Best Restaurant Equipment & Design Sells to Employees

Best Restaurant Equipment & Design Sells to Employees

Best Restaurant Equipment & Design (Best) of Columbus, Ohio announced the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Lazear Capital Partners, a Columbus-based investment banking firm, was engaged by Best and its shareholders to provide expertise in structuring a solution that optimized both the company's and shareholders' objectives.

Founded in 1987, Best is a design and supply distributor of foodservice equipment, furnishings, and small wares. The company's core customers are chain restaurants that are located throughout the United States.

Owners Jim Hanson, Mike Stasko and Gene Yosick all believe that an ESOP made sense for them personally and was a way to both reward existing employees and incentivize them in the future. Jim Hanson explained, "The ESOP solution felt right as it addressed all of our personal concerns and achieved our goals. We recognize that we didn't get here by ourselves and wanted a way to reward the people responsible for our collective success. Best has enjoyed more than 25 years of success and we think this move positions us well for the future. Lazear Capital really listened to our concerns and executed the process in order to achieve them."

Lazear Capital's team worked with Best's owners to design a custom solution that included employee benefits, financial flexibility, and maximized tax advantages. The financing Lazear Capital structured will allow the company to maintain a liquidity cushion while supporting its strong growth.