyrus’ assistance, I cannot imagine how we could have possibly finished the sale in such a strong position.”

 

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KAMIC Group (www.kamicgroup.com) is a corporate group consisting of 40 companies active in both trade and manufacturing. KAMIC’s common aim is to be a leading supplier of technical products and services in several well-defined product and market niches. The Group has approximately 900 employees in 13 countries in Northern Europe, Asia, and North America and annual sales of approximately SEK 2.2 billion. Their customers are found mainly in the manufacturing industry but also among electrical installers and construction companies.

“Talema is a highly respected global player with strong skills in the design, development and production of magnetic components. They have experienced and powerful management, and the company’s customer base and geographic presence provide an ideal complement to our existing business in this area. Talema, therefore, is ideally placed to be a valuable addition to our corporate group,” says Fredrik Celsing, President and CEO of KAMIC Group.

Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner of Benchmark International, added, “We would like to congratulate and thank Mac, Fredrik, and everyone involved in this deal on a successful acquisition. There are numerous complexities to cross-border transactions, which would not have been possible without everyone working together. The synergies for the two organizations are apparent, and we are confident this will be a successful endeavor for everyone involved. Congratulations again, and we wish all parties the best moving forward.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Sunbelt Waterproofing & Restoration and Northaven Capital Partners

Benchmark International’s client Sunbelt Waterproofing & Restoration, a Dallas-based commercial waterproofing, building restoration, and roofing company, has successfully obtained growth capital from Northaven Capital Partners in Dallas, Texas allowing the management team to pursue their growth plan.

Sunbelt Waterproofing & Restoration provides complete waterproofing services for commercial and independent contractor clients throughout Texas and parts of Oklahoma. It also includes restoration and maintenance services for commercial buildings and new construction projects. With over five decades of experience in solving unique structural and waterproofing problems, Sunbelt has proven it can provide outstanding and affordable quality solutions.

Northaven Capital Partners is an operationally focused firm investing in lower middle market companies with strong potential for growth. They focus on collaborative partnerships with experienced, driven, and ethical management teams to build alignment and drive value. Their principals have deep experience as operators across various industries from early-stage to multi-billion-dollar enterprises. Northaven Capital has a long-term investment horizon to support meaningful, long-term growth.

 

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Benchmark International proved its value in finding a partner 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.

Transaction Director Amy Alonso commented, “We are excited to watch our client continue to grow their business with a new partner. Our client has obtained growth capital allowing the management team to grow and provide a great working environment for its employees. On behalf of Benchmark International, we are excited to see continued success for both companies now and in the future.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Houston Crating, Inc. and MEI Rigging & Crating

Benchmark International’s client Houston Crating, Inc., a Houston, Texas-based Specialty Export Crating & Packing Company, has successfully sold to MEI Rigging & Crating.

Established by Ray Lubojasky in 1994, Houston Crating, Inc., a provider of crating and export packing services to the energy and logistics industries.

The seller stated regarding the process, “I have been very satisfied with Benchmark’s excellent service throughout this sales process, and I appreciate the hard work and professionalism offered by the Benchmark team.”

MEI Rigging & Crating, a portfolio company of Dorilton, was founded in the early 1990s and has grown to one of the largest providers of rigging, machinery moving, millwrighting, mechanical installation, commercial storage, crating, and export packing services in the US. With thousands of customers served, over 30 years of experience, and ten locations across the country, MEI is driven by its corporate vision of excellence, market leadership, and enduring value. MEI has a growing team of over 450 employees in 10 offices across the United States.

 

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Dorilton is a private investment firm that invests in businesses across a range of industry sectors, working in partnership with management to grow value over the long term. By providing funding and expertise to drive growth, Dorilton helps its companies and their people achieve their full potential.

Dan Cappello, the CEO and President of MEI, made the announcement: “We are delighted to grow the MEI-Houston team and enhance our service offering through this combination. MEI and HCI have performed joint work on customer projects in the past, and we see HCI’s professional approach and focus on safety as a great fit with our organization.”

Transaction Director Amy Alonso commented on the transaction, “We enjoyed working with Houston Crating to achieve a successful outcome on behalf of our client. Our client had several offers to choose from but felt that MEI was the best fit for the company, its employees, and its customers. We continue to see strong demand for acquisitions within the exporting and logistics space and have several bidders on standby. We hope that integration goes smoothly for the companies and look forward to seeing the combined companies have a strong future.”

 

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between TMI Electrical Contractors, Inc. and an ESOP

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that TMI Electrical Contractors, Inc. has successfully restructured as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).

TMI Electrical Contractors, Inc. is a full-service licensed electrical contractor headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, servicing commercial, industrial, and residential clients.

 

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Mark Gillespie, President of TMI Electrical Contractors, Inc., added: “TMI initially engaged Benchmark to explore exit strategy options. We worked with numerous potential groups while weighing the pros and cons of an internal restructuring and ultimately decided that an ESOP was the best route for not just our exit, but the wellbeing of the business and its employees long-term. I would like to thank Neal, Jonathan, Tyrus, and the Benchmark team for their professionalism and assistance through the ESOP process and their contribution to an overall successful result.”

Regarding the deal completion, Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner of Benchmark International, stated: “Mark and the team at TMI are a fantastic group and we’re excited to see them take the ESOP path. It was a pleasure working with them through the process and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”

 

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Harryco LLC and Silverbridge Capital

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Richmond, Virginia-based Harryco LLC by Silverbridge Capital.

Harryco is a mental health organization that provides a variety of personal, group counseling, and mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Harryco was founded in 2009 by Dr. Harold Watkins as a small mental health organization offering intensive in-home counseling services to children and adolescents. The company has since grown operations to four cities and counties in Virginia and now provides a full range of community support services to a wide set of patients.

Silverbridge is a New Jersey-based private equity firm with investments in mental health and other patient-centered healthcare organizations.

 

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Harryco’s partnership with Silverbridge represents a key next step in the company’s mission to provide best-in-class mental health services to an expanding base of patients. Community leader and Harryco founder, Dr. Harold Watkins, will stay on with the company to continue guiding Harryco during this next phase of growth.

On the acquisition, Dr. Watkins stated, “the Benchmark International team was fantastic throughout this entire process. They did an amazing job as an advocate for me and my company. I would absolutely recommend Benchmark International to anyone in healthcare services considering a sale process.”

Benchmark International Transaction Director William Sullivan commented: “Dr. Watkins is an impressive individual who has built a great organization that serves its communities well. Our team was dedicated to getting a great outcome for him individually and one that would enable his business to partner for continued growth. It was a pleasure working with Dr. Watkins and his team, and we wish him every success moving forward.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Trufora and Genesis Group, Inc.

Trufora, brings a new standard to dermatology by providing the market with skincare products that contain ingredients proven to be effective, safe, and non-irritating, and used at levels proven to achieve a visible, clinical benefit. The company provides products that allow every woman to feel confident, inspired, and beautiful in their skin. The products are made to simplify a women’s route and life with fewer steps but more results. Their consumer skincare line is free from more than 1,300 known toxins.

Trufora’s skincare line has been a featured product for HSN, Birchbox, and Ipsy to name a few. The company has also launched a membership model allowing customers to have access to their favorite Trufora products at a discounted price.

