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November 14, 2019

Joseph D. Culley Jr. says post transaction, the clock is ticking on culture

By Adam Burroughs

Janney Montgomery Scott’s Joseph D. Culley Jr. says after a merger, companies need to quickly win on culture, otherwise your returns will suffer as people start to walk.

November 14, 2019

PwC’s Exit Strategies Report: When It’s Time To Sell, Make Sure You’re Ready

It’s OK if you’re not ready to sell now. Just be sure you’re ready when that time comes, say PwC’s Fentress Seagroves and Shari Forman.

November 13, 2019

Huron Capital’s Brian Demkowicz Shares His Secrets To Good Dealmaking

Brian Demkowicz has a process for everything, enabling Huron Capital to continually make the right call on dealmaking opportunities.

November 13, 2019

Tom Lombardo: Invest in your exit strategy upfront

Prior to a sale, it’s critical to professionalize your company, whether that means planning, education or just a better understanding of its value. And as with any strategy, that may require an investment to bear fruit, says Adams Manufacturing President and CEO Tombardo.

November 12, 2019

BioEnterprise’s Aram Nerpouni: Talent Is Vital To Creating Deal Opportunities In Cleveland’s Health Care Sector

Cool ideas are great. Investors want to see the leadership and the team behind the idea before they invest, says the nonprofit's president and CEO.

November 12, 2019

Falls’ Rob Falls: Merger With Wyse Provides Tools To Continue Growing, Evolving

Rob Falls needed to make an acquisition. When he found a peer in the Cleveland marketing industry who was looking to sell, he got to work negotiating a deal.

November 12, 2019

Aon’s Vipul Patel explains the role of reps and warranties insurance

The use of reps and warranty insurance is on the rise, as it helps sellers walk away after a deal closes and gives buyers risk protection. Aon's Vipul Patel goes over the nuts and bolts of this M&A tool.

November 7, 2019

Robots, automation and AI, oh my!

Last month, participants in Columbus VC firm Drive Capital’s second robotics and automation summit — Devol’s Dance — spent the day exploring the future. While automation is critical to many of Drive Capital’s portfolio companies, two researchers shared how robots, overall, are changing the way we think and how we do our jobs.

November 7, 2019

1315 Capital’s Adele Oliva talks big (and little) picture on the state of health care M&A

Finding investment success isn’t necessarily about being granularly focused on a super-niche sector or subsector. In fact, for Adele Oliva and 1315 Capital, success can be a product of being able to see the bigger picture.

November 7, 2019

MedPilot Co-Founders Bring A Methodical Approach To Scaling Their Business

Matt Buder Shapiro and Nathan Spoden have taken a humble yet confident approach to building MedPilot.

November 6, 2019

Clearcover’s Kyle Nakatsuji: Talk To As Many Investors As You Can

Pitching investors works best when you connect with as many as possible, says the auto insurer's CEO.

November 5, 2019

O2’s Jay Hansen: M&A Works Best When Both Sides Are Ready To Deal

Dealmaking works better when there is M&A expertise on both sides of the table, says the private equity firm's managing partner.

November 5, 2019

Confluence’s Mark Evans builds trust to gain backing to take over a larger company

Mark Evans has found transparency to be his most powerful tool when working with private equity owners. That's how he was able to convince his new PE firm to help Confluence buy the larger, publicly traded StatPro.

November 1, 2019

It took some hard lessons for Bob Grote to learn the best way to acquire companies

Bob Grote has been CEO of Grote Co. for more than a decade, but even after five acquisitions, he has to guard against deal fever. Grote discusses deal challenges and lessons learned.

October 31, 2019

Thar Process’ Lalit Chordia: How to find the right investors or buyer

With growth comes the need for funding, says Lalit Chordia. The CEO of Thar Process, who sold two of his other companies in 2009 and 2016, shares his philosophies for raising capital and exiting a business.

October 31, 2019

U of M’s David Brophy: Michigan Needs To Retain More Talent, Secure More Investment Dollars

The Michigan Private Equity Conference is part of an effort to spur private equity investment and activity in the state.

October 31, 2019

Dr. Ellen Stang unlocks growth with a little PE help

Progeny Health, founded by Dr. Ellen Stang, has been profitable and debt-free since the beginning. But when her business hit a wall about eight years in, some friendly advice helped her unlock the company's growth.

October 30, 2019

Staffing Solutions’ SueAnn Naso: When Buying A Business, Take The Time To Do It Right

SueAnn Naso and Carmella Calta are good friends. But they still had to follow the proper steps when Calta sold her business, Staffing Solutions, to Naso.

October 30, 2019

Shore Capital Partners’ Justin Ishbia: Shared Vision Often Leads To Great Deal Opportunities

Shore Capital Partners's Justin Ishbia sees tremendous potential for growth at Akron, Ohio-based Main Street Gourmet.

October 30, 2019

Winbridge’s Chris MacLaren: Due Diligence Should Always Rate High On Your M&A Priority List

Chris MacLaren crunches the numbers at Winbridge, enabling PE/VC firms time to raise capital and source new deals.

October 24, 2019

Denise Devine’s tips and traps for capital-raising entrepreneurs

RTM Vital Signs' co-founder Denise Devine explores the stages of capital raising and what entrepreneurs should look for, and look out for, at each.

October 23, 2019

Randy Carver: There Is Much To Think About As You Prepare To Sell

The first question you need to ask yourself if you’re thinking about selling your business, says Randy Carver, is what do you want to do next?

October 22, 2019

Fifth Season expands its vertical farming, stays focused on capital efficiency

Vertical farming is capital intensive, which is why Fifth Season co-founder and CEO Austin Webb relies on his financial analyst and investment banking background to help manage the funding for the startup, which has raised over $35 million to date.

October 22, 2019

The preparation with Myonexus pays off for Michael Triplett

Selling can be emotionally exhausting, but Michael Triplett knows extensive preparation was critical for the successful sale of Myonexus Therapeutics to Sarepta Therapeutics earlier this year. He looks back on the $165 million deal.

October 21, 2019

Harry Cendrowski: Take Steps To Ensure You Have A Comprehensive M&A Strategy

Any time you rush into M&A activity, the likelihood is that you’re not going to do very well, says Harry Cendrowski.

October 21, 2019

Huron Capital’s Gretchen Perkins: You Don’t Have To Walk Away After You Sell

Business owners have numerous options as they explore the sale of their business, explains Gretchen Perkins.

October 18, 2019

Always on the lookout for opportunities, Rhett Ricart sees talent as key

Rhett Ricart, who has bought and sold a number of dealerships over the years for Ricart Automotive, shares his M&A strategies and how the family business is tackling succession planning.

October 18, 2019

Buddy Flerl on today’s hectic and fatiguing deal market

Veteran dealmaker Buddy Flerl talks about what he’s seeing in the market and his approach to dealmaking.

October 17, 2019

MAI Capital’s Rick Buoncore: Acquisitions Drive Opportunity As Firm Nears $7B

Acquisitions have MAI Capital poised to top $7 billion in assets under management, says Rick Buoncore, with more deals and more growth to come.

October 17, 2019

Martyn Babitz offers owners tips on personally maximizing their returns post-liquidity

BNY Mellon Wealth Management's Martyn Babitz offers tips for business owners on how to get their post-deal finances in order well before a transaction begins to maximize their post-liquidity returns.

October 16, 2019

Savorfull’s Stacy Goldberg: Don’t Make A Deal If It Doesn’t Serve Your Needs

Dealmaking can be exciting, but it can also be a pathway to uncertainty if you’re not prepared, says Savorfull CEO Stacy Goldberg.

October 16, 2019

Sphera’s Paul Marushka: A Little Conversation Can Go A Long Way In Dealmaking

One M&A transaction can lead to another, if you take the right approach. Paul Marushka explains how dealmaking is driving his vision at Sphera.

October 15, 2019

MC Group’s Tim Eippert: Lack Of Customer Overlap Facilitates MC Group/Icon Merger

In dealmaking, you don’t grow just to double, says Tim Eippert. You want more. The CEO of MC Group explains how integration will play a key role in maximizing the benefits of its merger with Icon.

October 10, 2019

Fyllo’s Chad Bronstein: Pitch Investors With Confidence, Not Arrogance

Chad Bronstein shares tips on how he engaged investors and helped Fyllo raise $18 million in seed funding.

October 10, 2019

Jeremy Falendysz: Sellers Are Often Their Own Worst Enemy In Maximizing Deal Value

Sellers who want to boost value ahead of a potential sale often do more harm than good, says UHY Corporate Finance’s Jeremy Falendysz.

October 10, 2019

Jeremy Flack: Dealmaking Isn’t Supposed To Be Painless

You'll never get a deal done if you’re unwilling to compromise at the negotiating table, says Flack Global Metals CEO Jeremy Flack.

October 10, 2019

Ted Lentz talks transaction preparedness when selling Lentz Milling

Ted Lentz, now CFO and Chief Analytics Officer at JM Swank, reveals the steps he took to prepare his family’s business, Lentz Milling, for the auction block.

October 10, 2019

These sisters roll up their sleeves for the nitty gritty hard work of growing The W Nail Bar

Manda Mason and Lauren Hunter share the story behind their rapidly growing nail salon business, which includes a unique store-within-a-store partnership deal with DSW.

October 10, 2019

Tecum Capital’s Matt Harnett: Investors should work on the business, not in it

The PE firm’s founding partner shares his insights into how Tecum Capital manages the investments in makes in its more than 40 portfolio companies.

October 4, 2019

How TPC Training's Ty Field Sizes Up Acquisitions

Ty Field, brought in by Frontenac to build up TPC Training, talks about his approach to making acquisitions.

October 4, 2019

Key Deals Propel Gent Machine To Steady Growth

Rich Gent talks about two pivotal deals in Gent Machine Co.’s history that have set the business up for a bright future.

October 3, 2019

Serial Entrepreneur Dan Pries On Financial Vs Strategic Buyers

Serial entrepreneur Dan Pries, who is currently running OptivityX, talks about selling businesses and what he’s learned about the differences in strategic and financial buyers.

October 3, 2019

TriPower Capital's Robert Sharpe: Capitalizing on Underserved Markets

The TriPower founding partner talks about his eye for making deals in the food and beverage space and one of the most common problems with today’s business landscape.

October 3, 2019

Safelite's Tom Feeney: Speed, Focus Are Keys To Integration

After 100 deals during his time at Safelite, the CEO says he may have slowed the number of acquisitions, but he won't slow the pace of integrating the companies he does buy.

October 2, 2019

Ohio Basement Systems Finds Growth Foundation In Sale To Groundworks

Mike Rusk talks about how the sale of his Ohio Basement Systems to Groundworks will give the company an even stronger support structure for the future growth of the business he and his wife Gayle started in 1998.

October 2, 2019

Angel Investing: The Power Of Group Intelligence

Former American Eagle President Don Morrison, who now mentors entrepreneurs as chairman of deal flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, talks about angel investing, scaling startups and what entrepreneurs should be looking for when it comes to investors.

September 27, 2019

How DNS Capital Finds The Right Deals

DNS Capital's Elizabeth Browne talks about the importance of good management and the challenges of finding the right company in which to invest.

September 27, 2019

Studio B’s Bonnie Smith: Think Before You Bootstrap

Brand agency founder Bonnie Smith talks about the key questions you need to ask before you try to bootstrap your business and her role as a pioneer for other African-American female entrepreneurs.

