Uncategorized – Category Posts from The Forbes M+A Group. Research via our Knowledge Base and get access to M&A articles, news, and other info.

The Forbes M+A Group Adds Business Entrepreneur, William Nack, to Its Senior-Level Team

The Forbes M+A Group today announced that Bill Nack has joined the company as a Managing Director. Mr. Nack will use his extensive years of in-the-trenches business experience to help owners with buy-side acquisitions or divestitures. Mr. Nack has opened the company’s first branch office in Boulder, Colorado.

Mr. Nack has been an entrepreneur and business owner for 18 years. He has successfully led the acquisition or divestiture of six businesses, including Books West, The Landscape Guild, Astralux Solar, Relaxation Products, and bLogistics, and helped manage the companies through transition to new ownership. Bill’s addition to The Forbes M+A Group senior level team deepens the company’s knowledge and experience within the manufacturing, renewable energy, distribution, logistics, web services and e-commerce industries.

“Bill’s direct buying and selling business experience helps him understand exactly what our clients are going through, which is absolutely necessary for securing successful transactions that meets their objectives,” said Bob Forbes, president and chief executive officer of The Forbes M+A Group. “Forbes M+A was founded to give business owners direct access to advisors who have experienced first-hand the ups and downs of building, buying or selling a business. As a successful entrepreneur, Bill can relate to our clients as peers because he has been in their shoes. His addition to the team reinforces the company’s reputation as a trusted partner.”

Prior to joining The Forbes M+A Group, Mr. Nack was general manager for Great Big Color, where he overhauled operations to increase cash flow and reduce operating costs. He has also held executive and partner level positions at BrightSun Solar, Astralux Solar, W. L. Nack Enterprises, Broadwing, LLC, Books West and bLogistics. He was responsible for growing Books West and bLogistics into multimillion-dollar companies, and facilitated the sale of business assets to a private equity firm. While at BrightSun Solar, he developed a growth strategy prior to acquisition that yielded a 91% sales increase and 26% fixed cost reduction in its first 6 months post-close.

“I have been closely involved in several deals facilitated by The Forbes M+A Group and saw for myself the tremendous benefit of having a trusted, experience advisor by your side during business transactions,” said Bill Nack, managing director at Forbes Mergers and Acquisitions. “The Forbes M+A Group approach adds depth and collaboration to every project in a way that other M&A firms can’t match. In my new position at Forbes M+A, I’m looking forward to being a part of this extremely talented team and helping other business owners complete successful transactions.”

Mr.Nack graduated with a B.S. in Geology from West Virginia University.


The Forbes M+A Group to Host “Three Successful Exits” Free Breakfast Panel

A Panel of Business Owners Will Provide Lessons Learned From Successfully Selling a Business; Event is Co-Sponsored by Eide Bailly, Kutak Rock LLP and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors, Jon Greenfield and Shelley Ford

Experts predict a massive sell-off by baby boomer business owners; while at the same time, the economy is bouncing in and out of recovery. Anxiety levels are at an all-time high as business owners are looking for the best schedule and recipe for an exit. Timing is critical. In many cases, it’s the non-financial factors that make the difference between getting out with the perfect deal, being left with a suboptimum exit, or not getting out at all. A panel of business owners will share their stories over breakfast with those who want to learn how to successfully navigate this new market reality when selling a business or taking on a significant investor.

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • Protecting one’s legacy
  • Fair treatment of employees and management
  • What’s next for the selling business owners
  • What they might have done differently

The following three panelists and high-profile executives who have been through the selling process several times will candidly share their first-hand experiences:

  • Jim Freeman – Founder and former owner of Attain Technologies
  • Enrique Krajmalnik – Founder and former owner of Illumen
  • Lon Sears – Founder and former owner of FirstChoice Home Health

This free breakfast panel is taking place on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek (150 Clayton Ln, Denver, CO 80206). Complimentary continental breakfast and valet parking included.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Sharleen at sharleen@forbesma.com by Monday, May 13, 2013.



Energy Central Sells TransmissionHub and GenerationHub to PennWell Corporation

Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions, a leading financial and transaction advisor, announced that Energy Central’s TransmissionHub and GenerationHub information services have been successfully acquired by PennWell Corporation. Forbes M&A senior advisors, Adams Price and Bob Forbes, served as the exclusive financial counsel to Energy Central for this transaction. “Energy Central has a strong reputation for providing reliable and trusted information to the global power industry,” said Adams Price, Managing Director at Forbes M&A. “When it came time to diversify some of the company’s assets, we were pleased to work closely with the management team to help facilitate a smooth selling process.”