 

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A critical element of completing this transaction was identifying and marketing to a variety of potential acquirer classes on behalf of Trufora. We were pleased to see that three very different strategies each produced at least one eager acquirer to submit an LOI to acquire Trufora. One of the buyers had a marketing background heavily tied to Amazon, one of the platforms Trufora utilizes for its products. Another buyer was from China and looking to acquire a US brand to help increase their Asian beauty empire. The third buyer, Genesis Group, was an interesting fit given, its founder, Artem Mariychin’s background in the consumer predictive analytics space. Trufora believed that the partnership with the Genesis Group was the best fit for the future of the company and is positioned to grow the company to the next level. This supports the notion that the obvious buyer or the usual suspects are often not the best prospects.

The Genesis Group was founded by Artem Mariychin with the goal to invest in opportunities that could benefit from his experience. Artem is the co-founder and CEO of Zodiac. Nike acquired Zodiac, a predictive analytics company, in 2018. While CEO of Zodiac, Artem built a company that provided retailers with a tool to predict the long-term value of each customer instantly and accurately, also known as the customer’s zCLV or Zodiac’s Customer Lifetime Value. Marketers use the zCLV to discover who their future highest value customers will be so that they can retain those valuable customers long-terms and acquire similar customers.

Prior to Zodiac, Artem worked at Goldman Sachs, Highbridge Capital, 3G Capital, and Perry Creek Capital.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between The OpenSource Group of Companies and Workforce Holdings

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between OpenSource International LTD, OpenSource Intelligent Solutions (Pty) Ltd (OpenSource) and Workforce Holdings Ltd.

OpenSource is a South African and Mauritius-based business that was established in 1993. The company places skilled SAP resources on both a contract and permanent basis as clients utilize SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning system. The company also provides SAP training and other services, including SAP site maintenance and payroll outsourcing. OpenSource is an accredited SAP partner and resources consultants across all SAP modules and complementary technologies for companies internationally.

Managing Director Michelle Viret has over 35 years of IT experience and specialises in marketing and sales, focusing on resourcing and training. Delighted with the outcome, she commented on the transaction, saying, “Again, thank you for introducing OpenSource to the right company upfront. You heard our brief, and from the first meeting, the long-term choice we made is right for us. Our business fits hand in glove with the Workforce philosophies, operation, and culture – it is certainly a ‘can do’ attitude, and it is refreshing to have input from leaders that have years of business knowledge and savvy, specifically someone like Mr. Ronny Katz.”

Workforce Holdings and its Group of companies provide employment, training, healthcare, wellness, financial services, and lifestyle benefits to individuals and their employers. Established in 1972, Workforce Holdings is listed on the JSE Altx exchange, employing over 1,340 permanent staff and paying approximately 34,000 assignees.

 

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The Group’s business model reflects its diversification and is structured into five operating segments: staffing and recruitment, training and consulting, employee health management, financial and lifestyle products, and process outsourcing. This structure facilitates integration and diversification of services, including expansion into adjacent services and new markets.

Detailing their motives for the acquisition, Workforce stated that this transaction allowed it to further expand its human capital services offering. “This is consistent with Workforce’s previously stated growth and diversification strategy. The acquisition introduces a profitable and specialised business with a broad footprint and a driven, entrepreneurial management team into the Workforce group,” it said.

Ronny Katz, chief executive officer of Workforce, said, “The OpenSource Group offers services as an accredited SAP partner, allowing Workforce to offer leading solutions in a new and diverse market. Also, this complementary offering provides both Workforce and the OpenSource Group with exciting cross-selling opportunities within their respective customer bases.” He added: “Dealing and engaging with Benchmark was a positive experience. The professionalism and pragmatism of their deal team assisted us as buyers in expediting, and ultimately finalize, the transaction.”

Tiaan Smit, representing Benchmark International’s South African office, added, “For the Benchmark International team, understanding Michelle and the unique strengths of the OpenSource business that she has built up over the last 28 years was key to finding the right acquirer. We believe that Workforce is the perfect match, and by leveraging Workforce’s established backing and support, Michelle’s drive, energy, and strategic foresight will take the businesses to even greater heights. We’ll be following their progress closely and look forward to their mutual success.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between ParcelNinja (Pty) LTD and Imperial Holdings LTD

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between ParcelNinja (Pty) Ltd and Imperial Holdings Ltd.

ParcelNinja (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2013 by Justin Drennan, Ryan Drennan, and Terence Murphy, launching its first commercial services in October 2014. It offers South African online shops an affordable outsourcing solution for all their fulfillment needs.

Delighted with the transaction, Justin Drennan added: "I was genuinely amazed at the pace and energy injected into this process by the team at Benchmark. Being prepared to engage directly with Imperial and having the advice I needed to get the deal done correctly certainly boosted my confidence at the negotiation table. Imperial is an outstanding company, and we are exceptionally pleased to have found a home with them."

Imperial is an African-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, focusing on five key industries - healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals, and industrial and commodities. Ranked among the top 30 global logistics providers and listed on the JSE, Imperial actively seeks out and leverages new technology to deliver innovative, end-to-end solutions to improve their customer's lives with access to quality products and services.

 

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"Enabled with leading software, processes, and people capabilities in South Africa, ParcelNinja provides fulfillment in both B2C and B2B channels including the informal market, supported by the management and optimization of courier parcel deliveries," said Mohammed Akoojee, Imperial Group Chief Executive Officer. "This acquisition supports Imperial's strategic ambitions to accelerate our digital capabilities and expand our logistics and market access services into last-mile distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, footprint and scale in Africa while ensuring local relevance for our clients and principals."

Commenting on the transaction, Dustin Graham added, "It is certainly encouraging for Benchmark to conclude a transaction that provides distinct advantages to both buyer and seller by each leveraging off the other's strengths and existing capability. We look forward to seeing ParcelNinja grow in concert with Imperial and deliver outstanding service to a vast new basket of customers throughout South Africa."  

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction of Greentex Landscaping, Inc. to Zodega Landscape Services, LLC

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of GreenTex Landscaping Inc. by Zodega Landscape Services, LLC.

GreenTex Landscaping Inc. performs landscaping, groundskeeping, edging, trimming, mulch, aeration, and other lawn care services across the North Dallas area, servicing residential and commercial customers. GreenTex has been successfully operating for more than 13 years and has received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for outstanding customer service for six years in a row.

Zodega offers high-quality lawn care and landscaping services to high-end residential and commercial properties across the Houston metropolitan area. In addition to standard landscaping and lawn maintenance, Zodega provides tailored pressure washing and pest control to suit customer needs.

 

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Bill Biancaniello, President of G-Tex, Corp. and former owner of GreenTex Landscaping, commented, “The Benchmark team did a fantastic job of keeping the transaction on track. They were available to provide support throughout the entire transaction process and were particularly supportive in giving the final push which got the transaction over the finish line.”

