Recent News

Coordinating Council for Independent Living / West Virginia's Choice Becomes Employee Owned

 

Mulberry Street Management Services, Inc., also known to the marketplace as Coordinating Council for Independent Living, and its contracting agency, West Virginia’s Choice, Inc., combine to be leaders in the provision of case management and homemaker services in the state of West Virginia.  Mulberry, speaking for the composite group of companies, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, served as the financial advisor to the company for the transaction.

 

Mulberry Street Management Services, Inc. engaged Lazear Capital Partners to arrange the transaction and serve as the exclusive financial advisor. Lazear Capital Partners’ team worked with ownership and the management team to design a custom solution that provided employee benefits, financial flexibility, and maximized tax advantages. The financing Lazear Capital Partners structured will allow the them to maintain a liquidity cushion, while supporting its strong growth.

 

In discussing the decision to sell to an ESOP, Sharon Hayes, President and CEO, explained: "The ESOP enables us to transition ownership while maintaining our strong existing management team and the long-term strategy.  It also meets our goal of rewarding employees that have helped shape the success of the company and will continue to do so in the coming years. With the transition to the ESOP, the legacy and culture established by our Founder, Dennis Parrucci, will remain intact for many years to come."

 

Sharon Hayes commented that "Lazear Capital drove the process and led a deal team that executed the transaction efficiently and in the timeframe promised. They remained an advocate and trusted partner for our company and employees throughout the process and exceeded our expectations at every turn."

 

About Coordinating Council for Independent Living

 

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Morgantown, West Virginia, Coordinating Council for Independent Living, as combined, is the largest case management and homemaker agency in the state of West Virginia. Coordinating Council for Independent Living,professional and trained employees provide community services, service program maintenance and coordination, and in-home care to the citizens of West Virginia through its 8 offices covering all 55 counties of the state.

March 05, 2020

Weaver Homes & Weaver Commercial Contractor sells to ESOP

Lazear Capital Partners is proud to announce another successful Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction.  Wooster, Ohio based Weaver Custom Homes, Inc., and Weaver Commercial Constructor, Inc., have together formed the Benmark Holdings ESOP Trust and sold the combined entities to their employees.  Lazear Capital, a Columbus-based investment banking firm, was engaged by the Company's owner to provide expertise in structuring a solution that optimized his objectives.

 

Founded in 1955, Weaver Custom Homes and Weaver Commercial Contractor manage the construction of residential homes and commercial buildings, respectively. Both companies differentiate from traditional general contractors by providing "design-build" services, which entails managing the entire process from the earliest design phase through to completion.

 

As the sellers explained, "by moving our two companies into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) we were able to accomplish two major goals. The first goal was to implement a succession plan to ensure the continuation of our family business' while protecting the brand and maintaining the integrity by which we do business. The second goal was not only to protect our employees, many who have long tenures with WCH and WCC, but to put them in a position where they can benefit from the growth and prosperity of the businesses."

 

Lazear Capital undertook an extensive feasibility analysis, and the owners came to believe that an ESOP was the best fit for the Company. Lazear Capital's team worked with the owners to design a custom solution that included employee benefits, financial flexibility, and maximizing tax advantages. The financing Lazear Capital structured will allow the Company to maintain a liquidity cushion while supporting its steady growth.

GreenScapes Landscape Co sells to an ESOP

GreenScapes Landscape Company, Inc. a premier design and build landscape contracting company located in Columbus, Ohio is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, was engaged to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor.

 

Since founding the company in 1977 while completing his degree in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University, Bill Gerhardt grew GreenScapes into a full-service landscape company designing and installing landscaping for commercial properties, residential sites, and site complete maintenance including snow & ice management services. As Bill began considering how to pass on the GreenScapes legacy, he knew that besides capitalizing on his investment he also wanted a plan that would enable his business and its culture to endure while continuing to serve the loyal clients that helped make GreenScapes a leader in Central Ohio. GreenScapes has many talented employees with over 500 years of combined experience at the company!   

 

"Once Lazear Capital Partners helped me realize there was a viable scenario to receive a fair value for the sale of the GreenScapes while at the same time providing the employees with a fully employer-driven benefit, I was hooked. It was important that the employees who helped build the Company into the leader it is today are able to see direct value in the growth and future success of the business. I was successful because of them and now they will take GreenScapes forward and benefit from its future success.”