Energy Central helps electric power professionals stay connected to happenings within the global power industry through a variety of information products including news, directories, events, databases, books, periodicals and reports. Two of the company’s products, TransmissionHub.com and GenerationHub.com, are interactive, online information services, which offer customers access to in-depth industry intelligence, up-to-date information and future insights.

As a client of Forbes M&A, Energy Central was looking for assistance from senior level transaction advisors with deep knowledge of the digital publishing space. “When it came time to sell TransmissionHub and GenerationHub, I knew we needed help navigating the complex transaction process. Fortunately, we found Forbes M&A,” said Steve Drazga, chief executive officer and owner of Energy Central. “Bob and Adams were instrumental in managing the entire selling process for us. With their assistance, we successfully closed a deal that was in the best interest of all parties.”

PennWell Corporation is a diversified global media and information company focused on helping business executives make informed decisions. The acquisition of TransmissionHub.com and GenerationHub.com adds new offerings to PennWell’s growing information and mapping business for the electric power industry.  “Based on our knowledge of the industry, we were able to help both parties understand that the synergies between PennWell and the two information services made this a smart business deal,” said Bob Forbes. “All Forbes M&A clients receive senior level expertise, which allows us to make the merger and acquisition process efficient and effective for great companies like Energy Central.”

About Energy Central

Energy Central is a 17-year old media, publishing and knowledge services company serving the global power industry. Throughout its history, Energy Central has created and delivered industry-defining products, focused primarily on the North American power industry. Those product lines include Energy Central, reaching global power industry professionals; EnergyBiz, focused on power industry executives; Intelligent Utility, reaching smart grid professionals; and Utility Analytics Institute, reaching power industry analytics professionals. The company, headquartered in Aurora, CO, has a strong presence on-line, including the above brands and its job board at EnergyCentralJobs.com. Energy Central also publishes EnergyBiz and Intelligent Utility magazines, and produces summits, forums and conferences for power industry professionals.

About PennWell Corporation
Founded in 1910 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, PennWell Corporation is a privately held and highly diversified business-to-business media and information company that provides quality content and integrated marketing solutions for the following industries: Oil and gas, electric power generation and delivery, hydropower, renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, optoelectronics, fiber-optics, aerospace and avionics, LEDs and lighting, fire and emergency services, public safety, and dental. PennWell publishes over 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, conducts 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and has an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research and database services. In addition to PennWell’s headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the company has major offices in Nashua, New Hampshire; London, England; Houston, Texas; San Diego and Mountain View, California; Fairlawn, New Jersey; Moscow, Russia; and Hong Kong, China.

About Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions

Forbes M&A is a leading transaction advisor to private companies.  The firm represents and assists owners during the process of selling their businesses, merging or partnering with other companies, or growing through acquisition.  The firm also provides valuation and strategic planning services, and can facilitate the raising of debt or equity capital.  For more information, call 303-256-6768 or go to www.ForbesMA.com.


Bob Forbes to Lead Panel at Angel Capital Summit

Bob Forbes will be leading a panel at this year’s Angel Capital Summit titled “Exit Strategies.” During the session, representatives from M&A, private equity and strategic acquisition backgrounds will describe how investors and entrepreneurs can analyze exit potential and develop exit readiness from an early stage.

Bob is the President and Founder of Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions, and was invited to moderator due to his 20+ years of experience as a business intermediary, owner, private equity executive and investment banker. He also has sat on both sides of the transaction table and has launched multiple business ventures.

Exit Strategies Panel Details:

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, March 19, 3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Location: University of Denver, Sturm Hall

The Angel Capital Summit is an annual conference that connect investors with entrepreneurial companies seeking funding. The Angel Capital Summit is hosted by the Rockies Venture Club.

Anyone interested in attending can register and find more details at Angel Capital Summit.


Q&A with the Experts: Adams Price

Adams Price recently joined The Forbes M+A Group as a Managing Director. With over 20 years of experience in strategic planning and execution of mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Price adds yet another layer of industry expertise to Forbes M+A’s existing team of senior level advisors. We had a chance to sit down with Price and ask his advice for anyone considering selling a company.

Q: I’d like to start by asking how you got into the M&A business?