Regarding the deal completion, Anthony Hernandez, Benchmark International Transaction Director, shared, “the Benchmark team is delighted to announce the successful sale of GreenTex Landscaping to Zodega Landscaping. The team is excited to see Zodega’s successful expansion with the strategic acquisition of GreenTex. It was a particular pleasure for Benchmark International to work with G-Tex and the team wishes each of the parties every success in their future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Yellow Jersey Logistics and LCS Evolution

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Yellow Jersey Logistics (PTY) Ltd and LCS Evolution (Pty) Ltd.

Yellow Jersey Logistics (Pty) Ltd offers niche transport solutions to the clearing and forwarding industry. The company has become entrenched in the industry, forming an integral part of their clients’ service offerings through reliability, speed, and the ability to tailor bespoke solutions. The company’s client base comprises leading freight forwarders and clearing agents, dealing with the import and export of a variety of goods. The company has maintained these relationships through excellent customer service.

The LCS Group (Pty) Ltd is a diversified logistics and end-to-end supply chain solutions business, operating primarily within the bulk mining and materials industry. The Group is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for innovation and comprises several companies, including LCS Logistics, LCS Transport Solutions, Bay Shipping, LCS Fuels, LCS Prime Agri, LCS Fleet Support, and LCS Financial Services.

The LCS Group’s Head Office is situated in Heidelberg, Gauteng, with satellite offices/depots in Newcastle, Richards Bay, Durban, Kuruman, Brits, Delmas, Cape Town, Hoopstad & Camperdown.

 

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Reon Britz, the CEO of LCS Group, said: “Yellow Jersey represents a key pillar within LCS’s logistics and supply chain portfolio and will enable the Group to further diversify its offering within the industry as well as positions it strongly for future growth. We would like to thank the Benchmark Intl team and in particular, Johann Haasbroek, for all the assistance in getting this important transaction across the line. We really appreciate all the efforts.”

Commenting on the transaction, Transaction Director Johann Haasbroek with Benchmark International added, “Transactions of this nature are particularly enjoyable when the synergies are self-evident, and the benefit to both entities easily apparent. I am confident that with LCS’s resources brought to bear, an already very successful company will go on to flourish still further in such a group environment.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between River City Medical Associates and Skylight Health Group, Inc.

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between River City Medical Associates (RCMA), a Florida network of medical clinics, and Skylight Health Group, Inc. of Ontario, Canada.

The seller, RCMA, is a multi-location, multi-specialty medical group offering various services, including primary care, urgent care, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, pain management, neurology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and podiatry. The buyer, Skylight Health, is a healthcare and technology company operating in the U.S. market with more than 30 medical clinics across 14 states.

The acquisition of a U.S. healthcare provider by a Canadian healthcare company introduced unique vectors for a successful deal. Regulatory hurdles existed on both sides, adding depth to the deal dynamics.

 

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Skylight Health Co-Founder and CEO Prad Sekar noted of the process, “Benchmark International was able to facilitate a smooth and quick transaction that helped both parties achieve their goals. We highly recommend them to anyone looking to purchase a company.”

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director William Sullivan and Benchmark International commented, “Because this process involved the purchase of a private US healthcare provider by a publicly-traded Canadian acquirer, there were a number of regulatory and other issues to navigate. Ultimately, however, we found the right buyer for our fantastic client and were thrilled to manage the complexity necessary to get a great outcome for both parties.”

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Reasons For Optimism In An Uncertain Oil & Gas Market

In December 2020, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told CNBC's Hadley Gamble that American shale producers should be concerned about their industry's future.[1] Secretary Brouillette stated: “…there are some in Congress who are going to drive a climate policy that's going to be very aggressive. So there may be a concern on the part of those folks, I know the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) movement is very strong.” Secretary Brouillette also added that, “The investment money may become a bit more difficult to get,” and, “Those are all policies where we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this new Congress.”

While it may be politically convenient for those in a Republican administration to criticize their incoming Democratic successors, oil and gas investors should be hesitant to trust outgoing bureaucrats' economic analyses. Reasons for investor optimism can be found in past administration precedents' realities, current stakeholder adaptions, and the future uphill battle facing any reforms backed by President Joe Biden and his cabinet.

Obama-Biden Administration Precedents

For more than a decade, President Barack Obama’s Democratic party was conveniently used as the boogeyman for Republican politicians’ intent on gaining the favor of oil and gas companies and investors. However, in retrospect, the Obama administration—which included then-Vice President Biden—was a far greater friend to the industry than most pundits speculated. That administration’s treatment of the industry can be a useful precedent for setting appropriate expectations for the Biden administration’s treatment of the industry.

Obama’s tendency to favor working with the energy industry rather than to impede it led to drastic and unexpected results.[2] By the end of his two terms in office, natural gas had realized a massive uptick in both production (a 35% increase) and consumption (a 19% increase). In December 2015, Obama threatened to veto the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, which would have repealed 40-year-old oil export bans.[3] This would ultimately prove to be posturing for political negotiations, as Obama would go on to approve the export of U.S. crude by signing the 2016 omnibus budget just weeks later.[4] The Obama-Biden administration also loosened restrictions on LNG exports. Under their administration, the U.S. Department of Energy approved 24 LNG export licenses and denied none.[5]

This unexpectedly moderate approach by Obama can be accredited to two primary domestic policy issues: national security and climate change. Commentators frequently constrain their negative analyses of oil and gas's future with a reminder that domestic energy independence remains an important consideration in national security. While debate exists on whether American “energy independence” could indeed ever exist given the reality of American import trends, regulations on the industry will continue to be tied to deliberations on the country's reliance on foreign producers.

The second factor in the Obama-Biden administration's relatively moderate industry regulation was, surprisingly, climate change concerns. In particular, Obama's unexpected friendship towards natural gas has been credited to his administration’s belief that natural gas could assist in mitigating climate change. Forbes wrote in 2019 that President Obama, “supported natural gas as an essential strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions by displacing coal and also backing up intermittent wind and solar power.” His treatment of LNG exports ultimately proved consistent with President Donald Trump's treatment of the natural gas industry. At a press conference in early 2019, Dr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, stated that over the past decade, “the emissions reduction in the United States has been the largest in the history of energy.”[6] Standing by his side at this press conference—which essentially credited the energy policy continuity of Obama/Trump with this success—was Trump’s own Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry.

 

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Stakeholder Adaptions in the Face of Progressive Policy Initiatives

Secretary Perry’s comments in that same press conference are indicative of what the private sector has worked to accomplish while operating under burgeoning public pressure to address climate change concerns. He stated that, “without carbon capture, any planned climate target is impossible to meet.” Carbon capture, commonly referred to as carbon capture and storage (CCS), uses technology to capture the release of carbon dioxide during fossil fuel usage. After capturing the gas, operators transport it to an underground storage facility. The method has become an increasingly popular solution amongst producers to manage emissions and mitigate environmental damage.

While elected officials continue to negotiate and posture on broad regulatory changes like the Green New Deal, private sector stakeholders are already acting to appease investors and the general public. While some in the industry may complain of the costs associated with mitigating environmental damage, industry leaders are exploring and embracing new climate-friendly technologies as a necessary pivot to maintain vitality. Dr. Vijay Swarup, Vice President for Research and Development at ExxonMobil, stated, “breakthroughs like the deployment of carbonate fuel cells at power plants are essential for reducing emissions, while at the same time increasing power generation and limiting costs to consumers.”[7] ExxonMobil developed those carbonate fuel cells in partnership with FuelCell Energy, Inc. as a tool for capturing CO2 during the CCS process.

