A Partner for Growth
We understand the particular sensitivities, challenges, and expectations that family business leaders face when considering a life-changing transaction
The sale of a company is a high-impact event with jobs, communities, legacies, and economic value at stake. Business owners considering a sale or recapitalization must be confident in the integrity and expertise of the prospective buyer or financial partner.
That’s why business owners in a variety of industries turn to Mason Wells. When they work with us, these leaders know they’ll get an honest process that works for all involved. They also recognize that we hold particular respect for the hard work and commitment that it has taken to grow their businesses. They value our skill in working with management to secure a smooth transition and to build on their business legacies. Finally, business owners who work with Mason Wells do so because they know what to expect:
- Straightforward, transparent communication
- Alignment throughout the process
- A fair valuation
FAQs for business owners
Business owners typically consider private equity for two reasons: liquidity or business growth. Owners may be looking to achieve partial or full liquidity on their equity ownership to diversify their net worth for estate planning purposes. Business owners may also seek investment capital to pursue capital expenditures or other growth initiatives that may be in excess of what could be secured through other forms of financing. In addition to providing equity capital, Mason Wells has a network of resources to assist management teams in achieving their strategic objectives and we are committed to a high level of integrity in all our private equity transactions.
We focus on investing in businesses and industries where we have relevant experience and can be a strategic partner. These include consumer packaged goods, engineered products and services, outsourced business services, and packaging materials and converting. We target companies with at least $5 million of annual EBITDA and revenues between $25 million and $300 million with a preference for a company with a Midwestern U.S. headquarters. We seek to partner with self-starting, motivated management teams that have a proven ability to excel in a performance-based culture and wish to share meaningfully in the potential rewards of success.
We believe that successful investment partnerships are based on mutual trust. As such, we carefully protect our reputation for professionalism and integrity as well as respect the confidentiality of our discussions with you. After getting a brief overview of your business, we will sign a confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement if we both conclude that it makes sense to share additional information.
While Mason Wells seeks majority ownership positions in all our transactions, it is possible to retain a significant ownership stake (typically 5 – 30%). This allows you to benefit from the opportunity for possible future growth and value appreciation of the business. We have a high degree of freedom and flexibility in structuring a transaction, which means that business owners and/or family ownership groups can tailor a transaction to meet the needs of all owner group members.
You will have an opportunity to continue to be involved with the business going forward. Owners involved in the day-to-day management of the business can often remain in that capacity if they so desire. For owners who do not wish to remain involved in day-to-day management, we often will ask the key shareholders or founders to serve in an advisory or consulting capacity to the business for a period of time, either sitting on the board of directors or acting as a strategic resource for the company.
Each exit decision takes into account the interests of the company’s employees, customers, and suppliers. Since we seek to partner with strong management teams and talented employees, it makes good business sense to retain a company’s employee base. One of our primary investment philosophies is to “invest in people”. To that end, we seek to achieve investment returns by growing the business in part by retaining talented employees and providing equity and bonus incentive programs.
Depending on the complexity of the situation and the type of transaction, we can typically provide a Letter of Intent (LOI) a few weeks after an initial meeting and can complete the transaction within 60 days after open access to the management team and company information. We believe in thorough due diligence, but this doesn’t prevent us from moving quickly.
Mason Wells maintains a strong reputation in the marketplace for being straightforward and forthright in all of our transactions. This is evidenced by our firm’s history of closing on almost every LOI we have ever issued. Currently, we are investing through Mason Wells Buyout Fund V, a $767 million fund, so we have the ability to quickly close transactions.
We do not get actively involved in the day-to-day management of the businesses in which we invest. As board members and shareholders, we act as advisors and confidants to senior management. We work closely with senior management to set the strategic direction of the business. We deliberately make a small number of large investments so we can commit time and resources to help each company in our portfolio achieve its goals. We typically have at least two partners on the board of every portfolio company so that our companies and management partners get the attention and support they deserve.
Most of our involvement comes in the form of strategic planning and access to additional resources to help improve and build the business. Additionally, we maintain a network of specialized Executive Operating Partners who have worked with us successfully in the past, have relevant experience and relationships and are available to serve as board members or consultants to our portfolio companies.
Mason Wells is a long-term investor. Our investment horizon is usually between five and eight years, but we may remain invested for longer periods of time depending upon the company’s financial performance, operational requirements, and/or the underlying economic or business cycle. While Mason Wells typically exits via a sale, merger, or recapitalization, each exit decision is made through a careful joint evaluation with management and takes into account the optimal interests of the company’s owners, employees, customers, and suppliers.