September 27, 2019

Deal Outlook: Corporate Divestitures Offer Opportunity, Risks

Tom Zucker of M&A advisory firm EdgePoint Capital talks about the effect interest rates typically have on M&A activity and the continued rise of corporate divestitures in the dealmaking space.

September 27, 2019

Seasoned Operator Gerry Giudici On How To Achieve Synergies Through Acquisitions

Seasoned operating partner Gerry Giudici shares some of the key factors to consider when looking to achieve synergies through M&A.

September 27, 2019

2019 Columbus Dealmaker Of The Year Awards

The Smart Business Dealmakers Conference brought together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and advisers at the Hilton Columbus Downtown on Sept. 25. During the conference, Smart Business

September 27, 2019

Pitfalls And Best Practices For A Successful Acquisition

S&T Bank's Brian Dobis shares his perspective on three pitfalls and best practices when acquiring companies.

September 26, 2019

How Ted Karkus sold Cold-EEZE for $50 million

ProPhase Labs CEO Ted Karkus shares the strategy behind the 2017 sale of Cold-EEZE to Mylan for $50 million.

September 24, 2019

Family Offices Are On The Rise in Pittsburgh

Ann Dugan, who founded and led the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh for 30 years says more Pittsburgh-area families putting together a family office.

September 24, 2019

Deal Veteran Mike Sayre Pulls Back Curtain With Lessons Learned

Innovative Leadership Institute President Mike Sayre shares lessons learned from decades of dealmaking.

September 20, 2019

Selling A Business Is All About Focus

Sun Acquisitions President Domenic Rinaldi talks about a seller whose lack of focus killed a deal, tips on identifying the right buyer and the problem with selling to a competitor.

September 20, 2019

ScaleCo Strives To Change The PE Model

Brendan Anderson launched ScaleCo to be more of a partner in scaling lower-middle-market businesses, using a permanent capital investment model to develop sustainable growth platform companies.

September 20, 2019

Gregory Cessna On Why Due Diligence Drives Post-Deal Synergies

The CEO of Consumer Fresh Produce says the work that’s done before the deal paperwork is signed is often the most critical to long-term success.

September 20, 2019

Hugh Cathey: Smart Fundraising Requires Monitoring Market

Serial entrepreneur Hugh Cathey, now on his ninth startup with genetic testing company ChromoCare, shares his best practices for raising capital.

September 19, 2019

How Blockchain Could Impact Commercial Real Estate Investing

The future of dealmaking, specifically in the commercial real estate market, is in blockchain technology, says Inveniam Capital Partners’ Patrick O’Meara.

September 19, 2019

Frank Lordi On The Ins And Outs Of Selling His Consulting Firm

Founder Frank Lordi discusses the factors that drove him to sell AC Lordi, and offers an inside look at the firm’s acquisition by BDO last May.

September 19, 2019

Foundation’s David Wood On Management Transitions

Foundation Investment Partners founder David Wood talks about his approach to minimizing trouble when making acquisitions.

September 19, 2019

As Gus Gear grows, Sarah Palya eyes taking on investors

Sarah Palya had limited business experience when she started Gus Gear. She’s had to learn as she goes, and now she feels her medical device startup is ready to jump to the next level, including possibly taking on investors.

September 13, 2019

VillageMD’s Tim Barry: Investors Want To Give You Money

The co-founder and CEO of the healthcare management services company talks about his strategy when raising capital and the importance of establishing an ongoing dialogue with potential investors.

September 13, 2019

John McInerney On Finding The Right Deal Partners

M&A veteran John McInerney talks about his experience selling Keystone Printed Specialties and what it taught him about the value of good advisors.

September 13, 2019

Ikove Takes High Risks For Big Returns In Tech Commercialization

Ikove Capital Partners keeps a low profile, investing at the founder level in companies that commercialize technologies in partnership with Midwest research institutions like Ohio State. By the end of next year, it expects to have 20-plus companies in a portfolio that already includes Nikola Labs, ParaGen Technologies and Cognovi Labs.

September 12, 2019

TPA Stream's Jacob Sheridan: Find A Problem, Then Start A Business

Don’t try to start a business, advises TPA Stream CEO Jacob Sheridan. Try to find a big problem and come up with a creative way to solve it. That's your business.

September 12, 2019

Three keys to an effective recapitalization strategy

Greenwich Capital Group's Andrew Dickow shares what you need to consider when building an effective recapitalization strategy.

September 11, 2019

Mill 19 Opens As Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Mill 19 recently celebrated its grand opening as the new home to key leaders in Pittsburgh’s manufacturing industry, including Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute and Catalyst Connection.

September 11, 2019

How Chuck Mattera Transformed II-VI With Acquisitions

Since Chuck Mattera joined II-VI Inc. in 2004, the manufacturer has completed more than 20 acquisitions. And he’s embarking on the largest deal yet as he works to close the acquisition of Finisar Corp. — a similar-sized company with annual revenues of $1.3 billion.

September 10, 2019

How MCM Capital Looks At Acquisitions

Senior Managing Partner Mark Mansour takes us inside his approach for evaluating investment opportunities at MCM Capital.

September 6, 2019

Svoboda Capital's Jeff Piper: Culture, Leadership Are Keys

Managing Director Jeff Piper about Svoboda Capital Partners' formula for identifying good investment opportunities and what entrepreneurs can do to capture the eye of investors.

September 6, 2019

How to prep for a recapitalization

iPipeline's Kevin Kemmerer talks about how to prepare for a recapitalization — what to do and what to avoid when gearing up for an investment.

September 6, 2019

Mark Kovacevich: Culture Is King In Acquisitions

For Improving's Mark Kovacevich, the critical component to acquisitions has always been culture. “If the culture doesn’t work, the transaction is just not [going to work],” he says.

September 6, 2019

Dawn Fuchs Coleman On Selling The Family Business

Former Weavertown Environment Group CEO Dawn Fuchs Coleman talks about selling the family business and her journey from executive to coach and investor.

September 6, 2019

Before Buying, Consider Challenges As Well As Opportunities

Chris Gabrelcik always sees potential opportunities when looking to buy a company. But the CEO of Lubrication Specialties has to remind himself to bring a critical eye to the deal.

September 5, 2019

Warren Anderson: Early McDonald's Deal Built Distribution Powerhouse

Warren Anderson admits his approach to dealmaking is less refined than that of many entrepreneurs. “I'm kind of like a cowboy,” the founder of The Anderson-DuBose Co. says.

September 4, 2019

Why You Should Prepare To Sell, Even If You Don't

You never know when an opportunity is going to come along that you just can’t afford to pass up, says Vistage Michigan’s David Alden.

August 30, 2019

MBF Therapeutics’ Tom Tillett On Raising Capital And Keeping Control

The animal health biotech company's founder and CEO talks about raising capital to fuel your organization’s growth and how to plan to pay back your investors. Here are some of the lessons he shared.

August 30, 2019

Debt Advisor Tom Lesch On Financing Riskier Deals

Livingstone Partners' Tom Lesch talks about his approach helping companies get the capital they need, as well as a recent trend that has seen borrowers become less willing to take risks.

August 29, 2019

Innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder Finds The Right Buyer Second Time Around

The first time Ellen Grinsfelder tried to sell the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls was a bust. Three years later, she sold it without ever having to list it. Here's how she did it.

August 29, 2019

Peninsula Capital's Ty Clutterbuck

Peninsula Capital Partners' Ty Clutterbuck talks about his approach to making and assessing acquisition opportunities.

August 28, 2019

Winding River Consulting's Gary Shamis

Gary Shamis, who has spent a lifetime in business making deals and growing companies, talks about his skills as a deal negotiator and lessons he’s learned as an investor.

August 28, 2019

How Krystal Biotech went from founding to IPO in 18 months

CEO Krish Krishnan is an experienced biotech executive. But even he didn’t expect to go from self-funding Krystal Biotech to IPO in 18 months.

August 28, 2019

Ilya Bodner blazes insuretech trail with Bold Penguin

Serial entrepreneur Ilya Bodner says every startup needs an idea, capital and great people. That's become the lens through which he makes all his decisions in building Bold Penguin, his fast-growing insuretech business.

August 23, 2019

Circonus’ Bob Moul: How to reduce the pain of due diligence

Serial tech CEO Bob Moul talks about how to prepare — and protect — yourself before and during the due diligence process.

August 23, 2019

Park Place's Entuity Deal Marks Shifting Strategy

On his way to shifting Park Place Technologies' M&A strategy with a tricky deal to buy Britain's Entuity, Chris Adams takes a lesson from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella

August 23, 2019

John Rowady's rEvolution Accelerates Growth Through Deals

John Rowady, founder and president at marketing agency rEvolution discusses his passion for M&A and the strategy he follows to identify the right acquisition targets.

August 22, 2019

ACG's John Grabner: Recession Talk Not Slowing Down Pace Of Dealmaking

The president of the Cleveland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth talks about some of the trends affecting dealmaking activity in Northeast Ohio.

August 22, 2019

How To Optimize Capital To Support Growth

Veteran deal adviser Joseph Valentic walks through the process of determining your capital needs and how to find the best source to fund your growth.

August 21, 2019

Pitt's Big Idea Center guides first-time entrepreneurs

Babs Carryer, director of Pitt's Big Idea Center talks about Pittsburgh’s startup ecosystem, raising capital and the Big Idea Center.

August 21, 2019

How Advanced Drainage Systems Fast-Tracked Infiltrator Acquisition

CEO Scott Barbour grabbed the pole position, and never let his foot off the gas in his bid to close the $1 billion deal.

August 16, 2019

Buying a business? Better have a plan

Companies preparing themselves for their first acquisition might appreciate Don Caldwell’s advice: “The plan comes first.”

August 16, 2019

Cinderella Story: How Michael Blair Built Deka Lash

When Michael Blair and his wife Jennifer founded Deka Lash in 2011, the reaction from Pittsburgh was raised eyebrows and roadblocks. Today, he has 60 franchise locations across the country.

August 16, 2019

VentureOhio’s Tabs Top 50 Startups To Watch

Columbus’ startup culture is bustling, with 24 Central Ohio companies called out by VentureOhio in its 2019 list of Ohio’s top 50 most promising startups. Northeast Ohio has 10 startups on the list.

August 16, 2019

Communication Planning Is A Must When Making A Deal

Shannon Stucky Pritchett of FTI Consulting discusses the importance of a solid communications strategy upon the close of a transaction.

August 16, 2019

Investors Seek Startup CEOs Who Are Willing To Take Risks

Early-stage entrepreneurs who are willing to put it all on the line to build a business are held in high regard by investors — even if they ultimately fail, says StartInCLE founder Ed Buchholz.

August 15, 2019

GhostWave's Dean Zody pinpoints route to commercialization

GhostWave founder Dean Zody discusses his company, which grew out of research at The Ohio State University, and its progress toward scale and commercialization.

August 12, 2019

Selling Your Business Can Be An Exhausting Process

For founder Howard Lewis, the act of selling Family Heritage Life was ultimately positive as it gave him the opportunity to pursue other passions in his life. But it was also exhausting.

August 9, 2019

Joy Taylor On The Keys To Good Deal Prep

TayganPoint Consulting co-founder Joy Taylor talks about how she prepared to sell her business to Grant Thornton, and what she would do differently if she had it to do all over again.

August 8, 2019

How Andrew Lefkowitz Ferments Deals

Andy Lefkowitz is an experienced dealmaker, having two major exits from one business. He also knows what he doesn’t know. That's his formula for success at his latest business, Locus Fermentation Solutions.