Integrating alternative energy into existing operations has also proved to be a successful survival strategy for oil producers. Chevron announced in July 2020 that it would make a major investment in renewable energy plants to power its oil production facilities in the Permian Basin and abroad.[8] This was by no means the first investment by a major player to test such a production structure. ExxonMobil made a similar investment in 2018, purchasing 500 megawatts of wind and solar power in Texas. And Chevron had already run a pilot program by purchasing a smaller amount of West Texas wind energy to power some of its operations, as well.

At the time of their 2020 purchase, Chevron spokesperson Veronica Flores-Paniagua wrote: "What has changed is the cost of wind and solar power, which is becoming more competitive, and the technology, which has also progressed substantially. This makes opportunities to increase renewable power in support of our operations a feasible option for reliability, scale, and cost-effectiveness."

Ultimately, each producers’ bottom line will determine whether such ventures into renewables are sustainable. But while producers find creative ways to appease shareholders and adapt, any future inhibiting regulatory actions still face significant challenges to be enacted.

Political & Legal Hurdles for Biden Energy Regulations

On January 20, 2021, former Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Some experts predict his administration will bring major regulatory changes for the oil and gas industry to appease his own Democratic party's growing progressive subsection. Others are more hesitant, noting the relatively moderate nature of his cabinet selections and campaign pledges to refrain from banning fracking.[9]

Most onlookers, experts or not, expect some energy-related regulatory changes. Among the most common expected policy shifts is a ban on new fracking on federal lands. This led to a mass fire sale by former President Trump’s Bureau of Land Management, auctioning off parcels of land in various parts of the United States to accelerate drilling before the change in administrations. Producers are gearing up for a fight, both in the courtroom and in the eyes of the public. Mike Sommers, Chief Executive of the American Petroleum Institute (API), told Reuters in November 2020 that API would “use ‘every tool at its disposal’ including legal action” to prevent restrictions by the Biden administration.

Potential regulations and green initiatives could go either way in reaching Biden's desk for a signature. Republicans, who are historically more friendly to the oil and gas industry, hold 50 Senate seats, but with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, they are formally the minority party. President Biden has already signed an executive order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, a move which many experts in the U.S.’ Permian Basin are optimistic about for those in West Texas as it reduces direct competition to those producers.

Conclusion

While fears on the future of oil and gas have merit and can be validated by recent trends, production will not cease for the foreseeable future. If Biden's administration reflects the values of the Obama administration, things may not be as negative as has been suggested. Within the oil and gas industry, private stakeholders have already spent the better part of a decade learning to adapt and continue production through carbon capture and storage methods. And any future regulations will face difficulties every step of the way, with major players vowing to fight tooth and nail to defend the industry. Investors should proceed with caution, but there is still room for optimism and opportunities for growth and success into the near future.

Sources: 

[1] CNBC 

[2] Forbes 

[3] Reuters 

[4] Investor's Business Daily 

[5] Lexology 

[6] Oilprice.com 

[7] ExxonMobil 

[8] GTM

[9] API

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Delta Outsource Group, Inc and Indebted

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Delta Outsource Group, Inc and Australian-based InDebted enabling their access into the American market.

The seller, Delta Outsource Group, Inc, has been providing professional and compliant receivables solutions in the U.S. since 2009. The owners of Delta set out to create a collections agency where performance, respect, and communication would put them ahead of the industry’s curve. After accomplishing this, Delta became a viable target.

“While the process was longer than we thought, Benchmark did a good job of advising us of our options and guiding us through the sale process,” said Michael Lages, President & CFO.

 

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The buyer, InDebted, is an Australian-based digital, data-driven collection agency. They have built a collections platform that seeks to empower the financial fitness of their customers.

John Watson, incoming CEO of Delta commented regarding the deal, “After facilitating the introduction of Delta and InDebted and outlining the desired transaction structure, Benchmark did a good job of allowing the principles to work directly with each other to maximize the efficiency of the process.”

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director Matthew Kekelis at Benchmark International commented, “The Delta team stuck through a multiple offer situation with many ups and downs along the way. Ultimately, it was a terrific result with both buyer and seller very pleased with the outcome.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Solution Matrix, Inc., EXI Investment Partners and Broadview Group Holdings, LLC

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between Solution Matrix, Inc. of Rocky Mount, VA and EXI Investment Partners, Broadview Group Holdings, LLC, management and other co-investors. The seller, Solution Matrix, Inc., is an orthopedic manufacturing business that provides high-quality cold-therapy gel packs and compression bandage wraps to over 340 hospitals nationwide. The company manufactures all its products in-house.

Keith Marshall, co-owner of Solution Matrix with his wife, Linda, mentioned regarding the transaction, “We are so excited to entrust the future of Solution Matrix to its next partner. With their leadership, there is no upward limit to where they can take the business. The spirit of partnership abounded during the transaction process and they will be an ideal caretaker of the Solution Matrix brand and legacy.”

Marshall went on to say, “I’d like to thank Benchmark International for their absolute professionalism throughout the entire process. I thought it would be challenging to sell a business with a special designation like mine, a veteran-owned business. I had the impression the pool of available and interested buyers would be small but Benchmark’s resources proved me wrong in that regard. I could not recommend their services more.”

 

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Regarding the deal completion, Managing Partner Dara Shareef at Benchmark International commented, “Having the opportunity to work with a veteran-owned business is always particularly meaningful. Keith and Linda have built Solution Matrix around a mission to provide truly unique products that address critical healthcare needs. Their sense of service to team, partners, and customers comes naturally from a background of service to country and has been a difference-maker in building a great company and an unequalled suite of medical devices. Benchmark International is proud to be a key part of finding Solution Matrix a great partner for their next phase of growth.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Carolina Marine Structures, Inc. and United Infrastructure Holdings, Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Carolina Marine Structures, Inc. (“CMS”) and United Infrastructure Holdings, Inc. (UIH).

CMS is a leading provider of commercial waterfront construction services. The company specializes in construction related to boat ramps, bridges, dredging, shoreline restoration, and wetland creation. CMS resides in Powells Point, North Carolina and is centrally located for its preferred service areas of coastal North Carolina and Virginia.

 

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UIH focuses on providing a wide array of infrastructure services across the United States, from marine construction to engineering services. With this transaction, they are positioned for continued expansion nationwide.

Senior Deal Associate Nick Woodyard at Benchmark International commented, “The entire team here is glad to have facilitated the successful transaction between Carolina Marine Structures and United Infrastructure Holdings. It was great getting to a conclusion where both parties were excited to begin the next phase of their new adventure. This deal represents a platform opportunity for UIH to build an enterprise of future growth in the industry. We wish the teams continued success.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Intracoastal Environmental, LLC and the Ambipar Group

IntraCoastal Environmental (ICE) is a leading provider of environmental, industrial, and emergency response services in the Southeastern United States. ICE has two offices in Jacksonville, FL, and Savanah, GA. The principals of ICE attribute their success to a solid framework of proven policies developed over the years and exceptional customer service. “The industry is wrought with operators that will drop everything they are doing on one job for higher margins on another. ICE is safe, provides quality workmanship, and is, most importantly, dependable. When we start a job, we will finish it, and that’s what keeps our customers coming back.”