 

The flexibility of an ESOP gave Bill a solution that met both his financial and personal goals while ensuring his employees will benefit directly in the future success of the business they helped build. Bill will continue to work at GreenScapes as the President for at least the next 5 years.

 

GreenScapes is located at 4220 Winchester Pike in southeast Columbus, Ohio. 

Kovatch Castings sells to an ESOP

Kovatch Castings, Inc. (“Kovatch”), a leading manufacturer of precision cast components, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  

 

For over 20 years, Kovatch has enjoyed year-after-year success, due in part to the Company’s commitment to its employees, its clients, and its community.  After considering a variety of succession planning options, the Company decided that the transition to employee ownership allows Kovatch employees to continue the company’s rich tradition of superior service and quality for many years to come. 

 

Kovatch engaged Lazear Capital Partners (“LCP”), an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor.  In its role as financial advisor to the Company, LCP customized a structure to address key goals and objectives related to shareholder liquidity, tax advantages, employee benefits, and financial flexibility for the Company.  The Company’s CFO, Frank Lysiak, explained, “The LCP team led the process from start to finish, coordinating a strong group of professionals, managing an efficient process and advocating for the shareholder and the Company throughout, allowing the Kovatch leadership team to remain focused on running the business. “

 

For additional information regarding the Kovatch ESOP, please click on the following link:

 

https://www.crainscleveland.com/manufacturing/uniontown-manufacturer-kovatch-castings-embraces-esop-preserve-company-culture-family

Kwest Group Sells to ESOP

Kwest Holdings, Inc., and its operating subsidiary K. West Group, LLC, (collectively “Kwest” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the transition to employee ownership by becoming a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. 

 

Kwest is a Perrysburg, OH-based, award-winning merit-shop civil construction and environmental services company, providing a broad range of construction services in multiple market sectors including energy, petrochemical, railway, airfield, public & defense, and clearing.  Along with its Perrysburg headquarters, Kwest has satellite offices in Dublin, Ohio and Rockwall, Texas. The Company is registered/licensed in 37 states to execute complex, safety stringent, high-quality projects for its targeted customers.

 

The owners of Kwest evaluated multiple ownership transition solutions and decided that an ESOP represented the best solution for the long-term future of the company, including the shareholders, clients, business partners, and most importantly the Kwest family of employees.  The formation of an ESOP, led by the Lazear Capital Team, provided Kwest with a thoughtful transition plan that maximized value for the selling owners while providing Kwest's team members with a valuable financial interest in the success of the business. 

 

Mark Murray, Managing Member and the founding, Managing Partner of Kwest, commented that “For several years, my partner, Ryan Odendahl (President) and I, had been considering options for the succession of our growing business. The Lazear Capital team worked with our team reviewing strategic alternatives as well as introducing us to the ESOP option.  The extensive knowledge and historical track record that the Lazear Capital team has with ESOP transactions provided the education and insight needed to understand the significant value that ESOPs provide to both the selling shareholders and Kwest’s employees.  The Lazear Capital team was supportive, informative and patient with our team as we worked through this very important decision.  They also helped to get Kwest in an optimal position for an ESOP  transaction.”

 

“In the end, we decided selling Kwest to our employees through the ESOP would allow our team and culture to remain in place.  Additionally, it was the best option for the selling shareholders personally, Kwest’s employees, and Kwest’s clients and business partners. The Kwest and Lazear Capital teams came together to help achieve this important milestone and positioned Kwest for a successful future. Kwest’s clients and business partners will continue to be serviced by the same strong Kwest team.”

Easling Construction Sells to ESOP

Easling Construction, a well-known homebuilder, full service home maintenance company, and the largest privately-held Employer in Leelanau County, announced it was selling the company to its employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  This announcement was made on Saturday at the annual Holiday party to an enthusiastic crowd of employees and guests.  “You are my family, I sold my company to you,” Marty said as the crowd responded with a roar of applause, hugs and tears of joy.  “I’ve attended a lot of ESOP announcements, but this was the most magical one yet,” said Jeremy Garrett the Investment Banker from Lazear Capital Partners who coordinated the sale of the Company to the ESOP.  “You can tell people genuinely trust Marty and he is deeply admired by his employees and the community”. 