A: Well, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that I started my career designing and developing software. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Business, I spent my early days designing and writing software for several industries, such as manufacturing and distribution, financial services, mining and engineering. From there, I moved into consulting where I managed a broad range of operational activities for global, multi-million dollar companies. Working with these companies provided first-hand experience on growing company value as well as identifying and executing strategic mergers and acquisitions.  I found it was an area I enjoyed and have been working in M&A for the past 10 years.

Q: Do you think your non-traditional route to M&A provides any unique benefits for Forbes M+As’ clients?

A: Yes, definitely. I’ve been on both side of the negotiating table so I understand the drivers and desires of each side.  Plus, I have deep experience within the technology arena. This is important for clients because I can help uncover the strategic value of a business, beyond just the financial aspects.

Q: Now, tell me what you are seeing in the market today.

A:  There are a lot of companies on the market right now.  But relatively few transactions are being completed.  One can point to many reasons for the low success rate, availability of financing (or lack thereof), availability of alternative investment vehicles, etc.  But in truth, transactions for good companies – strong performing companies with good management and a strong growth trajectory – are happening every day.  And they are going at a premium.  Demand for solidly performing, growing companies is very high and the EBITDA multiples are reflecting that fact.

Q: That makes sense. Thanks. Let’s talk about business owners thinking about selling. What advice would you give them based on your experiences? 

A: Well, the absolute first step is to learn about the merger and acquisition process. Too many owners think they can complete a transaction in a few months. In reality, it can be long process, especially if you want get the best price. Sellers need to know what buyers are looking for and when the best windows of opportunity are.   When best to go to market with a company changes over time, depending certainly on the performance of the company itself but also on the market in general:  Are their acquisitive players who are active in the market?  Are there macroeconomic conditions that favor marketing a company?  Are there regulatory constraints that are hindering transactions or negatively affecting the enterprise values in an industry?  These questions and more need to be taken into consideration when thinking about marketing a company.

Which leads me to my second piece of advice – it is very important to work with a knowledgeable transaction advisor.  Talk to several firms.  Get referrals from your CPA or legal counsel on which firms to approach and why. In any case, look for processes, styles and knowledge base within an organization. You also need to make sure senior level advisors are handling your account from start to finish.

Q: Why is it so important to work with senior level advisors? 

A: Certainly senior level expertise is important in attracting the right type of buyer. But, once you get to negotiations it is absolutely critical to have advisors who can carefully prepare and review company information to ensure the highest value is honestly perceived by the buyer. Also, sellers need advisors who can carefully control the process and generate the best outcome for them. This can only be done by advisors who have completed many, many transactions.

Q: Can you tell us about how to determine value? 

A:  Yes. There are the standard factors to be considered such as the amount of cash flow and type of assets. But it is also important to put together a risk profile which looks at items such as the strength of a management team and the quality of revenues. Some questions to ask are: Is the revenue stream reoccurring or project based? Is it from 3 customers or 300 customers? How persistent will the cash flow be over time? Also, it is important to understand how the type of industry affects the value at a given time. Right now, for example, software-as-a-service has a high value, while social media is waning a little.

Q: That’s a lot of factors to consider. 

A: Yes, that’s why I say anyone thinking of selling should seek expert advice. Securing the highest premium comes down to understanding all the value drivers and how to exploit them. You need to know who the best buyers are, tailor a message for each one and then go after them.

Q: You’ve provided some great advice and given potential sellers a lot to consider. Thank you so much for your time and good luck at The Forbes M+A Group. 


Jenner LLC Acquires Illumen

Greenwood Village, CO (January 29, 2013) – Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions, a leading financial and transaction advisor, today announced that Jenner LLC has acquired the assets of Illumen, a leading IT managed services provider serving companies in the Rocky Mountain region. Forbes M&A served as the exclusive financial advisor to Illumen for this transaction.

For over 15 years, Illumen has worked with companies to solve their IT issues. With highly skilled engineering and support resources, best-of breed technology, and best-practices management and support processes, Illumen delivers acomplete  managed IT service that frees companies from IT issues and allows them to focus on their core businesses. As a client of Forbes M&A, Illumen wanted senior level assistance from experienced transaction advisors for every stage of the M&A  process. “Bob Forbes and Tom Schmidt walked me through the entire buying and selling process,” said Enrique Krajmalnik, chief executive officer of Illumen. “Their breadth of knowledge and willingness to always go the extra mile, made the process smooth and fast. I am very happy with the end result and would highly recommend Forbes M&A to other business owners.”