The Ambipar Group is a publicly-traded multinational entity based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, formed by two companies: Environment and Response. With focus and agility, these two segments offer a vertically integrated structure that provides a wide range of services to fifteen different countries across six continents. Lead by Pulsar, a Brazilian Investment Bank, Ambipar executed its first transaction in the USA in 2019. ICE served as the first of many bolt-on acquisitions in an aggressive strategy to consolidate the market recreate their superior business model in the United States.

 

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US travel bans due to COVID-19 caused both sides of the transaction to build trust in innovative ways to keep the momentum going. The alignment between the acquisition and growth strategy of Ambipar and ICE’s operations is what motivated both buyer and seller to push through the difficulties in today’s
ever-changing landscape.

Regarding the deal completion, Senior Associate Sean Fechtmann at Benchmark International commented, “IntraCoastal was by far one of the most exceptional clients we have had the pleasure of representing. From day one, it was clear the management team and financial systems would make this process successful. The principals of ICE were diligent in our shared efforts to pursue a sale while simultaneously driving meaningful growth in their company along the way.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Scott, Singleton, Fincher & Company, PC and Park Associates, PLLC

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Scott, Singleton, Fincher & Company and Park Associates, PLLC.

Scott, Singleton, Fincher & Company, PC is a public accounting firm that provides audit, review, taxation, and compilation services. It serves a variety of clients, including businesses and individuals but specializes in providing auditing services for nonprofit and governmental entities. Whether a company  needs tax preparation help or regular accounting services, their team can tame clients’ unwieldy finances.

Company owner, Tommy Nelson of Scott, Singleton, Fincher & Company, PC commented regarding the transaction, “My experience with Benchmark  International was excellent.  They did a wonderful job in preparing the marketing material.  Many prospects commented on the professional presentation of the information.  The marketing team provided us with several prospects, which culminated in a successful transaction.  I would highly recommend the use of Benchmark’s services.”

 

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Park & Associates, PLLC is a full-service Tax, Accounting, and Business Management firm based in Houston, Los Angeles, and Richmond. Established in 2000, their seasoned professionals have provided quality, personalized financial guidance to individuals and businesses. Some of their services include, financial and retirement planning, audit services, business setup and restructuring, and estate and trust planning.

Regarding the deal, Transaction Director Peter Kim at Benchmark International commented, “Our engagement with Scott, Singleton, Fincher & Company, PC was about building a confident future for our client, Tommy Nelson. Our talented deal team sought out a buyer motivated by the client’s footprint in the DFW metro area, reputation in the profession and quality of accounts. We serviced the entire deal from beginning to end with the ideas of max value as well as the client’s motivation of family in mind. Our achievement in both objectives are the culmination of tireless teamwork and relentless pursuit of preeminence in the marketplace.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between StatKing Consulting, Inc and Genesis Biotechnology Group

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between StatKing Consulting, Inc and Genesis Biotechnology Group.

The seller, StatKing Consulting, has been providing data related clinical services to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over 30 years. StatKing has evolved to become an industry-respected, full-service Contract Research Organization led by two distinguished individuals, Dennis King and Rod Lashley. Both Dennis and Rod have assembled a world-class team of experts to navigate regulatory approval studies.

“Finding the right buyer for the business we had built over the last 30+ years was very important to us. Besides having the expertise to guide us through the steps in selling our business, Benchmark had the resources to connect us with several companies that fit our requirements. Benchmark also provided invaluable guidance as we successfully negotiated a particularly difficult situation enabling us to complete our sale.” – Rod Lashley, EVP StatKing Consulting, Inc.

 

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The buyer, Genesis Biotechnology Group, is a New Jersey based healthcare company providing clinical diagnostics, drug discovery solutions, and manufacturing/distribution of essential laboratory products.

"The way pharma companies work with CROs is changing. CROs are taking more of a strategic planning role and execution in the drug discovery and development process. This engagement model results in sponsors and CROs becoming end-to-end partners, and M&A is helping CRO's extend their service portfolio to partner with their customers in providing greater efficiency in service and delivery across the R&D continuum. The acquisition of STATKING would bring GD3 one more step closer to becoming a full-service CRO," said Ben Bandaru, Ph.D., Director of Corporate Development for GBG.

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director Matthew Kekelis at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark was thrilled to bring StatKing on board as a client. We enjoy working in all industries, but it’s always special working with healthcare companies given our office location in the heart of Nashville’s healthcare hub. Dennis and Rod have built a great company, and I know Genesis will carry on their legacy.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between CCAC, Inc and an Affiliate of Southern Air Heating & Cooling

CCAC is a Texas-based full-service heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company.  They focus on servicing and installing residential and light commercial markets: the company services Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas.

Founded in 1994, Southern Air Heating & Cooling is a BBB Accredited and NATE Certified HVAC and plumbing services business serving residents across Louisiana and Mississippi.  It proudly employs technicians who have met the highest standards of training in the industry and backs its work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

President David Mathews of CCAC, Inc commented regarding the deal, “I have enjoyed working with Benchmark for the sale of our business.  They were professional and brought us several potential buyers to choose from.  We had several offers and chose the buyers that we thought would be the best to take care of our employees and the business going forward. Thank you.”

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Benchmark International proved value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  Also, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional, and national associations.  As a result, Benchmark International presented the client with multiple buyers and offers for the client to have the most vital options and make the best decision for themselves, their business, and their employees.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso commented, “We are excited to see that our client’s legacy will remain and prosper through this transaction. We understood that our client was seeking a company that would provide a succession plan for the future of the company while also providing a great work environment for their employees. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success in the future.”

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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.

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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 Marley Drug, Inc. and Medicure Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Marley Drug, Inc. (“Marley Drug”) and Medicure Pharma Inc., the US subsidiary of Medicure Inc. (“Medicure”).

Marley Drug is a North Carolina corporation owned by Dr. David Marley and his wife, Elizabeth Marley. The company operates as a hybrid walk-in local pharmacy and a nationwide mail-order pharmacy focused on providing affordable prescription drugs. Established in 2002, the company is licensed throughout the United States, including Washington D.C., and in Puerto Rico.

Medicure is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular therapeutics for the U.S. market. Medicure Inc. is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and trades under the symbol MPH on the TSX Venture Exchange. Its subsidiaries include Medicure International, Inc. (Barbados), which owns the U.S. rights to AGGRASTAT and two U.S. corporations, Medicure USA, Inc. and Medicure Pharma, Inc., which distributes the company’s products in the United States.

Albert D. Friesen, PhD, CEO of Medicure Inc. commented regarding the deal, “The team at Benchmark International was very helpful in facilitating the Medicure Inc. acquisition of Marley Drug, Inc. Benchmark was well organized and kept the discussion and deal making on schedule for a timely closing to the original target date, for which I thank the entire Benchmark International team.”

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The acquisition enables Medicure further to expand the distribution of its products within the United States. As a manufacturer, Medicure intends to provide branded medications, as well as extremely low-cost generic medications.

