Finding the Perfect Fit

An IBG Business M&A Broker was retained to sell a national bulk commodities trucking firm with a strong tenure of over 60 years and an excellent reputation for customer service and reliability. The company operated over 40 tractors and more than one hundred trailers, primarily liquid and dry bulk trailers. The owners decided that, for personal reasons, it was time to sell the business.

Special Circumstances

The company maintained good revenues and service with a solid fleet, but the business had become difficult to grow and maintain. Over the years, ownership, objectives and management had become generationally "splintered." Two shareholders were active in the business, as General Manager and Safety Manager. Two others were less active under titles of Secretary and Vice President. The General Manager became terminally ill and did not survive the sale process, creating crisis needs to manage both the sale process and transitional issues during interim operations and as the business moved to a buyer.

The company was a major employer in its small town headquarters. There was strong recruitment demand for its drivers. Confidentiality was critical. Profits were positive, but less than needed for the value of the assets employed. The owners strongly preferred a sale that would not result in relocation of the business, due to loyalty to the community and their long-standing employees.

The Process

The M&A team identified a group of possible buyers that included high net worth individuals and private equity investors. Major attention was given to contacting companies in the same industries - companies that could recognize both the quality of the business and the steps needed to overcome management obstacles that had been holding it back. A broad segment of these potential buyers was contacted and reduced interest to a very similar firm, with strong management and capital, with whom final negotiations and closing were accomplished.

The Outcome

The owners' financial objectives were met and exceeded, including the ability to keep the business intact and in its "home" community. The seller and buyer made an ideal match culturally.

Client Comments

Your efforts, advice and professionalism were central in accomplishing our objectives, even with the unusual difficulties and circumstances . . . We found clear commitment to our best interests . . . You anticipated the twists and turns, prepared us and led us through . . . managed the process to carefully protect our confidentiality . . . You came highly recommended as experts we could trust. That proved true for us.