August 8, 2019

GovQA's Growth Equity Deal: It's About Insight, Not Money

John Dilenschneider didn’t need money. He wanted a partner that could help GovQA capitalize on its leadership position in the growing market of enterprise workflow software.

August 8, 2019

Structuring Your Own Deal: 'They Thought We Were Nuts'

When the co-owners of Two Men and A Truck – Columbus came up with a unique plan to sell their franchise to an employee, their lawyers were skeptical. Very skeptical. But after two false starts, Gail and John Kelley sold the moving company's No. 2 franchise.

August 7, 2019

Mobility Startups Ride Wave Of Momentum

Ann Arbor SPARK’s Komal Doshi is working to create more mobility deal opportunities for companies like May Mobility, which has raised more than $33 million for its autonomous shuttles.

August 7, 2019

Dominic DiPuccio: Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Deal attorney Dominic DiPuccio talks about prioritizing what's important and what's not when buying or selling a company.

August 7, 2019

CMU’s Farnam Jahanian on talent development and regional investment

Carnegie Mellon President Farnam Jahanian is a glass half full kind of guy. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see challenges ahead for those who want to leverage entrepreneurship and innovation to create wealth in the Pittsburgh region.

August 6, 2019

Collaboration, corporates draw Heartland Ventures to Columbus

South Bend, Ind.-based Heartland Ventures, which focuses on connecting startups to corporations, picked Columbus out of 15 Midwest cities for expansion because of the corporate involvement in the city's collaborative early-stage community.

August 2, 2019

Stuart Sorkin: No Secret Equation For Right Time To Exit

Stuart Sorkin talks about his journey rejuvenating Affy Tapple and the difficulty he faced making the decision to exit the business.

August 2, 2019

Thaddeus Bartkowski Took Control To Make Deals Work For Catalyst Outdoor

Thaddeus Bartkowski shares how taking deal matters into his own hands ultimately paid off for Catalyst Outdoor Advertising.

August 1, 2019

Family Offices: Education And Focus Are Critical To Success

As family offices take an increased interest in direct investing, focus and education are keys to success, says Ann Dugan of the Family Office Exchange.

August 1, 2019

COHatch's Matt Davis Seeks To Connect Startups To Investors

The founder of COhatch discusses how it fits — or doesn’t — into the coworking space, and how he hopes to leverage the business to strengthen startup communities.

July 30, 2019

The Behavioral Side Of Investing

AdCap Management Chief Investment Officer Chaya Slain explores the human side of investing and shares what she has learned to minimize mistakes.

July 30, 2019

Windsor Industrial's David Costa: Buyers Should Always Be Closing

David Costa prefers to move fast when making acquisitions, moving form LOI to purchase agreement within 10 days. It’s an approach built out of hard lessons learned putting in the time and effort and walking away without a deal.

July 30, 2019

Tom Ferkovic: Assessing Deal Opportunities In Health Care

Thomas Ferkovic, CEO of Medic Management Group, talks about dealmaking in health care, both from the perspective of the physician and the potential investor.

July 26, 2019

What Tom Bonney Learned From Selling Two Businesses

After selling his first consulting business, Tom Bonney built CMF Associates from the ground up with a clear goal of selling to the right buyer. Here's what he learned.

July 26, 2019

Harry Cendrowski: Due Diligence Critical To Successful Acquisitions

Harry Cendrowski, founding member and managing director at Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, discusses the evolving approach to due diligence in dealmaking.

July 26, 2019

Collaboration Drives Momentum In Cleveland’s Startup Community

JumpStart CEO Ray Leach has been focused on urgency of late in his assessment of Northeast Ohio’s startup community.

July 25, 2019

Kassel Equity Shifts Buying From Properties To Businesses

After cutting his teeth on real estate investing, Kassel Equity found it could create more value in buying businesses than properties, says Managing Partner Brett Motherwell.

July 24, 2019

Stephen Polk On Buying, Selling And The Power Of Data

Former R.L. Polk CEO Stephen Polk talks about the sale of the business, his Highgate family office investing platform and his continuing love for data-driven processes.

July 23, 2019

Mark DeSantis steers RoadBotics through rapid growth

RoadBotics CEO Mark DeSantis shares his experience building RoadBotics from the ground up, including rapid two-year growth since it got its first customers.

July 23, 2019

Selling Your Business: Take Time To Do It Right

Spectrum Diversified Designs founder Sheldon Goodman talks about the process he followed to find the right buyer and the importance of having industry experts in your corner who can guide you to a more informed decision.

July 19, 2019

How To Leverage Your Banker, Even Without Using Debt

Wes Gillespie, ErieBank’s regional president for the Cleveland market, talks about the bank’s role in the acquisitions process and how lenders can be a valuable M&A partner, even if you’re not using debt to finance your acquisition.

July 18, 2019

Gabriela Rodil: Best Practices For Selling Your Business

The experienced dealmaker talks about best practices when putting your company on the market and the keys to optimizing its value.

July 18, 2019

BioAdvance’s Rick Jones: Look Beyond The Dollars When Investing In Biotech

Rick Jones, an internist-turned-entrepreneur who is now a partner at the VC firm BioAdvance, offers cautionary advice to investors who would let dollar signs block a more practical insight into biotech investing.

July 18, 2019

Dave Zilko On Selling Garden Fresh Gourmet

Dave Zilko talks about how the Garden Fresh Gourmet deal got done, the emotional toll that dealmaking can take and the move Campbell’s made earlier this year to sell the business.

July 17, 2019

Ice Miller’s Michael Jordan: Investor Appetite For Alternatives Remains High

Michael Jordan didn’t expect to become an expert in investor-side representation for alternative investments. He stumbled into the niche 22 years ago. Here's what he's seeing in the marketplace.

July 17, 2019

IPEG Industrial: Lessons from a strategic mid-market buyer

John Erkert has helped IPEG Industrial Group buy three industrial companies and sell another over the course of six years to build a global business in the plastics-processing, waste recycling and industrial heat-transfer markets.

July 16, 2019

Michael Canty: Quit Whining And Go Make Some Money

Turnaround CEO Michael Canty talks about his approach to making deals in tough situations and the value of staying true to your convictions.

July 12, 2019

Analytics, Not Your Gut, Are Best Judge Of Management

To figure out who’s the right fit for post-acquisition management, Tim Kardish relies not on gut instinct, but contemporary tools designed to assess the skillset, expertise and adaptability of the leadership team.

July 10, 2019

At DNS Capital, Management Talent Drives Investment

The family office for Gigi Pritzker and Michael Pucker follow Jay Pritzker's mantra of investing in exceptional management teams to drive success, says Elizabeth Browne, the firm's head of business development.

July 10, 2019

Rachel Angel Preps Peerro For Growth

Founder Rachel Angel discusses how she wants to grow Peerro by helping create stronger employment connections between companies and young adults.

July 9, 2019

Planning Is Timeless; So Is Change

Sequoia Financial Group's Tom Haught and Cohen & Co.'s Randy Myeroff talk about the value provided and the risks that need to be considered when planning for M&A activity.

July 9, 2019

Don Nystrom On Dealmaking Pitfalls

Don Nystrom, CEO of Dynamic Aerospace and Defense, shares his insights into the common mistakes to avoid in the dealmaking process.

July 8, 2019

Get your house in order long before a sale

Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani partner Craig Heryford discusses what business owners need to do to have their company ready to sell — before an offer comes in the door.

July 8, 2019

Find Investors Who Fit Your Startup's Business Model

It often takes some time for early-stage entrepreneurs to learn the value of authenticity in their pitches to investors. That has certainly been the case for Laura Adiletta and Cullen Naumoff, co-founders of Farm Fare.

July 3, 2019

Carl Grassi: Keys To Better Dealmaking

McDonald Hopkins Chairman Carl Grassi shares some of the key issues he thinks business owners need to factor into their approach to dealmaking.

July 3, 2019

Zebra Technologies Keeps $4 Billion Business Growing With M&A

Dealmaking has played a key role in Zebra Technologies becoming a $4.2 billion company and will continue to be critical to the company’s growth, says CFO Olivier Leonetti.

July 2, 2019

Buying in a frenzied market

PNC Mezzanine Capital's Doug Brosius Brosius shares his insights into what is driving these high valuations and how they are impacting his approach to deals.

July 2, 2019

Finance Fund plays vital investment role in local communities

Finance Fund connects underserved communities in Ohio with public and private sources of capital to improve access to healthy food, health care service, education and affordable housing.

July 1, 2019

Huron Capital Leverages Growing Number Of Independent Sponsors

Independent sponsors are a growing part of the M&A landscape, and Detroit’s Huron Capitalis taking advantage of the deal opportunities they provide, says Gretchen Perkins, business development partner.

July 1, 2019

H. Jack’s Plumbing’s John Langer: Culture Is Key In Service Acquisitions

H. Jack’s Plumbing President John Langer talks about the role acquisitions can play in helping companies in the service industry maintain their reputation for top-notch customer satisfaction.

June 28, 2019

Michael Araten: When PE backing isn’t about the money

How former K'NEX CEO Michael Araten chose the best private equity partner to back his international expansion — before his business became collateral damage in the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy and was sold.

June 28, 2019

Guaranteed Rate’s Victor Ciardelli: Don't Panic When A Deal Goes Bad

Guaranteed Rate founder Victor Ciardelli talks about the steps he takes to avoid difficult acquisitions and the important role culture plays in determining the success of a deal.

June 28, 2019

Raising Capital: Three Things Every Investor Wants To Know

When you’re an investor being asked to provide millions of dollars in capital to a growing business, you want a lot of details about how that money will be used.“I would bet 90 percent of the

June 27, 2019

Be Sure You Can Manage Your Capital Before You Take It

Competition is strong among financial institutions engaged in M&A activity, which creates risk for companies looking to make a deal, says says Richard C. Hampson, state president and head of commercial banking at Citizens Bank, Michigan.

June 26, 2019

Aggressive buyers fast-track due diligence in seller’s market

It’s a seller’s market, and large strategic buyers are being very aggressive — in some cases, short-cutting due diligence processes, says Wade Kozich, senior advisor with boutique investment bank Footprint Capital and senior director at GBQ Partners.

June 25, 2019

For Stonewood's Kenn Moritz, patience, flexibility drive success

The PE firm's president talks about the importance of staying flexible during dealmaking and why the fewer owners in a deal, the better.

June 21, 2019

Philadelphia ASPIRE Dealmakers Event Photos

The Philadelphia 201 Hotel was the site of Philadelphia's biggest CEO-focused M&A conference on June 12. Check out the event photos.

June 21, 2019

Selling an ESOP: How Remington Products Sold To Private Equity

We take an inside look at how CEO Rhonda Newman worked with investment bank Cascade Partners to sell the ESOP company to Gridiron Capital.

June 20, 2019

UPMC Enterprises invests in its own disruption

Officially created five years ago to create health care innovations that improve the lives of patients in meaningful  ways, UPMC Enterprises encompasses the $130 million a year that UPMC lays out for corporate venture investments and R&D.

June 20, 2019

James Tolston’s handshake deal pays off big

How the Detroit entrepreneur took a handshake deal to build North American Assemblies and then buy it from 14 stockholders — 13 of whom didn't want to sell.

June 20, 2019

2019 Chicago Dealmaker Of The Year Awards

The ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference brought together hundreds of dealmakers, investors and entrepreneurs at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago on June 19. During the conference, Smart Business Dealmakers recognized a few top deals and dealmakers in the Chicago region.