Jenner LLC is owned by Mike Jenner, former executive vice president at The Trizetto Group. With proven experience in the managed services industry, Mr. Jenner was looking for new growth opportunities, especially in information technology.  “I am very pleased with the addition of Illumen” said Mike Jenner. “Illumen has a strong reputation for quality within the Rocky Mountain region and I am looking forward to bringing the benefits of their expertise to even more companies.”

Bob Forbes, President Forbes M&A stated, “We are extremely satisfied with the outcome of this transaction. Illumen is a great company with outstanding service offerings and we were pleased to be able to find the right buyer for Mr. Krajmalnik.”

About Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions

Forbes M&A is a leading transaction advisor to private companies.  The firm represents and assists owners during the process of selling their businesses, merging or partnering with other companies, or growing through acquisition.  The firm also provides valuation and strategic planning services, and can facilitate the raising of debt or equity capital.  For more information, call 303-256-6768 or go to www.ForbesMA.com.

# # #

The Forbes M+A Group Adds Transaction Veteran Advisor 
Gary Grange to Team

The Forbes M+A Group, a leading financial and transaction advisor, today announced the addition of Gary A. Grange to its team of experienced, trusted advisors. With over 32 years of experience in mid-market transactions, Mr. Grange brings a long record of success to The Forbes M+A Group. His experience in selling privately-owned companies in a wide variety of industries with valuations up to $200 million will further strengthen the firm’s ability to help buyers and sellers meet their transaction objectives.

“Throughout his career, Gary has demonstrated exceptional business acumen and understanding of how important it is for buyers and sellers to have strong, trusted relationship with their transaction advisor,” said Bob Forbes, president and chief executive officer of The Forbes M+A Group. “Forbes M+A has earned a reputation for providing every single client with cross-functional industry knowledge, an extensive network of contacts and diverse operational experience. Adding Gary to our team gives business owners another extremely compelling reason to partner with us for front line assistance on what is often a very personal endeavor.”

Prior to joining The Forbes M+A Group, Mr. Grange was executive vice president and managing director at IBG (International Business Group, Ltd.), Denver, Colorado, where for over 20 years he played a significant role in developing IBG’s stature as a national leader for private, mid-market transactions. His previous career included 11 years as management consultant with Ernst & Young in Germany and in Denver, and national VP of operations for Corporate Finance Associates. He has owned several successful private business enterprises.

“The Forbes M+A Group is built on the philosophy that buyers and sellers can benefit from relationships with highly experienced senior advisors,” said Gary Grange, advisor at The Forbes M+A Group. “This approach closely matches my own belief that the integrity of the relationship advisors have with their clients is a key factor in delivering transaction success. I’m very pleased to be joining this team of outstanding leaders and am looking forward to helping business owners achieve their goals.”

Mr. Grange graduated with a B.S. degree from Iowa State University. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Colorado and a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and has been a Colorado resident for almost 30 years.

About The Forbes M+A Group

The Forbes M+A Group is a leading transaction advisor to private companies.  The firm represents and assists owners during the process of selling their businesses, merging or partnering with other companies, or growing through acquisition.  The firm also provides valuation and strategic planning services, and can facilitate the raising of debt or equity capital.  For more information, call 303-256-6768 or go to www.ForbesMA.com.

# # #

Upcoming Event: Two Bites at the Apple

Private equity is an exit alternative that has become increasingly popular over the past five years.  An enormous amount of excess capital is available, and these financial partners have been aggressively and creatively pursuing transactions in which to deploy it.

Private equity firms make investments in operating companies for three to seven years with capital they raise through institutions, businesses, and wealthy individuals.   In many cases, private equity firms buy a partial interest in a business in order to align interests and give the existing owners partial liquidity along with a piece of potential upside.   This can be an attractive option for an owner who is not yet  ready to sell a business, but may be ready to exit in the next three to seven years.

This breakfast program will provide a view of two stage transactions from the perspective of owners who have lived through it.  Topics covered will include:

  • What is like to give up control in a partial sale?
  • What value can a private equity group bring besides partial liquidity for an owner?
  • What can go wrong and how can an owner avoid these pitfalls?

Space is limited.  Please contact Sharleen at sharleen@ForbesMA.com to reserve a spot.

