April 6, 2011
1601 Steele Ave. SW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
To whom it may concern,
After 60 successful years as a family-owned manufacturer of specialty chemical products for water and wastewater management, Mitco Inc. reached a crossroads: Over the past several years, under my leadership as President, we had improved profitability through streamlined operations and reduced expenses. Now the time had come to increase sales through organic growth by developing a national presence or grow through acquisition
In early 2010, I met with Max Friar and Kent Snyder to pursue a growth-through-acquisition strategy. Max led an acquisition search that culminated in a successful acquisition in late 2010. Soon after, it became clear that the shareholders would not support incurring the debt required to successfully implement this strategy. It also became clear that competing with companies with a national presence was increasingly difficult for a regional, West Michigan-based company of Mitco’s size. This is how our strategy evolved from being an acquirer to looking to be acquired.
In September 2010, Max introduced me to Randy Rua, principal of Rua Associates, to thoroughly explore the option of selling Mitco to a purchaser who could continue to grow the company nationwide. Randy’s expertise about the sales process, negotiations and other aspects of mergers and acquisitions was invaluable. He and his team coordinated the process from start to finish, working relentlessly with multiple buyers, analyzing various proposals, evaluating pros and cons of all factors and reassuring shareholders by articulately responding to all of their questions, all of which freed me to continue running the day-to-day business. I am confident that utilizing Randy and his team significantly increased the after-tax value to shareholders, achieved the shareholders’ goals and found the right buyer to help Mitco reach the next level of success.
Once the letter of intent was signed and the due diligence period began, I was astounded by the dedication, attention to detail and speed of the Rua Associates’ team. They industriously collected, organized and enabled us to provide the information from an intense due diligence request list in a 3-day period. The purchaser, a Private Equity Group, was amazed by the quick turnaround of information and the pace of progress. Moving at a quick pace, we were able to finalize the agreement in 45 days, 50 percent shorter than the normal timeline for closing a business sale. I was very impressed by Rua Associates’ attention to detail, persistence in removing barriers, and ability to stay one step ahead of the process throughout the entire transaction.
I highly recommend Randy Rua and his team. They possess the skills necessary to work with all parties involved, putting their knowledge and efforts to work on behalf of their clients. They have a unique ability to put their mediation skills, knowledge and experience to work through a whirlwind of activities. This ability helps all parties to be fully informed, knowledgeable and confident throughout the acquisition process, structuring an agreement that satisfies all shareholders.
Former President of Mitco, Inc.