June 19, 2019

Non-control Capital Offers Liquidity Option For Family-Held Companies

Many family-held businesses don't realize there are minority investors out there, says Nicholas Stone, managing director at Cyprium Partners.

June 19, 2019

For Allison Finkelstein, cap tables play critical role in investing

Startup founders should focus on how to achieve reasonable growth to get the next round of funding, the experience angel investor says.

June 18, 2019

Keys to developing a strong capital structure

Candlewood Partners founder Glenn Pollack discusses restructuring transactions, building strong capital structures and the risk of selling to private equity.

June 14, 2019

Brett Lindsey: Inside Everstream's Sale to AMP Capital

After receiving 16 bids, Everstream CEO Brett Lindsey completed a deal in September 2018 to sell the fiber network for more than $330 million to a surprising buyer: Australia’s AMP Capital. Here’s an inside look at how the deal got done and Lindsey’s takeaways from the process.

June 14, 2019

2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

During the ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference on June 12, Smart Business Dealmakers recognized some of the top deals and dealmakers in the Philadelphia region.

June 13, 2019

Cellar Tech's Jim Rose: Selling is a painful process

The founder of the oil and gas industry business knew he needed help moving his company forward. But nothing prepared him for what's involved in selling a business.

June 13, 2019

Hickory Farms CEO Diane Pearse's keys to successful dealmaking

Hickory Farms CEO Diane Pearse talks about gaining dealmaking expertise and the best strategies to follow when your company is being targeted by potential buyers and/or investors.

June 13, 2019

Woodward Angels Ready To Spark Entrepreneurial Growth

Lauren Hoffman of Woodward Angels and Tim Parker of Grand Angels talk about their effort to make connections and spark more early-stage entrepreneurial growth in Southeast Michigan.

June 12, 2019

Family offices grow in number and sophistication

Private banker Reese Fields discusses how family offices operate, including balancing privacy with connecting to potential investments.

June 11, 2019

Dale Buckwalter on buying and selling companies with high valuations

3 Rivers Capital co-founder Dale Buckwalter shares his thoughts on how to make returns in the current market of high valuations.

June 10, 2019

SeventySix Capital’s Wayne Kimmel leverages social capital of athletes to rise above noise

SeventySix Capital Managing Partner Wayne Kimmel discusses how celebrity can help investors and startups stand out in a noisy media landscape to create opportunities for all parties involved.

June 7, 2019

Cars.com Keeps An Open Mind When It Comes To M&A

Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Gold talks about the company’s M&A strategy and some of the challenges that come up in the effort to get deals done.

June 7, 2019

Drips Ponders Best Path To Continued Growth, Liquidity

Co-founder and CEO A.C. Evans talks about lessons learned building a business without outside investors, and why it may be time to change that approach.

June 6, 2019

Braxton Miller learns the Xs and Os of investing

Braxton Miller isn’t just putting time in on a football field these days. He’s turned to business — investing in and endorsing several brands.

June 6, 2019

Arsenal’s Maria Thompson: Investors Want Businesses That Solve Problems

Investors aren’t looking for unique business opportunities, says Arsenal venture partner Maria Thompson. They want business models that solve problems, preferably big ones.

June 5, 2019

Quantum Health’s Kara Trott on raising capital without losing control

How the CEO of the health care company brought on three rounds of investors, while keeping control of the business she founded.

June 4, 2019

Federated’s Chris Donahue expects active investing to only grow stronger

After buying the smaller Hermes Investment Management, the Federated Investors CEO quickly moved to adopt Hermes' investment strategy of factoring in environment, social and governance criteria.

June 4, 2019

Multifamily Real Estate Assets Prove Lucrative for Citymark Capital

The real estate investor is realizing healthy returns for investors from its platform that invests in value-add apartments with operating partners.

May 31, 2019

Hyland's acquisition strategy fuels march to $1B in sales

CEO Bill Priemer and M&A chief Justin Torkelson talk about the software company’s acquisition strategy and the role dealmaking has played in putting Hyland on the cusp of being a $1 billion business.

May 31, 2019

Dan Silberberg: Pick an M&A strategy and plan your exit

The founder at DIGINTEL taps his 45 years of experience of M&A experience to discuss M&A strategy and building a business architecture that's sellable.

May 30, 2019

RSM'S Mike Dingwall: Why You Need Professional Sell-Side Due Diligence

RSM's Mike Dingwall discusses sell-side strategies that can set you up for positive outcome in the sale of your business.

May 29, 2019

Ryan and Hoa McManus go full throttle with microtransit startup SHARE

After quietly raising $5 million, the microtransit business is expanding into Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis and Dallas, with more cities on the way.

May 28, 2019

How to set up the right capital structure for each acquisition

Andrew Wiechkoske has never had the unfortunate experience of having a deal fall apart at or near the finish line, even though he’s worked at PNC since 2008 and completed more than $1 billion

May 24, 2019

Chris McKenna: How to get the most value from selling your business

The Carleton McKenna managing partner talks about pre-transaction strategy and how it can lead to a more lucrative exit for the seller.

May 23, 2019

Phil Alexander: Give Potential Investors A Reason To Believe

The founder of ConceptDrop and Nexus A.I. talks about the role personality can play in making better connections with potential investors.

May 23, 2019

Pittsburgh deal activity hit new high in 2018

The 340 publicly announced deals in 2018 upends the previous record of 308 back in 2007, which was the first year the Allegheny Conference began tracking the 10-county region’s economic data.

May 23, 2019

A good M&A strategy starts with a compelling story

M&A advisor Joseph Valentic explains why a good M&A strategy starts with a good story, but also needs a solid team and attention to detail.

May 22, 2019

Stonehenge's Peter Davies: How to buy in a peak market

The managing partner of Stonehenge Partners shares his approach to buying with multiples approaching a peak, and how buying strategies have changed in the current environment.

May 21, 2019

Diamond Kinetics swings for the fences with sensor technology

CEO C.J. Handron talks about how he brought Diamond Kinetics from the lab to the ball diamond with the help of Pittsburgh’s early-stage community.

May 21, 2019

Ancora’s Brian Hopkins: Relationships Fuel Dealmaking Activity

The Ancora managing director talks about the role relationship-building plays in his dealmaking activity and the value of maintaining discipline.

May 17, 2019

Signal's Marc Kiven: An entrepreneur's approach to dealmaking

The founder of the groundbreaking digital marketing company talks about what he looks for in an investment opportunity and how he sets the stage for the company’s future.

May 17, 2019

Blue Olive’s Ed Weinfurtner takes hands-on approach to investing

Ed Weinfurtner is a dealmaker who likes to get his hands dirty. If the company is being marketed for sale or has a book that pitches the acquisition opportunity, he’s not interested. “I’m trying to find a diamond in the rough,” he says.

May 16, 2019

Ed Wethli: Kiva Han-Crazy Mocha deal took time to brew

A year into the Crazy Mocha acquisition, the benefits of the deal are finally falling into place for the coffee roaster that wanted a growing retail empire.

May 15, 2019

How to plan a successful recapitalization strategy

Recapitalization — the process of changing a company’s capital structure through the issuance of new debt or equity securities — is a popular way to fund acquisitions, growth strategies, partner

May 15, 2019

Ohio State builds momentum for innovation district development

For years, the future of The Ohio State University west campus has been up in the air. That’s changing with the first three buildings planned for an eventual innovation district.

May 14, 2019

Pipeline Angels: Driving change in Detroit’s angel investor community

Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Pipeline Angels bring needed guidance to help young entrepreneurs shape their vision and target markets that offer a better chance for success.

May 13, 2019

M&A Outlook: Steel Service Centers

Industry players are looking for acquisitive growth, targeting value-added processing as a way to enhance margin and better navigate demand volatility, investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang reports.

May 10, 2019

Wisr's Kate Volzer: Networking Makes Anything Possible For Your Startup

Kate Volzer, co-founder and CEO at Wisr, talks about her entrepreneurial journey that began as a student at the University of Chicago.

May 9, 2019

ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference Photos

The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel was the site of Northeast Ohio biggest CEO-focused dealmakers event on May 2. Check out 100+ photos from the event.

May 9, 2019

Charles Huebner Digs Deep To Make Investments Deals Work For Clients

The founder of Pointe Capital Management talks about the forces that drove the launch of his investment management firm and the value of being a dealmaking sleuth.

May 8, 2019

Delta Energy’s Sheri Tackett: A tale of Two Sales

Sheri Tackett wasn’t prepared when she sold Delta Energy in 2012. When it came time to sell Delta Energy Services three years later, she didn’t make the same mistake twice.

May 7, 2019

Yvonne Campos' Next Act Fund gives women seat at dealmaking table

Yvonne Campos is an accomplished businesswoman who built and sold a successful market research and strategy firm. In all her experiences, though, she was never asked to participate in a deal or invest

May 7, 2019

MCM's Mark Mansour: Stick To What You Know To Come Out Ahead

Mark Mansour was young, hungry and eager to establish his dealmaking credentials. Mal Mixon was an established entrepreneur who had already built a billion-dollar business at Invacare, but was always

May 3, 2019

Steven Santamaria: Getting To 'No' And Other Startup Secrets

The serial entrepreneur and CEO of Folio Photonics shares lessons learned from the business deals he’s made and explains why starting a business is a lot like going on vacation.

May 3, 2019

Mobility and technology are driving automotive M&A

EY's Brad Hehl assesses the dealmaking landscape in the automotive space and what lies ahead for M&A activity in 2019.

May 1, 2019

Joe DeLoss nearly got burned before making Hot Chicken Takeover a success

From nearly missing payroll to expanding too quick, the founder survived missteps on the way to building one of the area's hottest fast-casual restaurant chains.

April 30, 2019

Life after selling your business will never be the same

Michael Krol, head of wealth advisory at Waldron Private Wealth, discusses post-sale changes that catch many business owners off guard.

April 30, 2019

In Raising Capital, Who Invests Is As Important As How Big The Check Is

The serial entrepreneur and CEO of SPR Therapeutics talks about her process for raising capital, as well as the role non-dilutive capital has played in her fundraising formula.

April 25, 2019

How Don Nystrom Builds Dynamic Aerospace Through Acquisitions

The CEO explains how he found a company that wasn’t even on the market — and turned it into a great acquisition.

April 25, 2019

JumpStart's Cathy Belk: Plan Your Exit Before You Start Your Business

You can’t start a business these days without planning your way out.For early-stage entrepreneurs, thinking about a potential exit from the business starts before the company is even launched.“Many of

April 24, 2019

OTC's Philip Derrow: On ESOPs, culture and getting good advice

Ohio Transmission CEO Phil Derrow, talks about the challenges of ESOPs, openness during transactions and two important rules when making deals.

April 23, 2019

Honeycomb Credit expands crowd financing model beyond Pittsburgh

How CEO George Cook is blending crowd funding and community banking to change the way small businesses get loans.

April 23, 2019

TalentLaunch's Aaron Grossman eyes $1B business via acquisitions

The CEO talks about the role process and discipline will play in reaching the ambitious goal he has set for his growing stable of staffing firms.

April 19, 2019

Foundation’s David Wood: Understanding Seller’s Needs Drives Better Deals

Foundation Investment Partners' David Wood talks about making smart acquisitions and the discerning approach he takes to dealmaking.

April 19, 2019

Chris Rizik: Honesty Is The Best Policy When Pitching VCs

Chris Rizik shares his insight on how to make a better pitch to investors, as well as the growth opportunities that exist in Detroit’s VC community.

