Flyers Pizza & Subs Becomes Employee Owned
Ulrey Foods, Inc. dba Flyers Pizza & Subs (“Flyers”) of Columbus, Ohio is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, Flyers serves one of Columbus, Ohio’s best pizzas as reported by the 2016 C-Bus Top Picks Survey (a Columbus Dispatch survey). The Company maintains a commitment to providing a community-oriented, family-dining experience targeting the growing suburban markets surrounding Columbus, Ohio.
Flyers was originally founded by Wayne Ulrey in 1976 and is now owned by Wayne’s four sons, Steve, Mark, Dave and Scott Ulrey. In discussing the decision to sell to an ESOP, Steve Ulrey explained, “The ESOP is a win-win proposal, meaning it provides a retirement solution for both the owners and the valued employees. We recognize the importance of our employees to the success of this 40+ year-old Company, and we want to take care of those employees. We understand that if we take care of our employees, they take care of our customers. Also, the ESOP solution paves the way for a succession plan for the officers, and the tax treatment provides the Company with financial flexibility to handle the repayment of debt and also invest in growth.”
Flyers engaged Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor. The ESOP solution enables the Company to gradually transition leadership, expand the Company’s footprint and differentiate its compensation structure in order to reward, retain and recruit talent.
Regarding the process, Steve Ulrey stated, “We interviewed three different companies that featured the ESOP transition. Lazear Capital listened to our concerns and executed the process in order to achieve them. In fact, they exceeded what they said they were going to do. Thank you, Ted Lape, Susan Walton and Ned Gerhold.”
In its role as financial advisor to the Company, Lazear Capital worked closely with the owners of Flyers to customize a structure that provides the Company with the ability to expand store locations and the owners with a source of liquidity as they gradually step away from the business. Lazear Capital and led a multi-disciplinary deal team that executed the transaction efficiently while maintaining the priorities of the owners at the top of the list.