For Marty Easling, founder and CEO of Easling Construction, the sale to his team was the perfect solution.  “It is a smart financial move for the company but more importantly,” Marty explained, “it provided the ongoing opportunities for my loyal and talented team that I wanted.”  With nearly 100 employees working and living in the area the company is important to the economic health of the area.

ECC will continue to provide the same exceptional level of quality.  “Our maintenance division has grown by 800% since the recent recession and our shoreline protection business has quadrupled in the past 2 years due to the high lake levels."

 

“Over the past 44 years, we’ve enjoyed tremendous success and the employees drove those results.  

Importantly,” Marty added, “I am not going anywhere, I love Leelanau County and want the best for my team, my clients, and the economic health of the region that has been my home my entire life.”  Selling to the ESOP is a way for Marty to give back to those who worked hard in building the business, while insuring his legacy.

 

The transaction was arranged and managed by Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm specializing in ESOP transactions.  They were hired to ensure the transaction met Marty’s personal goals and ambitions for the future of Easling Construction.

Hercules Industries Sells to ESOP

Hercules Industries, a leading manufacturer and full-service wholesale distributor of HVAC equipment and supplies, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Trust (“ESOP”).  Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, was engaged to quarterback the transaction and served as the company’s financial advisor in the negotiation of deal terms and the arrangement of financing.

 

Hercules, headquartered in Denver, was founded by William E. Newland in 1962 and has grown to over 20 locations and five manufacturing facilities in the Rocky Mountain region.  “Transferring ownership of this large capital structure to the next generation is very difficult.  The conclusion we came to was that we should simply transfer company ownership to those people that deserve it the most.  These are the people that have been most loyal to our company, the employees of Hercules Industries,” said William Newland, former shareholder and chairman of the Board of Directors.

UTI Technologies sells to an ESOP

“Utility Technologies International Corporation (UTI), a complete service provider to the natural gas pipeline industry, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, was engaged to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor. 

 

As the selling shareholders, led by majority shareholder Dick Dickerson, contemplated succession planning they learned about the ESOP solution as a way to not only capitalize on their investment but ensure the cultural legacy of the Company. With several shareholders staying on as members of management, the Company felt it was imperative to consider an option that best allowed the company to continue to grow organically.  “Lazear was able to break down the perceived complexity of an ESOP transaction to help us appreciate the benefits. Once we understood the benefits available to us and our employees it was clear this was the best path forward. Their professionalism, organization, and clear communication helped us navigate the process from start to finish.” 

 

“Lazear really helped us understand the power of the ESOP and what it would do for our employees. They ensured we received a full, fair value with the best bank financing available. They exceeded our expectations. Thank you, Lazear, for all your efforts.”

 

UTI is located in Groveport, Ohio and has been in operations since 1992.”

Germane Solutions sells to an ESOP

Germane Solutions, a niche healthcare consulting firm with extensive Graduate Medical Education (GME) experience, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, was engaged to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor.

 

Art Boll, founder and majority shareholder, heard about the power of the ESOP solution as he considered the next phase of his career. After building his business to be an industry leader in GME programs, he wanted to fully capitalize his investment while enabling the culture to endure and the employees to benefit directly in the future success of the business they helped build.

 

“It was imperative that the employees who helped build the Company into the market leader it is today are able to see direct value in the growth and future success of the business. We are successful because of them and now they will take the Company forward not only as key employees but as owners in the Company. Lazear really helped me understand the benefits of the ESOP option for my employees and me as a seller. They were with me from the beginning to serve as a trusted advisor, always providing industry leading thought and insight as we navigated the transaction. Their dedication, patience, and expertise were unmatched and I am so thankful for their efforts.”

 

Germane Solutions is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.

Polaris sells to an ESOP

Polaris Automation, Inc. (Polaris) and Industrial Solutions, Inc. (ISI), leaders in industrial automation control engineering solutions, are pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the companies to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") Trust.  Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, was engaged to arrange the transaction and serve as the company's exclusive financial advisor. 

 

Susan Cooke and Scott Cooke, the selling shareholders, shared their story. "This journey started five years ago when we began exploring an exit strategy.  We talked with strategic buyers but quickly learned that it would be necessary to bring on a partner to help further identify all of our best options.  Once introduced to Lazear, it was evident that we had found the partner we needed.  They identified the ESOP solution as a way to meet our desires for ensuring that the culture of our companies would remain intact while simultaneously providing a way for our dedicated employees to share in the future."