April 18, 2019

ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference Photo Gallery

The Westin Book Cadillac was the site of Detroit's biggest CEO-focused dealmakers event on April 11. The ASPIRE Dealmakers Conference featured panel discussions with some of Detroit's top dealmakers, as well as extensive networking opportunities to meet with entrepreneurs, investors and advisers who make deals happen in metro Detroit.

April 17, 2019

Leon Rubinov on Incline Equity’s M&A strategy and value creation

Leon Rubinov doesn’t like to play favorites with Incline Equity Partners investments. “All our kids are cute,” the senior partner says. “We don’t love one any more than the other. They’re all special."

April 16, 2019

Capital-raising tips from a CEO who bagged $9 million in 90 days

XaTek CEO John Zak shares his approach to raising capital and the advantage of doing it all at once.

April 12, 2019

How to manage a portfolio after selling your business

Investing is a good way to stay in the game after you’ve sold your business. But the transition from business owner to ‘investor’ can be jarring if you don’t adjust your expectations.

April 12, 2019

NEO bioscience companies landed $294M in 2018

Dealmaking is hot in Northeast Ohio’s biomedical community, with 71 regional companies receiving $294 million in funding in 2018. BioEnterprise’s Aram Nerpouni explains how this dealmaking trend could become the “new normal.”

April 11, 2019

Good Night Medical’s Alan Rudy beats the drum for integration

Before he closes any deal, Alan Rudy gets to work on his ‘integration checklist’ — a list of the hundreds of tasks his team will execute to ensure a smooth transition. Learn how the CEO puts integration front and center in every deal.

April 10, 2019

Acquisition strategy: Have discipline, retain talent and avoid dishonest negotiators

Investor Lee Zapis shares tips for making better acquisitions, lessons learned from mistakes and the evolving role of culture in the dealmaking process.

April 9, 2019

Corporates join VCs to fill pipeline for Pittsburgh tech investment

Pittsburgh’s tech startups attract the lion’s share of funding and attention, says Innovation Works’ Gary Glausser. We spoke with him about trends in tech investing, including highlights from Investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector report, and the upcoming the AI & Robotics Venture Fair.

April 5, 2019

Ray Dalton: Good opportunity doesn’t always mean good fit

Focus drives results and results attract buyers, says A. Ray Dalton. This week, Ray discusses his approach to identifying the right investment opportunity and the importance of finding ways for your team to win in the dealmaking process.

April 5, 2019

Huron Capital’s Brian Demkowicz: Dealmaking is back in Detroit

The PE firm's co-founder explores the method that fuels his dealmaking productivity and the role Midwestern values play in the firm’s success.

April 3, 2019

FNB’s Boyd Pethel: How to invest with a flat yield curve, low interest rates

The economy may be slowing, but there’s good news for investors who are worried about rising interest rates, says First National Bank’s Boyd Pethel.

April 2, 2019

When selling a business, take talent development seriously

Sellers who pay lip service to talent development could be leaving millions of dollars on the table, says Solutions21’s Buddy Hobart. This week, Buddy explains why it’s past time for buyers and sellers to take talent development seriously.

April 1, 2019

First impressions matter when studying acquisition opportunities

The key to a successful acquisition is a well-planned, successful transition, achieved by working with the key customers, employees and suppliers to ensure that sales and operations continue smoothly.

March 29, 2019

Chip McClure finds deals in unloved world of Tier 2, Tier 3 suppliers

By founding Michigan Capital Advisors, he has created a private equity firm that addresses the lack of access to capital that prevents suppliers from keeping up with customer demand and diversifying beyond the auto sector.

March 29, 2019

Nordson's Anne Pombier: Creating value through acquisitions

Before joining Nordson, Anne Pombier led or participated in more than 100 transactions ranging from $500,000 to more than $1 billion in size. Now she helps identify and pursue M&A targets that can create value for Nordson on a global basis.

March 28, 2019

BrewDog USA’s crowdfunding model raises awareness along with money

Former CEO Tanisha Robinson explains how crowdfunding payed a key role in the beer maker's whirlwind growth in the U.S.

March 28, 2019

4 reasons you need an M&A lawyer

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, dealmaking involves sharing some of your company’s most confidential information with the other side. Ulmer & Berne’s Howard Groedel explains how experienced legal counsel can guide you through the M&A process.

March 27, 2019

Quick Med Claims' Michael J. Lewis: A CEO's approach to M&A

In four years, the CEO of Quick Med Claims has gone through two sales and initiated five acquisitions. Now, he’s interested in passing along that knowledge.

March 22, 2019

M&A due diligence: Understanding cost, risk and liability

There are no mergers of equals, says Howard & Howard’s Joseph DeVito, Esq. But effective due diligence can help your business get the best possible deal. Here’s what you need to know about cost, risk and liability when preparing for a merger.

March 22, 2019

BlueTree's big 2018: A unicorn, strong exits and new investors

It’s been an exciting and unprecedented year for Catherine Mott and BlueTree Capital, including her venture fund's first unicorn holding.

March 22, 2019

Driving foreign investment in Northeast Ohio: What’s next for EB-5?

The immigration/investment program that brought more than $250 million to Northeast Ohio to finance real estate projects faces an uncertain future,

March 21, 2019

2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

Recognizing the top deals and dealmakers in the Pittsburgh region.

March 20, 2019

Budd Dairy Food Hall: Finding the next Cameron Mitchell

The new venture, backed by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, will help chefs grow their concepts and build their businesses.

March 15, 2019

There is no ‘exit’ for restaurant investors

Investing in a restaurant sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? And that’s become truer as TV depicts chefs as rock stars. Veteran restauranteur Craig Barnum, who raised capital for his first restaurants more than 20 years ago, paints a different picture — one where there are no clear assets or exit timelines.

March 15, 2019

How to plan for a liquidity event

Whether you’re thinking about a liquidity event before you’ve launched your company, or the thought comes much later, there’s a lot to consider before you cash out.

March 15, 2019

Venture for America taps Cleveland for accelerator

Venture for America has selected Cleveland to host its national business accelerator targeting entrepreneurs that are recent college graduates, netting out competing proposals from Columbus and

March 14, 2019

Irwin Car’s Bill Baker: Find synergies in your acquisition strategy

After doing nearly 60 deals throughout his career, Bill Baker knows himself. He’s a niche strategist who looks to buy companies where one-and-one makes three.

March 14, 2019

Is a dividend recap right for you?

Greenwich Capital Group's Andrew Dickow shares his thoughts on dividend recapitalization strategy and how to find the right path to meet your needs.

March 12, 2019

RPM’s Jim Karman: Skip the drama and avoid turnarounds

Retired RPM International COO Jim Karman reflects on the fateful deal that convinced him to steer clear of turnaround acquisitions and shares lessons learned from his dealmaking career.

March 11, 2019

Aspire dealmakers conference coming to Detroit April 11

The Aspire middle-market dealmakers conference will be at the Westin Book Cadillac on April 11. This conference features an all-star lineup of entrepreneurs, investors and adviser.

March 8, 2019

UH Ventures seeks every opportunity for innovation

Through UH Ventures, University Hospitals Health System hopes it can become a powerful force to enable the next generation of health care.

March 8, 2019

Atlas Oil founder Sam Simon: How to maximize your deals

The master dealmaker talks about his humble beginnings, his approach to investment opportunities and the importance of being a disciplined dealmaker.

March 7, 2019

vitalxchange's Charu Ramanathan: survival skills trump MBA thinking

The co-founder and CEO at vitalxchange talks about the value of following your instincts and the real skills entrepreneurs need to succeed.

March 7, 2019

IAM Robotics’ Joel Reed: Finding capital and talent in a competitive robotics industry

The robotics industry remains in flux, especially as methods for fulfilling consumer orders continue to evolve. But Pittsburgh — and companies like IAM Robotics — is at the center of it all.

March 6, 2019

Gilbert part of Detroit's first angel investor group

Membership in Woodward Angels requires a minimum investment of $25,000 per calendar year in Detroit-area startups.

March 1, 2019

Forward-thinking investors are monetizing the movement of people, products

As self-driving cars become a force on American roadways, Blue Victor Capital's Sherwin Prior is already looking ahead at new ways to leverage autonomous vehicle technology.

March 1, 2019

Michael Canty: How to navigate the tricky waters of turnaround investing

Turnaround maven Michael Canty offers his tips for investing in troubled companies and shares the strategy that got Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding back on its feet.

February 28, 2019

Integrating acquisitions isn’t one size fits all for L.B. Foster

CEO Bob Bauer breaks down L.B. Foster's unique integration approach to three different acquisitions.

February 27, 2019

Dan Manges: Root Insurance's journey to unicorn status

Dan Manges shares Root's high-speed capital raising journey and meteoric rise to unicorn status.

February 25, 2019

Understand the risk profile of your target company

Oswald's Jeff Schwab explains how he helps clients identify and forecast risks in their deals — and why it’s worth the effort.

February 20, 2019

M&A Outlook: Making moves in a seller's market

Western Reserve Partners' Dave Dunstan shares key takeaways from Citizens Commercial Banking's eighth-annual Middle Market M&A Outlook.

February 19, 2019

Seeking a buyer?

5 metrics that buyers will ask about, and the ways you can leverage them to create a more attractive acquisition target.

February 18, 2019

Market Garden's Sam McNulty

Sam McNulty talks about his approach to dealmaking, the value of strong partnerships and his keys to success.

February 15, 2019

How Lincoln Electric picks its deals

Last year, Lincoln earned a 20.7 percent return on invested capital  – up 4.5 points from 2017. CFO Vince Petrella shares how the manufacturer approaches acquisitions to drive continued earnings growth.

February 14, 2019

Be decisive with your time, money and expertise

R. Louis Schneeberger and other top dealmakers share their advice for navigating negotiations to a successful outcome.

February 7, 2019

TruWest Cos.: Innovators wanted

Matt Kennedy and Wendy Jarchow explain how TruWest Cos. and River SaaS Capital identify promising investment opportunities and position them for growth. “We’re looking for industries that are ripe for innovation,” Jarchow says.

February 6, 2019

The rise of corporate venture funding

Pittsburgh’s old industrial companies are paying attention to startups and Idea Foundry CEO Mike Matesic thinks the surge in corporate venture funding bodes well for local M&A activity. We spoke with Matesic about how corporations and startups are working together to grow Pittsburgh’s economy.

February 5, 2019

You can’t fake passion

Passion is an authentic emotion. That’s why it’s the first trait Pete Martin looks for in Votem Corp. employees. Martin talks about building on market opportunities, the role of resilience and going all in on your vision.

February 4, 2019

No business is perfect

Every business has problems, and it is well-nigh impossible to keep them secret. Wise sellers frame how the problems will be disclosed. Managing this disclosure maintains credibility, while not making the problems seem bigger than they really are.

January 30, 2019

Sweat the details

Howard L. Lewis isn’t usually a micromanager. But that changed when he prepared to sell his business.“You can’t be a bystander or a passive viewer of this transaction,” says Lewis, founder and

January 30, 2019

Embrace fear and uncertainty

If there’s not something wrong with the business you’re investing in, you’re probably paying too much, says Umberto P. Fedeli.“You take a great company, great quality and great growth, but the value

January 24, 2019

Alan Homewood: Saying no was more important than saying yes

Founder Alan Homewood discusses the growth and sale of 2Checkout. "I made pretty much every mistake it’s possible to make. If there’s a checklist of the mistakes an entrepreneur can make, I made about all of them.”