Dr. Marley commented, “It’s a perfect and responsible transition for Marley Drug.” Regarding Benchmark International, Dr. Marley added, “I can’t begin to express my gratitude to Benchmark International for their role in facilitating the sale of Marley Drug. As someone with zero experience in the M&A world, they were patient with me, as well as educational and efficient. It goes without saying I simply could not have asked for a smoother transaction. In fact, I doubt I could have had a successful transaction without the Benchmark International team.”

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to support Marley Drug in this transaction. Dr. Marley and his team were wonderful to work with. They were engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Benchmark International is Pleased to Announce Our Attendance at the ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference

Benchmark International is pleased to announce our attendance at the ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference on December 16, 2020.

The conference is devoted to deal making in the middle-market technology sector.

Key elements include:

  • Multi billions in dry powder represented
  • Attendees include premier technology investors and intermediaries
  • 100+ senior capital providers and technology sector insiders
  • Private one-on-one meetings scheduled with top decision makers
  • Speakers include high profile founders that have sold to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google

Link to Conference Registration: https://www.acg.org/nyc/events/acg-ny-annual-technology-ma-conference 

ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference 

Key topics include the latest trends and investment opportunities:

  • Identifying how Private Equity using technology for competitive advantage and to enhance portfolio company value
  • Finding tech innovations and ideas that will boom beyond CV-19
  • Naming where are Capital Providers are placing their technology sub sector bet

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Calvin’s Electric and In Charge LLC

Calvin’s Electric is an electrical contractor that focuses on residential projects.  The company provides hardwire electric services for their clients’ projects while improving each customer’s electrical efficiency and providing electrical code compliance consulting as needed. They also offer 24-hour service for their existing customers.

Calvin’s Electric is based in Dripping Springs, a suburb of Austin, Texas, but the company services Austin and the surrounding area. They work with new home builders such as Ash Creek Homes, Brookfield Residential, Sitterle Homes, and Scott Felder Homes, to name a few.

In Charge LLC began in 2007 and provides residential production construction, custom residential and commercial construction, and retrofit services.  In Charge completes jobs that are production or custom and have vast expertise in the areas of electric options, smart home technology, and lighting. In Charge is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin, Texas. Prior to the acquisition of Calvin’s Electric, they had seven locations in Texas.

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Benchmark International proved value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  Also, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional, and national associations. While clients are often hesitant to meet with local competitors, after speaking with both parties about their goals with a potential transaction, it was abundantly clear that there could be a great fit between them. After much work, we could get both parties in the same room where the great cultural fit emerged.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso commented, “We are excited to see that our client’s legacy will remain and prosper through this transaction. We understood that our client was seeking a company that would provide a succession plan for the company’s future while also providing a great work environment for their employees. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success in the future.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Associates in Pediatric Therapy and VersiCare Group

November 2020 Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Associates in Pediatric Therapy (serving Kentucky and Indiana) and VersiCare Group of Detroit, MI.

The seller,  Associates in Pediatric Therapy, has provided therapeutic services to children with special needs in Metro Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Erlanger, and Southern Indiana since 2007. Renea Sageser, CEO of APT, and husband Scott started with six part-time employees and grew to over 175 employees who serve patients in rural areas to receive high-quality care closer to their homes.

The buyer, VersiCare Group, is a Detroit, MI-based provider of home and community-based services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We are pleased to welcome APT to the VersiCare Family,” stated Lauren Sclesky, CEO of VersiCare. “When we decided to launch an aggressive growth plan in 2018, we targeted companies who share the mission in “helping people succeed” that has led to VersiCare’s success. With this new partnership, I am confident we can continue to provide best-in-class services across Kentucky and Indiana in addition to our other service areas.”

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Benchmark International was fortunate enough to represent another highly sought after business opportunity with Associates in Pediatric Therapy.  “We had a lot of connections along the way.  We never know who he is going to put in our path.  We challenge ourselves every day to be better.  We are only here for a short period of time.  I pray we cross paths again one day.  Thank you and your team for their contributions,” stated CFO of APT, Scott Sageser.

Matthew Kekelis, Transaction Director with Benchmark International, added “Scott and Renea Sageser are truly the most caring clients whom I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  Their passion for providing quality care to children in need and providing a family environment for their staff is commendable. It deserves to be recognized.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between All-Star Fire, LLC and Fire Safety and Protection, LLC, a Portfolio Company of Sunny River Management

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between All-Star Fire, LLC (“ASF”) and Fire Safety and Protection, LLC (“FSP”), a portfolio company of Sunny River Management (“SRM”).

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD and an Undisclosed Acquirer for the Regal Pet Health Brand

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD and an Undisclosed Acquirer for the Regal Pet Health Brand.

NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD is a private company owning several brands in the complementary medicines and natural beauty sections including Herbex. NEWGROUP brands trade throughout South Africa and internationally.  The Regal Pet Health brand – A division of NEWGROUP– is comprised of a range of herbal remedies that offer the pet owner the tools to address the health of their pets naturally.

Eddie Bisset, Chief Executive Officer for NEWGROUP, commented on the transaction saying, “I would like to thank the full Benchmark team for the smooth facilitation of the Regal Pet Health Brand sale. The level of professionalism displayed by everyone from start to finish is unparalleled. As a first time seller, we were guided every step of the way, with no pressure or unanswered questions. Every concern, question or change of strategy was met with prompt courteous answers.”

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The acquirer, is one of the top five companies in the Health and Beauty Industry with a growing footprint in the rest of Africa. The acquirer commented on the transaction: “It really was a pleasure working with Benchmark in facilitating this transaction. They were really on the button and extremely quick to give feedback in making things go as smooth and fast as possible.”

Tiaan Smit, Transaction Director at Benchmark International added, “Throughout the entire process all parties involved were communicative and collaborative, allowing the Benchmark team to execute a swift transaction. It was a pleasure to represent NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD in this transaction and we are delighted to have found a good home for the Regal Pet Health brand. 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 Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Johnson Claim Service, Inc. and Davies

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction of Johnson Claim Service, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been acquired by Davies.

Johnson Claim Service provides insurance adjuster and appraisal services for insurance contracts written to cover property, casualty transportation and agricultural claims. The transportation claims include truck, trailer, heavy equipment physical damage, motor truck cargo, dealers open lot, garage keeper’s legal liability and non-truck liability. The company has both a domestic and international client base for which its services are provided.

Allen G. Johnson, President of Johnson Claim Service commented regarding the transaction, "We engaged Benchmark to assist in providing professional services in the sale of our insurance related business.   Their team, and most importantly their Deal Associate who handled our transaction through to completion, stayed involved during some difficult negotiations.  The Deal Associate helped JCS finish the business sale with a very positive result for the owners.  Great job Benchmark International!"

Johnson Claim Service will join Davies already established Claims Solutions business in the US, adding specialist transportation claims capability. Globally Davies has more than 4,000 colleagues, with operating centers across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada.  The business delivers professional services and technology solutions across the risk and insurance value chain, including excellence in claims, underwriting, distribution, regulation, customer experience, human capital, digital transformation & change management. This deal marks Davies sixth acquisition of 2020. 