 

"Lazear helped us understand that before the ESOP was a viable option, there was work that needed to be done."  Scott explains, “I owe a lot of my professional growth in recent years to the transparent discussions that took place with Lazear early in the process.  They stuck with us throughout and were always willing to lend their thoughts on our progression.  I am a much better CEO, having worked with Lazear.”

 

“During the transition to an ESOP, Lazear kept us on track and were very good at keeping the entire ESOP team accountable.  Their communications were impeccable and designed to make sure that we understood what was going on every step of the way.”

 

“It also didn’t stop with the close of the ESOP.  Lazear also ensured that we begin our journey correctly by introducing us to other professionals and service providers that will help us to carry the torch forward.”

 

About Polaris and ISI:

Founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1984, Polaris Automation Inc., (Polaris), is a systems integration company focused on industrial automation controls and advanced manufacturing solutions. Later founded in 1987, Industrial Solutions Inc., (ISI), a complementary sister company, produces customized control panels used in manufacturing processes.

 

To learn more, please visit our websites:

www.polarisautomation.com

www.isicontrolpanels.com

Pinnacle sells to an ESOP

Pinnacle Industrial Enterprises, Inc., dba Pinnacle Plastic Products,("Pinnacle"), a manufacturer of custom blow molded plastic products, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") Trust. 

 

Pinnacle 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 will enable the company to gradually transition leadership while simultaneously creating a way to help better reward, retain, and recruit talent.

“We want to thank Lazear Capital in helping transform Pinnacle Plastic Products into an employee-owned company. Without their professionalism, expertise, and tenacity, I don't know how we would have gotten such a great result."

 

The owners went on to explain that their decision to pursue an ESOP transition as such, “We are excited for the employees of Pinnacle Plastic Products as they will all directly benefit from working for the new company and will now share in its continued success.” The selling shareholders - Gary Gratop, Mike Hagen and Kevin Tearney will remain active in the new company during the transition period to ensure Pinnacle Plastic Products continuing success. “The plan for the new company is to grow and expand our capabilities to always meet our customers' needs.  The ESOP will ensure that our employees can participate in that future growth and success.”

About Pinnacle Plastics:

Founded in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1995, the company employs 177 people, operates nine production presses, and is shipping more than 3,000 tons of finished product annually.  Pinnacle serves a diverse client base across multiple industries producing plastic products used for industrial applications and sold in the consumer market.

 

To learn more about Pinnacle Plastics; please visit their website

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Transaction for Bandit Industries

Bandit Becomes 100% Employee Owned Through an ESOP

Bandit Industries, Inc. ("Bandit"), a leading designer and manufacturer of wood and waste processing equipment, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") Trust.  Lazear Capital Partners served as the financial advisor to Bandit for the transaction.

 

The announcement comes after two previous attempts to sell Bandit - once to another manufacturer and once to a private equity firm. "We realized neither was a good fit for Bandit, so we made the decision to sell to our trusted employees," said Dianne Morey.  

 

The ESOP ensures the corporate culture that has made Bandit a success for 35 years will remain intact.  Jerry Morey explains, "We have a very strong, dedicated dealer organization and a great crew, which is the key to our success. Our employees are experienced, smart and loyal to us, which is why we are so confident that an employee owned company is the right fit for Bandit. All of our employees will have a stake in the company."

 

Bandit engaged Lazear Capital Partners ("LCP"), an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company's exclusive financial advisor.  Jerry Morey commented, "Lazear Capital spent the time up front with us to customize a solution that benefitted everyone at our company, and they exceeded our expectations in executing the transaction."
 

In its role as financial advisor to the Company, LCP customized a structure to address key goals and objectives related to shareholder liquidity, tax advantages, employee benefits and financial flexibility for the Company.  LCP arranged and led a multi-disciplinary deal team that executed the transaction efficiently while meeting shareholder objectives.  

 

About Bandit Industries, Inc.
 

Founded in 1983 and based just outside Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Bandit Industries is a leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and service of hand-fed and whole tree wood chippers, stump grinders, forestry mowers, Beast recycling machines and other specialty wood and waste processing equipment. Bandit serves professionals in the logging, forestry, tree care, land clearing, recycling, and renewable energy markets through a global dealer network of over 240 locations. 