January 24, 2019

Adam Kaufman

Last year, Adam Kaufman studied an estimated 500 early-stage companies to assess their long-term viability. Helping startups refine their message and pursue their goals brings the entrepreneur great

January 24, 2019

Elements of an effective M&A strategy

John Ensign doesn’t have much downtime. But that comes with the job at MRI Software.Since he joined the real estate software solutions provider in 2010, MRI has made more than 20 acquisitions,

January 22, 2019

Lazear Capital’s Ted Lape on transparency, creativity and the rise of ESOPs

Ted Lape talks about transparency in dealmaking, when ESOPs make sense and his most memorable deals.

January 17, 2019

Provariant’s Murad Beg

Provariant's Murad Beg talks about how he stays objective to make the right deals for his clients.

January 17, 2019

JumpStart’s Jerry Frantz

JumpStart’s Jerry Frantz knows he’s in a risky business. “Any way you cut it, deploying capital into young companies is an inherently risky proposition,” he says. Frantz talks about the role of early-stage capital in economic health and managing risk as a startup investor.

January 15, 2019

Business Pulse – January 2019

Add-on acquisitions continue to increase as an overall percentage of M&A buyouts. Strategic buyers remain active and able to pursue add-on acquisitions. Private equity is also making more add-on acquisitions.

January 9, 2019

Flashstarts' Charles Stack

Entrepreneur and early-stage investor Charles Stack talks with Smart Business Dealmakers about the role of confidence in dealmaking and how changemakers can use it to spark investment in Cleveland.

January 9, 2019

August Carlino on negotiating, risk and preserving a legacy

August Carlino talks about what gets his blood pumping, the Rivers of Steel's acquisition of RiverQuest and his advice for other dealmakers.

January 8, 2019

Do you need reps and warranties insurance?

A way to reduce or eliminate deal escrow -- and keep more of the purchase price -- is representation and warranty insurance. BakerHostetler Partner Pete Van Euwen takes a look at the topic in this Insider column.

January 3, 2019

StartInCLE’s Ed Buchholz

Ed Buchholz about some of the challenges faced by Cleveland’s startup community and how the region can attract and empower quality startups.

December 28, 2018

2019: Feeling the pressure

Private equity firms and public companies have a stash of cash – and it’s time to do something with it. In our Dealmakers Look Ahead, we talk with local dealmaking experts about what to expect in 2019.

December 28, 2018

Next Sparc’s Len Pagon Jr.

Len Pagon talks about his approach to making the right moves at the negotiating table.

December 20, 2018

ChromoCare’s Hugh Cathey learns from success — and failure

Master Dealmaker Hugh Cathey talks about what’s changed in M&A, one of his biggest deals and the importance of learning from career wins and losses.

December 19, 2018

Will past performance predict next M&A downturn?

Greif's Matthew Leahy sees a disconnect between public and private market valuations. Public markets value businesses based on forward earnings, whereas private transactions are generally trailing. "Public market investors could be too bearish, but at the same time, it creates an interesting nuance,” he says.

December 19, 2018

2018: Has the market peaked?

In our Dealmakers Year in Review, Mansour, Manna and other M&A experts weigh in on the past year in dealmaking — including lessons learned, trends to watch and the biggest under-the-radar deals of 2018.

December 19, 2018

FALCON's Rob Huxtable

FALCON Managing Partner Rob Huxtable talks about his tips for finding leaders who can thrive under pressure, rise to a challenge and help PE firms maximize their investments.

December 19, 2018

Best practices to follow and pitfalls to avoid with your next acquisition

So, you think you know what it takes to buy a business? With the range of available financing options and a red-hot M&A market, there’s a lot to consider. Finance-minded experts and entrepreneurs share their experiences at ASPIRE 2018.

December 19, 2018

Business Pulse – December 2018

MelCap Partners' Matt Roberts looks at next year: "As we look toward 2019 deal activity, we believe the prepared will win."

December 12, 2018

LeafFilter’s Matt Kaulig

LeafFilter founder Matt Kaulig explains how to show your value to potential investors and position your company for a sale.

December 12, 2018

Bring it home

When you have the right team in place to make a deal, everything else tends to work itself out.

December 7, 2018

Tecum Capital’s Stephen Gurgovits Jr.

Tecum Capital Managing Director Stephen Gurgovits Jr. talks about Tecum's evolution as an investment firm, it's appetite for risk and one of his most memorable deals.

December 6, 2018

Kelsheimer, Ferkovic join forces at Medic Management

A look at the approach Jerry Kelsheimer and Tom Ferkovic used to negotiate the purchase of Medic Management Group, and what’s next for the business.

December 6, 2018

North Coast Angel Fund’s Todd Federman

The angel investor talks about common mistakes entrepreneurs need to avoid to beat the odds and monetize their ideas.

November 30, 2018

TownHall’s Bobby George

Bobby George consults his list of dealmaking principles on a weekly basis – and uses them to inform his decisions. He talks with us about how he evaluates acquisitions to seize opportunity when it strikes.

November 30, 2018

Learn from your mistakes

Growing your business through acquisition is a highly complex process. One misstep can cost you everything. Our team recently managed through a significant oversight that almost forced us to shut down operations.

November 21, 2018

Strategic acquisitions can jumpstart your product development

President and CEO Dave Ciesinski talks about how Lancaster Colony uses M&A as a component of development and innovation.

November 20, 2018

A look at the present — and future — of Columbus’ economy

Columbus Partnership President and CEO Alex R. Fischer shares his insights into the next steps for Columbus’ economic development and economy.

November 20, 2018

TechGrit’s Anthony Margida

Anthony Margida talks about key differences between business accelerators in Ohio and Silicon Valley and his thoughts on speeding up the flow of funding for startups.

November 20, 2018

Liquidity events aren’t just about money

After Arnie Burchianti sold a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare to Graham, he used the capital to supercharge his business. It grew from $30 million to more than $200 million in five years.

November 20, 2018

Business Pulse – November 2018

Roughly 50 percent of the deals tracked in Northeast Ohio during October involved acquisitions or exits by private equity groups.

November 16, 2018

BGL’s Andrew Petryk

Investment banker Andrew Petryk shares his thoughts and observations about how best to prepare for the M&A process and maximize the result.

November 16, 2018

Lou Schneeberger's advice to first-time buyers

The master dealmaker talks about the best approach to beginning a deal negotiation and key items that experienced dealmakers know to check off their list when making a transaction.

November 16, 2018

Reading people is critical to acquisitions

Greg Skoda examines the risk of not fully exploring the wants and needs of the seller when pursuing an acquisition.

November 16, 2018

Negotiated deals

Resilience Capital Partners' Bassem Mansour offers five reasons why a negotiated deal can make sense for companies looking to sell themselves.

November 9, 2018

Choosing a strategic buyer pays off for Walsh Equipment family

It was bittersweet for Charles Walsh to no longer see his family’s name on their construction equipment dealership. But by all accounts, the sale to Stephenson Equipment Inc. in 2017 has been a success.

November 9, 2018

Explorys co-founder Charlie Lougheed

Charlie Lougheed looks at the importance of clarity, the value of embracing opportunity and why a great idea alone isn’t enough to capture the excitement of potential investors.

November 8, 2018

Blue Point Capital's Jim Marra

BluePoint's Jim Marra about the challenge of competing in today’s private equity market and the best strategy to minimize risk with your investments.

November 2, 2018

Mark A. Filippell

Mark Filippell talks about important points to consider before you put your company on the market and a pivotal moment for M&A advisory firm Western Reserve Partners.

November 2, 2018

LaunchHouse’s Todd Goldstein

LaunchHouse' s Todd Goldstein talks about the evolution of Cleveland’s entrepreneurial community and the value of looking at a deal from different points of view.

November 2, 2018

Carveout transactions

Scott Becker has been involved with his fair share of acquisitions. And while all come with a level of complexity, a carveout can be the most challenging.

October 26, 2018

A big payday for FacilitySource

CEO Bill Hayden was upfront with his FacilitySource team when it came time to discuss the firm's sale by PE firm Warburg Pincus. He asked them to judge him by his actions because he is confident there would be growth ahead.

October 26, 2018

Douglas J. Sibila

Peoples Services CEO Doug Sibila talks about his methodical approach to dealmaking and the role networking plays in his company’s M&A strategy.

October 26, 2018

Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs' Michael A. Ellis

Attorney Michael Ellis talks about when noncompete agreements come into play and how to avoid a prolonged legal confrontation.

October 26, 2018

Business Pulse – October 2018

In an optimistic economy that seems to churn out favorable economic indicators on a weekly basis, the continued decline in deal activity on the local and national level may seem startling.

October 25, 2018

A look into the wild world of raising capital

Three dealmakers with different experiences raising capital came together in a panel discussion at ASPIRE 2018 to discuss the ins and outs of funding.

October 19, 2018

Jon J. Pinney

KJK Managing Partner Jon Pinney talks about the need for speed in closing transactions, his passion for learning and the role Blockland can play in facilitating more business activity going forward.

October 19, 2018

Chas Withers: Build a strong, consistent narrative for your deal

The Dix & Eaton CEO talks about how to tell a consistent narrative that ties together everyone's interests and conveys the value being created.

October 12, 2018

Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing Institute’s Suzy Teele

Entrepreneur Suzy Teele has helped at least 50 companies grow into market leaders, either as a consultant, adviser or executive. In this Q&A, she talks about how entrepreneurs can build relationships to create partnerships or find investors to grow their companies.

October 12, 2018

Richard R. Hollington III

CapitalWorks CEO Dick Hollington talks about the role preparation plays in developing an effective acquisition strategy and what private equity firms do to make sure they stay on top of their game.

October 12, 2018

MRI's John Ensign on strategy, due diligence and 10,000 rats

John Ensign talks about his acquisition strategy and the importance of making in-person visits to potential acquisition targets.

October 5, 2018

Baiju R. Shah

BioMotiv CEO Baiju Shah talks about his approach to building a team that can get deals done and the opportunity that health care innovation presents to other industries.

October 5, 2018

Thogus' Matt Hlavin: Why I take dealmaking slow and steady

The CEO talks about the drive he had to become more entrepreneurial and factors that have kept him from being more active on the deal scene.

October 5, 2018

The unwritten rules of M&A

Retired RPM President Jim Karman shares the “unwritten rules” that defined the acquisition negotiation and preparation strategy he used for his family-owned furniture manufacturer.

September 28, 2018

Tony Ciepiel

Step2Discovery CEO Tony Ciepiel talks about his strategic approach to dealmaking and the importance of reaching beyond M&A as a means of completing deals that can benefit your business.

September 28, 2018

Tom Chema: Getting Gateway done and the value of taking risks

Tom Chema played a lead role in overseeing the public/private partnership that brought downtown Cleveland a new ballpark for the Indians and an arena for the Cavaliers.

September 28, 2018

Austin Capital Partners' Darrell Austin

Darrell Austin talks about the effect that rising purchase prices have had on M&A players who used to be a lot busier.

September 27, 2018

Managing the six stages of the sale process

Ideally, there are six stages to selling a business. When a deal isn’t successful, one of those stages was likely derailed. Four experts take a look at those six stages, including their advice on best practices and avoiding pitfalls.

September 19, 2018

Paul Smucker Wagstaff

Paul Smucker Wagstaff shares his dealmaking strategy, the role that his team plays in M&A transactions and some key lessons he learned from his time at J.M. Smucker.

September 19, 2018

Steve McHale on flawed deals and knowing when to pivot

Steve McHale shares his thoughts on deals he has made and the approach that leaders take when things don’t go according to plan.