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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.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark International added value by negotiating this deal. We saw throughout the entire process that the buyer, Davies, 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 Johnson Claim Service Inc and Davies the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between Advantage Plastics of New York and an Affiliate of Orchard Creek Capital

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Advantage Plastics of New York and Sherri Plastics (Advantage Plastics), to an affiliate of Orchard Creek Capital.

Advantage Plastics specializes in thermoforming a variety of plastic products across numerous industries. Specialties include vacuum forming, CNC trimming, laser cutting, and laser engraving. The company works with a wide array of materials, including ABS, HDPE, Acrylic, and PVC.

Owner, John Salva with Advantage Plastics commented regarding the deal completion, "The team at Benchmark really stepped up and took care of all of us. It was important to us that we find a buyer that would compensate us for our life's work, as well as value our wonderful team of employees."

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Orchard Creek Capital is an investment company based in Northville, Michigan that invests in small manufacturing businesses across the United States. Their investment focus is on successful companies with established track records and solid growth prospects. In 2018, Orchard Creek acquired a plastic injection molding company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Acquiring Advantage Plastics brings additional assets in the plastics space.

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent Advantage Plastics in this transaction. We’re excited to see that the legacy will be preserved and enhanced through this transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama, PC and Carbon Health

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama (serving the Greater Mobile area) and Carbon Health of San Francisco, CA.The seller, Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama, has been providing urgent care services to the Greater Mobile, AL market since 2013. Hillcrest has repeatedly remained on top of the most reputable urgent care facilities in Mobile and ranked 2nd in the state of Alabama. Dr. Gamil “Jimmy” Dawood is a compassionate individual with a true love of providing acute care services to patients looking for convenient, reliable care.

Dr. Jimmy Dawood mentioned regarding the transaction, “I was very pleased to find out that Carbon Health shares the same philosophy of putting patients first and providing excellent care in a friendly environment as I do. The Benchmark team was always available and more than a partner in the whole process! Matthew Kekelis and Neal Wilkerson in particular were very professional, resourceful, supportive and friendly. They went above and beyond to ensure the successful completion of the sale.”

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The buyer, Carbon Health is a San Francisco based technology-enabled healthcare provider delivering omnichannel primary and urgent care across the country. The company, launched in 2015, has re-engineered healthcare delivery from the ground up to provide an exceptional experience for both providers and patients, making high-quality care accessible to all.

“We are grateful to work with Benchmark International and Dr. Dawood of Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama for a seamless transition,” said Will Abbott, Chief Operating Officer at Carbon Health. “Dr. Dawood and his team have built a thriving practice in the Greater Mobile community. The Carbon Health team is excited to build on this foundation and continue to provide high-quality care while integrating additional innovations to expand services and meet the community where they are.”

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director Matthew Kekelis at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark, through are open bid process, was able to secure many interested parties in a short period of time. Because of this, we were able to successfully negotiate an offer our Client could not pass up. A straightforward diligence process with open lines of communication between all parties expedited the time to deal completion. “Everyone involved in this transaction diligently worked together and agreed early on that this was a great match. Hillcrest Urgent Care is a beacon of healthcare excellence in the community. We were all excited to find the perfect buyer, Carbon Health, to build upon Hillcrest’s commitment of providing exceptional healthcare.”

ABOUT CARBON HEALTH Carbon Health is the technology-enabled healthcare provider designed from the ground up to put patient-care first. By combining technology with modern clinics, it delivers a uniquely seamless experience from virtual care to in-person care to meet patients where they are. Carbon Health removes the boundaries to high-quality, transparent and personal care and envisions making patient-centric, world-class care accessible and a reality for everyone. Carbon Health is headquartered in San Francisco with clinics across California and virtual care in 16 states across the U.S. To access Carbon Health, download the app (iTunes or Google Play) or visit carbonhealth.com.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Read's Uniforms and Brighton Partners Equity

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Read’s Uniforms and Brighton Partners Equity. Read’s Uniforms, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “Read’s”, is an omnichannel distributor of uniforms and accessories for resale to all five major uniform verticals including medical, public safety, industrial, hospitality, and education. This multi-location provider has access to key brands in all major verticals. The company has ten locations throughout Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Eric Hutzler, Owner of Read’s Uniforms, mentioned regarding the transaction, “As founders, we were very pleased with the pipeline of qualified buyers that Benchmark was able to produce. We had multiple options to choose from, each with a unique upside to consider. Ultimately, it is highly unlikely we would have found any of these opportunities on our own.”

Brighton Partners Equity hereinafter referred to as “Brighton” is a private equity firm focused on regional distribution and service companies where geographic expansion is a key driver of future growth. Brighton takes a hands-on approach, bringing objective analysis and years of small, growth-oriented company experience to each investment opportunity. They pride themselves on being good communicators; with their management teams, lenders, and limited partners.

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Read’s was a perfect fit into the current portfolio of Brighton, and an excellent platform for Brighton to expand upon based on their investment thesis. The challenges that COVID presented during this transaction were not insignificant, causing all sides to come together and develop creative financing solutions when the debt markets were retracting. This deal is a cathartic end to the Hutzler’s vision and a welcome beginning to a new partnership that is sure to thrive in the coming years.

Benchmark International’s Managing Director, Dara Shareef commented regarding the deal completion, “Benchmark International is happy to have successfully facilitated the transaction between Read’s Uniforms and Brighton Partners. Deal fatigue could have impeded this transaction at many points, but both sides remained diligent in their efforts. We certainly look forward to the prospect of working with the Hutzlers and Brighton Partners again should the opportunity present itself.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Ultimate Medical Services, Inc. and UMS Holdings, LLC of WolfGang Capital

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the cross-border acquisition of Ultimate Medical Services, Inc. by UMS Holdings, LLC of the Wolfgang Capital group.

Ultimate Medical Services, Inc. is a provider of diagnostic medical imaging equipment and maintenance services for the South, Central United States market. Medical imaging equipment includes digital radiography, computerized radiography, X-rays, Ultrasound, MRI and CT. The company is a full-line imaging company that provides services for preventative imaging products as well as routine studies and emergency procedures.

Wolfgang Capital LLP purchases, develops, and manages businesses with revenues of £1 to £20 million. UK-based Wolfgang Capital is a solution-focused business committed to generating growth through acquisition.

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Kevin Fix, former owner and CEO of Ultimate Medical Services, Inc. said “Benchmark International stood with us through every step of the transaction process and we were impressed by their desire to search the globe to find a buyer. Their efforts ultimately paid off and they facilitated the close of our company with a buyer based in the United Kingdom. The Benchmark team placed a lot of emphasis on being able to help get a deal done in any condition, even despite the global Covid-19 quarantines and the subsequent economic crisis. The team’s persistence proved especially valuable in overcoming numerous obstacles ranging from having multiple potential buyers initially fall through to eventually juggling a complicated cross-border transaction to reach a successful close. Maxim Belov was particularly hands-on and helpful through every step of the sales process.”