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Formation for Com-Corp. Industries

Com-Corp. Industries, Inc. ("CCI"), a leading manufacturer and assembler of stamped metal performance automotive products, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners, an investment banking firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, served as the financial advisor to CCI for the transaction.

 

In discussing the decision to sell to an ESOP, Michael Strazzanti (the Company's Chairman and former owner) explained "The ESOP enables us to transition ownership while maintaining existing management and the long-term strategy of the Company.  It also meets our goal of rewarding employees that have helped shape the success of CCI and will continue to do so in the coming years."

 

CCI engaged Lazear Capital Partners to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company's exclusive financial advisor. Lazear Capital's team worked with Michael Strazzanti and CCI's management team 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.

 

Michael Strazzanti commented, "Lazear Capital drove the process and led a deal team that executed the transaction efficiently and in the timeframe promised. They exceeded our expectations at every turn."

 

The transaction marks the third recently completed deal by Lazear Capital in Northeast Ohio, as the firm continues to expand its footprint in the region, led by Managing Director, Shawn Ely. 

 

About Com-Corp. Industries, Inc.

 

Founded in 1985 in Cleveland, Ohio, CCI is a leading manufacturer and assembler of stamped metal performance products to original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") and Tier 1 automotive suppliers, both domestically and internationally. The Company's products are component parts for best-selling truck, SUV, crossover, car, and other platforms of leading OEMs.

 

To learn more about Com-Corp Industries, please visit their website:  www.ccioh.com

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Transaction for F&S Mechanical and Plumbing: F&S Becomes 49% Employee Owned

F&S Mechanical & Plumbing Services, Inc. ("F&S Mechanical" or "Company") is proud to announce the sale of 49% of the outstanding stock of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP").  

 

F&S Mechanical is a leading, Georgia-based mechanical and plumbing contractor providing design-build, new construction and heavy renovation services in the public and private commercial segments. They are known for their operational flexibility and customization capabilities. Headquartered in Tyrone, GA and celebrating over 20 years of success, F&S has a strong reputation throughout its community for its commitment to providing high quality services and maintaining long-term client relationships.  

 

The shareholders of F&S Mechanical evaluated multiple ownership transition solutions and decided that an ESOP represented the best solution for the shareholders, employees, clients, suppliers, and other business partners.  The formation of an ESOP provided F&S Mechanical with a thoughtful transition plan that maximized value for the selling shareholder while it also provided the Company's valued employees with a financial interest in the success of the business.  

 

The selling shareholder, Frank Villella, said "We've worked alongside ESOP-owned companies over the years and it was refreshing to see how dedicated the employees were to each other.  The employees took ownership for their decisions and did what was best for the company."

 

F&S Mechanical engaged Lazear Capital Partners, Ltd. ("Lazear") to lead the transaction.  Lazear is a middle market investment bank nationally-recognized for its ESOP practice.  

 

Frank Villella said "Our CPA referred us to Lazear because they are known as a leading ESOP provider.  Their professionalism is top notch and their knowledge of ESOPs is unsurpassed.  Their people are personable and always available.  We would highly recommend Lazear to anyone and in fact, we have already referred a client to them."

Hear From Our Clients: Bob Lyon, President and Chairman, Lyon Video, Inc.

Bob Lyon, President and Chairman of Lyon Video, Inc., one of the largest national providers of mobile television production facilities and services in the nation, needed a solution for the company's and shareholder's long-term financial objectives. In 2013 he engaged the experience and expertise of Lazear Capital Partners in implementing the the sale of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. 

Lazear Capital's team, led by Bruce Lazear and Ted Lape, worked with Lyon's ownership and management to help them understand the financial landscape of the company and provide professional research and guidance throughout the process. 

You can hear more about Lyon's experience working with Lazear Capital Partners and the benefits he and his employees have experienced from implementing an ESOP by following the link to the video below.

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Formation for Kelley Brothers Roofing

Kelley Brothers Roofing, a Fairfield, OH-based premiere commercial roofing company, is pleased to announce the transition to employee ownership by becoming a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust. Lazear Capital Partners served as the advisor to Kelley Brothers for the transaction.