September 19, 2018

Business Pulse – September 2018

For the Northeast Ohio market, August was filled with deal activity by local private equity and corporate buyers.

September 14, 2018

Dan T. Moore III

Dan Moore reflects on his career in business, his skill as an innovator and how dealmaking has helped bring it all together.

September 14, 2018

Team NEO’s Bill Koehler

Bill Koehler talks about one of the most gratifying moments of his dealmaking career and the value that a formal M&A strategy can bring to your business.

September 14, 2018

EY’s Chris Smyth

We catch up with EY's Chris Smyth to talk about his principles of effective dealmaking.

September 7, 2018

Cascade Partners’ Ken Marblestone

Ken Marblestone explains why he’s always concerned about something and why there are times when you should not take the advice of your financial adviser.

September 7, 2018

Don’t be caught unprepared

4 ways to improve the sale process and achieve the highest possible price in the transaction.

August 31, 2018

Jon W. Park

Westfield Bank's CEO talks about how to build an effective M&A strategy and common pain points that arise when looking to make a deal.

August 31, 2018

Signet's Tony Manna: Why I'm always ready for a deal

Tony Manna talks about his readiness to examine deals and some great advice he got in his youth from Worthington Industries founder John McConnell.

August 31, 2018

Beth Haas

Cyprium Partners' Beth Haas shares her thoughts on how to find the right vehicle to obtain the necessary capital for your business and how to work through any anxiety you may have over working with an outside firm.

August 28, 2018

The whys and hows of buying a business

When growing through acquisition, it’s imperative that the acquisition is the right company at the right price with the right integration strategy. That way you can make sure the company strengthens your existing business and accelerates your business goals.

August 24, 2018

Ron Weinberg

Ron Weinberg talks about the origins of today’s active private equity market and his hands-on approach to creating opportunities that lead to profitable deals.

August 24, 2018

Independence Excavating's Victor DiGeronimo Jr.

Vic DiGeronimo talks about taking risks and his key to finding happiness when making a deal.

August 24, 2018

Business Pulse – August 2018

July continued many of the M&A trends that we’ve seen over the first half of 2018.

August 17, 2018

McCarthy Lebit’s Kenneth B. Liffman

Ken Liffman about the difficulties that often arise when you’re looking to sell your business and three critical questions that can help inform your decision.

August 17, 2018

JPMorgan Chase’s Rudy Bentlage

Rudy Bentlage explains the value of transparency in M&A activity and talks about how to know when it’s the right to time to consider selling your business.

August 10, 2018

Metz Lewis’ Chris Brodman

Metz Lewis partner Chris Brodman talks about deal-killing issues and the principles of successful dealmakers.

August 10, 2018

SCA has its eye on $300M

Christopher Valerian talks about Sweeping Corp. of America's acquisition strategy and the key steps his team followed to execute on aggressive growth goals.

August 10, 2018

Michael Siegal: How I approach acquisition targets

The Olympic Steel CEO talks about being a chameleon, assessing culture and spending your time well.

August 10, 2018

Create a viable plan

Jeremy Eberlein, managing director of investment banking, offers four steps to creating a viable plan.

August 3, 2018

Fred Nance

The global managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs talks about the craft of dealmaking and shares the lessons he has learned to get things done under difficult circumstances.

August 3, 2018

Flashstarts’ Charles Stack

How poker shaped his approach to dealmaking, the problem with risk in Cleveland’s investor community and the one thing entrepreneurs get totally wrong when making a pitch to potential investors.

August 3, 2018

Evolution Capital Partners’ Jeffrey Kadlic

Jeffrey Kadlic about what could be done to open up private equity investment to more people, the common pain points he sees in the M&A process and one of his most memorable deals.

July 27, 2018

Risk International 'buys' a partner

Chairman Dave O’Brien takes us inside his approach to searching for investors and explains how he was able to execute the process seamlessly.

July 27, 2018

Stewart Kohl

The co-CEO of The Riverside Co. talks about how he got his start and mentors who guided him early in his career.

July 27, 2018

Broken deals can create real hardship

Think twice and understand all the ramifications before you commit to taking a seat at the negotiating table.

July 25, 2018

Two approaches to ownership change

Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III, chairman of Hanna Holdings Inc., has experienced ownership transfer amongst his family, and Audrey Dunning, senior vice president at CGI, facilitated the sale of the company she led. They share their perspectives on the process.

July 19, 2018

Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV

Hoby Hanna talks about what drove two pivotal transactions for his real estate company, the value he places on market share and his perspective on turnarounds.

July 19, 2018

Calfee’s Brent Pietrafese

The dealmaking attorney talks about recent trends in dealmaking and how to avoid legal headaches when involved in M&A activity.

July 13, 2018

XaTek raises $9M in under 90 days

John Zak talks about his work, his team and his ambitious strategy to take this project across the finish line.

July 13, 2018

Ancora’s Fred DiSanto

Fred DiSanto talks about his approach to dealmaking, his willingness to take risk and his partnership with Carl Grassi.

July 13, 2018

Business Pulse – July 2018

Despite lower middle-market deal volume, which is primarily the result of a scarcity of quality assets, the current M&A market is expected to remain favorable to sellers.

July 6, 2018

Len Pagon Jr.

Len Pagon talks about how he recovered and got a deal done to sell Brulant to Rosetta and the many twists and turns that come with being a successful dealmaker.

July 6, 2018

PWC Group’s Ansir Junaid

Ansir Junaid talks about principles of dealmaking strategy and how two trips led to pivotal business deals that made his business what it is today.

June 28, 2018

Mezu: New venture, old friends

How Yuval Brisker leveraged his success and relationships at TOA Technologies to raise $10 million and get Mezu up and running.

June 28, 2018

First National Bank’s Boyd Pethel

Boyd Pethel talks about why companies seek outside capital, the tools banks provide to help in this process and what Cleveland needs to do to take the next step in its own evolution.

June 28, 2018

How to create value when you sell

Each owner typically sells their business only once. The right advisers manage transactions every day. Use them.

June 25, 2018

A look at the Pittsburgh environment for raising capital

Four of Pittsburgh’s prominent business leaders share their experiences on the front lines of M&A in an environment of rising valuations. The higher prices are being driven in part by private equity-backed portfolio companies that buy strategically and do add-ons to other deals, as well as family offices with money to spend and a will to do direct acquisitions.

June 22, 2018

On the green

Master dealmaker Monte Ahuja talks about his plans to remake his newly acquired golf properties and the role golf has played in his success as a dealmaker.

June 22, 2018

How captive insurance can add value to your deal

Kelly Price about the challenges that business owners face when it comes to negotiating a deal, how captive programs can fit into the mix and what can happen when you sell to a buyer that hasn’t done the proper due diligence.

June 22, 2018

Cyprium Partners’ John Sinnenberg

John Sinnenberg talks about his evolution as a dealmaker and the lessons he’s learned from deals good and bad.

June 14, 2018

Michael E. Gibbons

Mike Gibbons talks about selling a business, his perspective on the growth of the international M&A market.

June 14, 2018

Transtar’s Neil Sethi

Transfer CEO Neil Sethi talks about what experience has taught him about the flow of deal activity and the important distinction between markets and micromarkets.

June 14, 2018

Business Pulse — June 2018

In 2018, a noticeable shift in corporate divestiture trends has taken place.

June 8, 2018

Behind the scenes of the Fairmount-Unimin merger

CEO Jennifer Deckard discusses the relationship of the two companies, the factors that finally enabled them to merge and the powerful role that external M&A advisers played.

June 8, 2018

Family Heritage Life Insurance’s Howard Lewis

Howard Lewis about his approach to selling his company, the critical importance of tax planning and the opportunity that exists after you sell your business.

June 8, 2018

IMCD’s John Mastrantoni

John Mastrantoni shares his advice on how to maximize results and minimize surprises by preparing — personally and financially — for the sale of your business.

June 1, 2018

Anthony Manna

Anthony Manna talks about his approach to dealmaking and the team he’s built to vet and often take the lead on potential opportunities.

June 1, 2018

Ganley Auto Group’s Ken Ganley

Ken Ganley talks about the value that experience can bring to dealmaking and his fondness for taking on challenges when making an acquisition.

May 25, 2018

Victor DiGeronimo Jr.

Vic DiGeronimo talks about how he got his start in the family business and first began to develop the entrepreneurial and dealmaking skills.

May 25, 2018

Kichler Lighting’s Dave Pamer

Dave Pamer discusses how preparation, delegation and communication can facilitate a smooth transaction.

May 24, 2018

A dive into today’s aggressive deal market

Four of Pittsburgh’s prominent business leaders share their experiences on the front lines of M&A in an environment of rising valuations.

May 18, 2018

Stewart Kohl

The Riverside Co. co-CEO talks about how curiosity fuels his passion for dealmaking, how he judges the success of a transaction and the factors that determine the ideal amount of a capital to provide a young business.

May 18, 2018

Rakuten OverDrive’s Steve Potash

Steve Potash talks about the challenges he faced launching OverDrive in the pre-digital world of the 1980s and the pros and cons of debt vs. equity investors.

May 17, 2018

Target identification

In the follow-up to his popular first column on how culture shapes his M&A strategy, Alliance Solutions Group founder Aaron Grossman explains how he takes the guesswork out of acquisitions by painstakingly finding the right acquisitions prospects

May 11, 2018

J.W. Sean Dorsey

Master dealmaker Sean Dorsey discusses how the dealmaking business has shifted through the decades and the insights he’s learned along the way.

May 11, 2018

Tucker Ellis’ Jayne Juvan

M&A attorney Jayne E. Juvan talks about what’s driving the increased scrutiny on corporate transactions and the points companies should consider before entering into their next deal negotiation.

May 11, 2018

AdCap Management’s Joel Adelman

Joel Adelman talks about the keys to raising capital, taking risks and doing business in the disaster recovery space.

May 11, 2018

Business Pulse — May 2018

M&A activity for the month of April followed the downward trend that was expected to occur during 2018. Total deal volume decreased 13 percent as compared to April 2017, and decreased 9 percent from March 2018.

May 4, 2018

Stephen J. McHale

Steve McHale about the evolution of Explorys, his altruistic approach to dealmaking and what he’s working on now.

May 4, 2018

How M&A strengthens the entrepreneurial economy

JumpStart's Ray Leach is excited about the potential that exists in Cleveland’s entrepreneurial economy to make huge strides in the years ahead.

May 4, 2018

Attorney Margaret W. Wong

Margaret Wong started her firm in 1978 and it’s only since 2000 that she became more active in dealmaking. She talks about the important deal she made with her godchild and her approach to making acquisitions.

April 27, 2018

Forward progress: The State of Technology in Pittsburgh

From material science, life science and data centers to energy technology and research on artificial intelligence and social ventures, Pittsburgh is on the cutting edge of technology in many sectors.

April 27, 2018

Raising startup capital

There are a few things that any entrepreneur considering raising capital needs to think about.

April 27, 2018

RPM's Frank Sullivan

RPM CEO Frank Sullivan talks about his approach to making acquisitions and how he balances M&A with his leadership of the business.

April 27, 2018

Gregory J. Skoda

Master dealmaker Greg Skoda talks about the philosophy of dealmaking, lessons learned creating CBIZ and why it’s so important to listen.

April 27, 2018

Fifth Third Bank’s Joe DiRocco

Joe DiRocco talks about what you should know about your business before you pursue your next M&A transaction.