Concept One Accessories Acquires Flair Hair Brand Visors

Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions is pleased to announce that Concept One Accessories has acquired the assets of Backgate Designs, Inc., owner of the Flair Hair visor brand (“Flair Hair”) of Morgan Hill, California. Forbes M&A served as the exclusive financial advisor to Flair Hair for this transaction.

Concept One Accessories is owned by Sam and Bernie Hafif, proven leaders for fashion, sports and entertainment accessories. Based in New York and with 150 employees worldwide, Concept One is a premier resource for licensed consumer products partnering with global brands such as Disney, Ford, MillerCoors and professional and collegiate sports. The company is committed to growth both organically, with its current portfolio of brands and products, and also via acquisition. Sam Hafif states, “Concept One is actively pursuing accessory companies with unique products or brands, which can be leveraged against its global distribution and marketing network. Flair Hair is a terrific product that people love, and we believe we can expand its presence across multiple channels in North America very quickly. We’ve already begun discussions with several of our key licensors to apply their properties to our Flair Hair product.”

In 2007, David Nance created a visor with sewn-in spiked hair and it immediately became a hit in his local community. With a federal design patent and a couple years of work, the original Flair Hair brand visors (www.FlairHair.com) were sold in golf shops to truck stops across the United States and some markets abroad. Jennifer Delaney, President of Backgate Designs and David’s daughter, explains “Bringing a new category of novelty hat to the marketplace was an exhilarating and remarkable experience. Flair Hair visors swept the nation and Concept One is a natural and exciting next step to grow the brand. We are thrilled about this transaction and confident in Concept One’s commitment to continued growth of the Flair Hair brand. Forbes M&A was an integral piece of joining the synergies of the Flair Hair product and Concept One’s current portfolio of accessories. Jim Johnston’s identification of mutual values and expectations allowed this deal to close quickly and with minimal effort.”

Jim Johnston, Senior Advisor at Forbes M&A, who lead the transaction, stated “We are delighted to have represented Flair Hair in the sale. The consumer products space is very active right now. After qualifying buyer candidates and interviewing dozens of executives, we presented Jennifer with five finalists for Flair Hair to consider. It was a pleasure working with Jennifer and Sam.”

About Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions
Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions is a lower middle market transaction advisory firm with a focus on consumer products and service, IT/Communications, healthcare and diversified industries. Forbes also provides valuations and other financial and strategic advisory services. The professionals of Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions have over 100 years of collective transaction experience. Forbes as locations in Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ForbesMA.com.

ThinkTank Energy Products Inc Acquires Energy Efficiency Device Company

Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions is pleased to announce that ThinkTank Energy Products Inc. has acquired the assets of Electronic Educational Devices, Inc. (“EED”) of Aurora, Colorado. Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions served as the exclusive financial advisor to EED for this transaction.

ThinkTank Energy Products, Inc. is owned by Jamie Bullivant, a veteran of the electronics devices industry with extensive experience in manufacturing and product development. The company will continue to focus on developing and distributing energy saving solutions to residential, commercial and educational markets. “Customers are looking for new products to help reduce their energy consumption, save money and minimize their overall carbon footprint,” says Bullivant. “We want be the company that brings this to reality.”

Since 1997, EED has provided school classrooms, commercial customers and consumers with powerful and easy to use electricity usage monitoring and control devices sold under the Watts Up? brand (www.wattsupmeters.com). Designed and manufactured in the United States, WattsUp? meters have been sold throughout the US and in numerous international markets.

Jim Johnston, Senior Adviser at Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions, who led the transaction, stated “We are proud to have represented EED in the sale. Bob Forbes and I worked as a team to qualify high probability buyer candidates, interviewed dozens of executives and qualified six finalists for EED to consider. It is exciting to work in the energy efficiency space where so much attention is currently focused.”

Brad Volin, President of EED said, “Since I started this business almost 14 years ago, the market for energy efficiency products has grown considerably. I am delighted we found Jamie Bullivant, the right leader to take the company and the product line to the next level. Forbes was a fantastic partner who helped uncover a great buyer. The team was very knowledgeable, adept and extremely effective in running a process and closing the deal.”

About Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions
Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions is a lower middle market transaction advisory firm with a focus on IT/Communications, clean energy and cleantech, healthcare and diversified industries. Forbes also provides valuations and other financial and strategic advisory services. The professionals of Forbes Mergers and Acquisitions have over 50 years of collective transaction experience. Forbes has locations in Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ForbesMA.com.