"After reviewing several options for our company, we determined an ESOP was the best option going forward as current owners with a future transition plan in mind. One of the main reasons for choosing an ESOP was for our employees. We have a great group of people here, and despite the fact, there may be only a few people steering the ship, it is the entire crew pulling the oars that make the company move forward. It only made sense to share the success of the company with the people that helped to get us to where we are. We fully expect the company to continue to thrive and flourish under the new ESOP."

"Lazear Capital showed us the potential of the ESOP program. They delivered on all of their promises and they delivered in the time frame they promised as well. We couldn't be happier with the results."

"Working with Lazear Capital made the process almost seamless. They were "running point" to engage all parties, smooth out any snags, and keep the process running. I honestly don't believe we could have done it without them.

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Formation for Romanoff Group

The Romanoff Group ("Romanoff"), a specialty contractor providing end-to-end electrical and HVAC services in both the commercial and residential markets, is pleased to announce the sale of 100% of the Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  

 

For the last 25 years, Romanoff has enjoyed year-after-year success, due in part to the Company's commitment to its employees, its clients and its community.  After considering a variety of succession planning options, the Company decided that an ESOP represents the best solution for a gradual leadership turnover while providing the business with financial flexibility and allowing the employees to participate in the future success of the business.  

 

Matt Romanoff explains, "We value our people and recognize their incredible contribution to the success of this organization.  The ESOP makes sense for ownership transition, the next generation of leadership, and for our legacy to carry forward."

 

Romanoff engaged Lazear Capital Partners ("LCP"), an investment banking firm in Columbus, Ohio, to arrange the transaction and serve as the Company's exclusive financial advisor.  Matt Romanoff commented "Lazear Capital spent the time up front with us to customize a solution that benefitted everyone at our company and they exceeded our expectations in executing the transaction."

 

In its role as financial advisor to the Company, LCP customized a structure to address key goals and objectives related to shareholder liquidity, tax advantages, employee benefits and financial flexibility for the Company.  LCP arranged and led a multi-disciplinary deal team that executed the transaction efficiently while meeting shareholder objectives.  

Lazear Capital Completes an ESOP Formation for a Midwest Food Manufacturer

Lazear Capital Partners is proud to announce the sale of 100% of the stock of a Midwest Fresh Food Manufacturer to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  Lazear Capital, a Columbus-based investment banking firm, was engaged by the company’s owner to provide expertise in structuring a solution that optimized his objectives. 

 

The Company greatly values its privacy and asked Lazear Capital not to disclose either its name or the specifics of its industry. The manufacturer provides full-service fresh food manufacturing to a broad range of customers. The company is indisputably a national leader in its industry segment and has enjoyed a long history of growth and profitability.  The owner approached several advisors before talking to Lazear Capital to better understand all his succession, financing, and liquidity options.

 

Lazear Capital undertook an extensive feasibility analysis and the owner came to believe that an ESOP was the best fit for the Company.  Lazear Capital's team worked with the owner, his CFO, and counsel 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.

 

You are invited to visit our new website to learn more about our firm at www.LazearCapital.com

Flyers Pizza & Subs Sells to Employees

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. 

 

You are invited to visit our new website to learn more about our firm at www.LazearCapital.com
 

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Transaction for Advanced Technology Products (ATP)

Advanced Technology Products (ATP) of Milford Center, OH 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 ATP and its shareholders to provide expertise in structuring a solution that optimized both the company's and shareholders' objectives. 

 

Founded in 1990, ATP is a premiere maker of pneumatic and fluid transfer tubing and its products are used worldwide across a large range on industries.

 

Jim McCoy, V Duane Campbell, and Steven DeWine were the three owners at the time of the conversion to an ESOP. Mr. McCoy was beginning to look at a gradual transition out of the business in the coming years, while Messrs. Campbell and DeWine were planning for many more years with ATP. After evaluating all alternatives, they concluded that the ESOP made sense for them personally while also allowing them to reward existing employees and provide a meaningful incentive for the continuing future of the business. Jim explained, "Lazear Capital came to us highly recommended. After meeting with them and discussing our options, we chose them due to their experience and depth of knowledge. We were particularly impressed with their support structure which greatly simplified the process. Thanks to Lazear Capital's organization for their assistance in providing our associates with continuity and pride of ownership."

 

Lazear Capital's team worked with ATP'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.