Regarding the deal completion, Anthony Hernandez, Benchmark International Transaction Director, stated “the Benchmark Team is delighted to announce not just another successful closing, but to also announce the first transaction we have had the pleasure of facilitating in Louisiana, with several more surely following on its coattails. Senior Analyst Maxim Belov did an excellent job liaising between the parties to facilitate another cross-border transaction for the Benchmark International team.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Hagan Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC and NearU HVAC Services

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the acquisition of Hagan Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC (Hagan) by an affiliate of NearU HVAC Services. Hagan is a leading recurring maintenance, installation, repair, and service company specializing in residential and commercial heating, cooling, air quality control, and dehumidifying services. Hagan was founded by Paul Hagan and has been in operation for over 30 years. In addition to traditional HVAC systems, Hagan also services boilers, gas furnaces, and heat pumps.

The decision to sell Hagan was made after careful consideration. According to Mr. Hagan, “The thought of selling our 33-year-old HVAC business to actually listing it was overwhelming. After much research it was certain that we would need help. We narrowed down brokers and chose Benchmark International. The personal and professional attention we received exceeded our expectations. All members of the team provided the knowledge and expertise needed to get us from listing to closing with confidence, despite this occurring during the COVID pandemic, March-September 2020.”

Regarding their choice of suiters, Mr. Hagan added, “At Hagan, we have worked hard and honestly to always do right by our customers and employees. We chose to transition our brand to NearU because of our confidence in NearU’s vision for the HVAC industry.”

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NearU is a technician and customer-centric provider of residential and light commercial HVAC services. Hagan marks the fourth HVAC business in the NearU portfolio. Ashish Achlerkar, NearU’s Founder, Chairman and CEO stated, “Our portfolio in upstate South Carolina now boasts two strong and strategically-combined local brands: Carolina Heating Services in Greenville and Hagan Heating and Air in Anderson. We welcome the customers and employees of Hagan to the rapidly growing NearU family.”

Regarding the transaction, Senior Associate Nick Woodyard at Benchmark International stated, “We are excited to see the Hagan team begin this next chapter in the company’s legacy. It was an absolute pleasure working with Paul and Les Hagan and we’re excited to have facilitated a successful transaction.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between HireVergence LLC and Job.com

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between HireVergence LLC and Job.com.

HireVergence, based in Tampa, Florida, is a highly specialized staffing firm providing experienced cybersecurity and IT resources to clients of all sizes nationwide. The founders of HireVergence, Mark Tuszynski, Dave Gilden, and Julio Sanchez, bring more than 50 years of combined experience in information technology.

Job.com is a digital recruitment company with a unique perspective: delivering technology and capabilities that shake up the market by bringing together a data-driven approach based in AI and machine learning with high-level human capital delivered solutions, designed to efficiently attract and retain the right talent and provide consumer-level user experiences throughout the hiring process.

According to the company’s announcement, “We're delighted with the acquisition of HireVergence, their fantastic team, and to work with their loyal customer base. This is a major step towards Job.com's vision of a digitized staffing industry, delivering a hiring experience to the jobseeker that moves away from transactions and focuses on career journeys," says Arran Stewart, co-founder, and Chief Visionary Officer.

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"We are excited to be joining forces with Job.com. Our shared vision of leveraging technology to reshape the recruitment industry will provide immense value for our customers and exciting opportunities for our team. The three of us are looking forward to continuing on the journey we started nine years ago with Job.com," says HireVergence founders Mark, Dave, and Julio.

Regarding the transaction process, Dave Gilden commented, “As founders, we were very pleased with the pipeline of qualified buyers that Benchmark was able to produce. We had multiple options to choose from, each with a unique upside to consider. Ultimately, it is highly unlikely we would have found any of these opportunities on our own.”

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent HireVergence in this strategic transaction. Dave, Mark, and Julio are engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. We’re excited to see that their legacy will be preserved and enhanced through this transaction with Job.com. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between BTech Manufacturing Inc. and a Private Investor

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between BTech Manufacturing Inc. and a private investor in the Houston, Texas market.

BTech Manufacturing Inc. is a component manufacturer and distributor of machined products. The company provides necessary components to the oil and gas industry, brazing stations, and other machined parts to air conditioning manufacturers and repair services. The company serves a wide array of industries such as HVAC, heavy industrial and manufacturing, and oil and gas.

BTech Manufacturing Inc. was purchased by a private investor looking to own and operate the business with the hopes of taking Mr. Bui’s foundations to the next level.

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Mr. Bui, President of BTech Manufacturing Inc. said regarding the recent transaction, “Benchmark International sourced a buyer that was motivated to get something done and pointed every party involved in the right direction. The team at Benchmark International understood my business and knew exactly what market segments to target. If I would do this again, I would without a doubt choose Benchmark as my partner in the sale process.”

Benchmark International’s Transaction Director, Luis Vinals stated, “BTech Manufacturing is a great company, and Mr. Bui’s story is one of resilience and is a testament to his entrepreneurial tenacity.  We are excited to have been able to facilitate a deal that will give Mr. Bui the flexibility to pursue his interests while maintaining his legacy.  The fact that we were able to quite literally close the chapter of one entrepreneur’s story and facilitate the opening chapter for another entrepreneur is proof that Benchmark International can work on all levels of the lower and lower-middle markets.  We wish Mr. Bui and the new ownership of BTech Manufacturing Inc. much success in the future.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between DevelopScripts LLC and Awection Inc

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between DevelopScripts LLC and Awection Inc, a SaaS company in the Dallas, Texas market. Awection Inc is the most recent business endeavor undertaken by entrepreneur, Alex Guiva.

DevelopScripts is a Texas-based company that offers a white-label, subscription-based digital platform allowing users to organize, manage, and conduct auctions through a centralized medium facilitating business transactions as well as fundraising efforts. The company also provides peer-to-peer marketplaces for e-commerce platforms. The Company serves customers in the automotive, equipment, pet, liquidation services, collectibles, event planning, and other industries. DevelopScripts’ founder, Rajesh Rajaram, has built a unique platform in the auction software category and successfully expanded his customer base and offerings year after year.

Mr. Rajaram commented regarding the deal, “Benchmark International really pulled their weight in getting this deal done.  I was very impressed by every team member’s tenacity to get this deal across the finish line.  Most importantly, the Benchmark team always took the time to listen to my concerns and feedback and were open to working on this deal with my best interests in mind.  Benchmark International ultimately found the perfect partner to escalate the Company’s growth and take DevelopScripts to the next level.”

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Alex Guiva, President of Awection Inc, has been growing businesses for over 20 years and is experienced in a wide array of industries. He said in relation to the deal, “Having closed over 30 transactions, I can attest that it is rare to find an intermediary as knowledgeable as Benchmark International. They truly focused on the important aspects of deal making and consistently made an effort to get to the finish line without creating disruptions for the organization during the process.”

Benchmark International’s Transaction Director Luis Vinals stated, “Working with a client like Rajesh is like working with the American Dream. Rajesh has such a rich and interesting story, which was a joy to learn about. Throughout the entire process, Rajesh was communicative and collaborative. With the Benchmark International team by his side, Rajesh was able to procure the deal he desired that would allow him to meet his personal and business objectives. Open communication allowed us to have strategic conversations that ultimately led to our team finding the ideal cultural fit for our client.”

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