About Lazear Capital Partners

 

Lazear Capital Partners is a leading middle-market investment bank specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Formation, and ESOPs.  The firm is differentiated by the partners' extensive legal, accounting, financing and deal structuring background with some of the nation's largest companies.  As a boutique firm, Lazear Capital has also made a commitment that clients will work with the partners, rather than junior associates.

 

You are invited to visit our new website to learn more about our firm at www.LazearCapital.com

Lazear Capital Completes ESOP Transaction for a Midwest Manufacturer

Lazear Capital Partners is proud to announce the sale of 100% of the stock of a Midwest Manufacturer to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Lazear Capital, a Columbus-based investment banking firm, was engaged by the company and its shareholders to provide expertise in structuring a solution that optimized the company's and shareholders' objectives. 

 

The Company greatly values its privacy and asked Lazear Capital not to disclose either its name or the specifics of its industry. The manufacturer provides full-service manufacturing and marketing services to its customers including unique niche capabilities. The company has enjoyed strong growth and profitability and the owners were interested in understanding all of their succession and liquidity options.

 

After extensive analysis by Lazear Capital, the owners felt that an ESOP was the best fit for the Company, explaining, "The ESOP solution met our goals. We feel that we have the best team in manufacturing and we like that the ESOP will allow us to reward them and recruit more great team members. We have enjoyed more than 50 years of success and we think this positions us for another 50 great years. Lazear Capital really listened to what we wanted to achieve and they drove the process to accomplish it."

 

Lazear Capital's team worked with the Company'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.

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.

Lazear Capital Successfully Sells a Portfolio Company

Lazear Capital Partners is pleased to announce the successful sale of its portfolio company, Gooseberry Patch, LLC to The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. Gooseberry Patch is a lifestyle oriented Cookbook publisher based in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Lazear Capital acquired the assets of Gooseberry Patch in December 2009. After the acquisition, we worked with the management team to streamline the business operations and on the expansion of social media and publishing opportunities.

 

Gooseberry Patch has published over 200 titles, including dozens of best selling cookbooks that were recognized on both the New York Times and Amazon Best Selling Cookbook list.

 

The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., based in Lanham, Maryland, publishes high-quality college texts, entertaining and informative books for general readers, and professional and scholarly books in the humanities and the social sciences. 

Lazear Capital Forms Litigation Solutions Group

Lazear Capital Partners is pleased to announce that Sherri Lazear, a former partner at BakerHostetler, with more than 30 years of experience in commercial, bankruptcy, construction and real estate litigation, has joined our team. Sherri will be leading our new Litigation Solutions Group. 

 

Our firm has been engaged in formulating transactional solutions to complex litigation since its inception in 1999. Lazear Capital does not provide legal advice. We work closely with your legal team to create and implement business-driven solutions to litigation problems, including obtaining the necessary financing. 

 

We have found that ultimately financial solutions are the key to resolving complex business disputes. We have been engaged in the resolution of shareholder disputes, including deadlocked ownership issues, the contentious buyouts of minority shareholders, and the problems arising from distressed corporate financial situations. With the addition of Sherri Lazear, the Litigation Solutions Group will be adding to our team her deep experience in resolving complex commercial litigation through transactional solutions.

 

Here are some recent examples of business-driven transactions in which the principals of Lazear Capital have found the parties an exit strategy from protracted litigation:

 

  • We conducted an auction process when the partners of a privately held company were at an impasse and could no longer work together. The partners bid against each other and the partner with the highest bid now owns the company and the departing shareholder was bought out in an all cash transaction. Lazear Capital was also instrumental in procuring the financing for the winning bid.

  • We served as an advisor to a healthcare company that was embroiled in litigation with a minority shareholder. The company was able to resolve the litigation with an infusion of outside capital.  The minority partner was bought out of his position and the business is now in an expansion mode.

  • We have extensive experience advising lenders and distressed companies inside and outside of Bankruptcy Court. Lazear Capital has implemented creative solutions involving auctions of the companies' assets, Section 363 sales in bankruptcy proceedings, receivership sales in state courts, as well as refinancing transactions.

 

Please contact Sherri at sl@lazearcapital.com or (614) 832-8409 if you would like to learn more about Lazear Capital Litigation Solutions.

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Contact us directly at 614-221-1616 to begin making your business succession plans come true. 

401 North Front Street | Suite 250
Columbus, Oh  43215