April 20, 2018

Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV

Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV talks about negotiating deals with a key competitor, the value of developing an M&A formula and sticking to it, and how he responds to market pressure to keep pursuing more acquisitions.

April 20, 2018

ShurTech Brands’ John Kahl

ShurTech Brands CEO John Kahl talks about the importance of listening and the effort it takes to zero in on the right company to acquire.

April 20, 2018

Developer Scott Wolstein

Former Developers Diversfied CEO Scott Wolstein talks about how to know when to walk away, how to minimize mistakes and why you need a strong team to be an effective dealmaker.

April 13, 2018

What’s your exit strategy?

The top seven questions you should ask yourself before making the decision.

April 13, 2018

Umberto P. Fedeli

Umberto Fedeli is a prolific investor who has bought stock in hundreds, if not thousands of businesses, banks and other organizations over the years. We talk with him about his approach to dealmaking and investing, his read on the M&A sector today and the value of being really good at something.

April 6, 2018

Partners in growth

UroGPO CEO David Coury talks about his company's growth and why it was time to turn to private equity.

April 6, 2018

Transtar’s Monte Ahuja

Transtar's Monte Ahuja talks about the thrill of negotiating, why it’s important to know every detail and why you can’t be afraid to walk away.

April 6, 2018

Compass Self Storage’s Todd Amsdell

Todd Amsdell has relied largely on “good old-fashioned hard work and reputation” to build Amsdell Cos. into one of the premier operators of self-storage centers in the country. We spoke with Amsdell about his company’s unique approach to dealmaking.

March 29, 2018

PwC’s Mark Ross

When Mark Ross isn’t working with George Lucas or helping the NYSE buy Euronext, he’s leading transactions that range up to $10 billion.

March 29, 2018

LeafFilter’s Matt Kaulig

Matt Kaulig talks about the challenges he overcame to position LeafFilter for sale and the passion he has for making deals.

March 29, 2018

Meritech’s Mary Ann Bednar

Fresh off the acquisition of a competitor, Meritech's Mary Ann Bednar and Ken Vanden Haute talk about the importance of patience in dealmaking and the value of securing market share in a competitive business environment.

March 29, 2018

Business Pulse — April 2018

M&A volume remains strong on a historical basis, and average deal value trends continue to show that buyers are willing to pay full value for healthy assets.

March 23, 2018

Sign of the times

Tim Eippert is a man on a mission. Backed by the deep pockets of Bahrain’s Arcapita, the president and CEO of MC Sign Co. plans to triple revenue to $300 million over the next three to five years.

March 23, 2018

Jay Lucarelli: Don’t take on debt if you’re not ready

Jay Lucarelli talks about factors that must be considered when exploring a potential deal, why buying more space now will save you a lot of stress later and more lessons learned from his father.

March 23, 2018

PartsSource’s Philip Settimi

Dr. Philip Settimi about the approach he took to negotiate the sale and why he is more focused on organic growth right now than acquisitions.

March 16, 2018

Rocco Di Lillo

Rocco Di Lillo talks about his approach to dealmaking, the process he follows to learn about the business he’s looking to acquire and why being overly cautious can make it a lot easier to sleep at night.

March 16, 2018

Ring Beams President David Levine

David Levine and partner Michael Recker worked 10 years to build a $25 million business. But when their aspirations outgrew their capital, they knew it was time for a deal. In this Q&A, David talks about the complexity of selling and his approach to making it a manageable process.

March 16, 2018

Let them come to you

There are many ways to get on a buyer’s or seller’s radar, but one of the easiest initial steps is to attract attention to what your business is doing or might do in the future. The more unique, the better and the less they initially know, the greater the intrigue.

March 9, 2018

R. Louis Schneeberger

Master dealmaker R. Louis Schneeberger talks about the critical first steps to take when looking to make an acquisition, the importance of understanding your industry and why you need to know who’s on your team before you close a deal.

March 9, 2018

Bobby George: The best dealmakers are the quiet ones

Corporate Management Group President Bobby George about what he needs to see in order to buy a business, the discipline to say no and the respect he has for Cleveland’s top dealmakers.

March 9, 2018

Zapis Capital Group's Lee Zapis

Lee Zapis has invested in more than 20 companies since 2003, but he knows it takes more than capital to build an outstanding business. That’s why Zapis Capital Group prefers to take an active role in its portfolio companies, providing strategic advice and resources.

March 2, 2018

JumpStart's Ray Leach

A critical part of Ray Leach’s role at JumpStart is his ability to ID strong business builders. Just as important, however, is his ability to engage with established business leaders who can help his startups.

March 2, 2018

Laudan Properties' Kevin Weidinger

Kevin Weidinger talks about the steps he follows to either make a good deal or gain the knowledge he needs to walk away from the table and get to work on the next opportunity.

March 2, 2018

How I find great deals

Scott Becker often buys businesses that aren't for sale. The key in initiating these discussions with owners is the opportunity it provides to spell out the strategic benefits available through the business combination.

February 23, 2018

RVshare shifts into overdrive

With $50M in capital and new CEO, the Airbnb of RVs is ready to roll. Joel Clark may be the hottest entrepreneur in Northeast Ohio you’ve never heard of.

February 23, 2018

Exodus Capital's Jerry Kelsheimer

Jerry Kelsheimer talks about his approach to making your business attractive to buyers and the value of viewing your company from the perspective of a shareholder.

February 23, 2018

Millcraft's Travis Mlakar

Travis Mlakar, who has led seven acquisitions to expand Millcraft, talks about getting people involved in acquisitions and leveraging their input to shape the success of a deal.

February 16, 2018

Family matters

You need to pay special attention to the personal impact of selling a business.

February 16, 2018

Loan Protector's Dennis Swit

Dennis Swit missed out the first two times his employer was up for sale. He wasn’t going to miss the third time. He talks about the challenges he faced buying the company and how he positioned the company to succeed under his ownership.

February 8, 2018

Edward F. Crawford

ParkOhio CEO Edward F. Crawford offers his thoughts on losing his first business, the value he places on people and dealing with rejection.

February 8, 2018

KeyBank's Kip Clarke

Sharing lessons from decades of dealmaking experience, KeyBank's Kip Clarke talks about his strategies for mastering the M&A game.

February 2, 2018

Chris Quinn: What I learned selling Step2

For InterDesign CEO Chris Quinn, dealmaking is all about trust. “Trust begins the very minute you decide to engage and go through the sale process."

February 2, 2018

How culture shapes our M&A strategy

Aaron Grossman shares how he focused on the culture he wants for Alliance Solutions Group, before finding companies to buy.

February 2, 2018

Directional Aviation Capital’s Kenn Ricci

Directional Aviation Chairman Kenn Ricci shares his company’s 16.6 Rule and why discipline and rigor — a commitment to a plan — are so important.

January 26, 2018

David vs Goliaths

When you compete with the likes of Eaton and Parker Hannifin, you better have a good growth strategy. David Carr, president of fittings manufacturer Brennan Industries, makes M&A a core part of his plan, like last November’s acquisition of Versa Fittings.

January 26, 2018

All Pro Freight's Chris Haas

Chris Haas spent a decade growing All Pro Freight Systems at a “grinding” pace until he realized that growth by acquisition could multiply his capacity more quickly.

January 19, 2018

A deal with heart

Who: Cleveland HeartLabWhat: Acquired by Quest Diagnostics to catapult CHL’s groundbreaking efforts to reduce heart attacks and strokesWhy it matters: At scale, CHL’s inflammation testing could

January 19, 2018

Resilience Capital’s Bassem Mansour

Resilience Capital Partners' co-CEO Bassem Mansour talks about the shifting entrepreneurial mindset, the value of an unbiased professional opinion and the state of today’s capital market.

January 19, 2018

ASW Global’s André Thornton

ASW Global CEO André Thornton speaks about how he lays the groundwork for acquisitions and then takes steps to ensure there is a fit before closing any deal.

January 19, 2018

Next Sparc's Len Pagon Jr.

Next Sparc CEO Len Pagon Jr. shares how he’s learned to be discerning and the importance of Warren Buffett’s rules for investing.

January 12, 2018

Ready to pop

We take a deeper look at how Paul Smucker Wagstaff used his experience at The J.M. Smucker Co. to guide his approach to dealmaking and what it all means for the continued growth of Eagle Foods.

January 12, 2018

Chris Adams: How to create a great M&A team

Park Place President Chris Adams shares the details of creating an M&A team and how it has helped drive the company’s push to continue growing.

January 12, 2018

Lubrizol’s Eric R. Schnur

Lubrizol CEO Eric R. Schnur talks about his approach to M&A and how his range of experiences at Lubrizol has made him a better dealmaker.

January 5, 2018

Cohen & Co. fills a void

A look at how Cohen's acquisition of Arthur Bell brings the firm closer to being a $100 million business, strengthens its position in the fund manager market and opens the door to future growth in the space.

January 5, 2018

Michael Feuer: How egos killed an OfficeMax/Staples merger

OfficeMax founder Michael Feuer talks about the times he let ego get in the way of a deal and how his approach to dealmaking has changed over the years.

January 5, 2018

BNY Mellon’s Ron Ambrogio

Ron Ambrogio explores the conversations that need to take place before a company goes on the market and common oversights that can make it harder to close a deal.

January 5, 2018

Why do you want to sell?

While some business owners put a lot of thought into the decision to put their company up for sale, others do not. In either case, there are a number of threshold questions that should be considered before discussing the actual sale process.

December 28, 2017

2017: The Year of the Seller

Much like the M&A climate nationally, Greater Cleveland had a strong year for dealmaking in 2017, as evidenced by the number and value of the transactions completed. We spoke with some of Cleveland’s M&A experts and gathered their perspective on the year that was in dealmaking.

December 28, 2017

2018: Let the good times roll

The corporate tax reform signed into law by President Donald Trump could spawn a new wave of dealmaking activity in the new year. Here’s a look at what local M&A experts had to say when asked what to expect in 2018.

December 15, 2017

Stark seeks $4 billion portfolio

We take a deeper look at Stark Enterprises’ growth strategy and the thoughtful approach the company takes to acquiring new properties.

December 15, 2017

BDO’s Bob Littman

Bob Littman talks about being ready to act, finding the right partner and how options have changed for dealmakers over the years.

December 15, 2017

Chris Hyland: Assume nothing

Hyland Software CFO Chris Hyland talks about the importance of asking the tough questions and why you can’t always trust sellers to paint a true picture of the culture at your new acquisition.

December 15, 2017

Stewart Kohl on the art of the deal

Stewart Kohl talks about how the art of the deal has changed over the last 30 years.

December 8, 2017

MRI: New tech growth star

How Patrick Ghilani crafted his plan to complete five rapid-fire deals to solidify MRI Software’s position as a leader in real estate technology.

December 8, 2017

Greg Muzzillo: Time makes sellers realistic

The Proforma founder shares his experience negotiating with sellers and the risk of veering away from your area of expertise in business.

December 8, 2017

Tony Mercurio: Bring more leaders

Tony Mercurio shares his thoughts on how to avoid falling victim to the ticking clock when making a deal and why becoming a regular dealmaker could be deadly to your business.

November 30, 2017

1 team, 6 deals, 12 months

An in-depth look at how Park Place Technologies' Chris Adams provided his M&A SWAT team with the tools it needed to complete six acquisitions in 12 months.

November 30, 2017

Brown Gibbons Lang's Michael Gibbons

Investment banker Mike Gibbons to talk about what CEOs need to know right now about selling their businesses.

November 30, 2017

Bob Campana: 'We have a lot of upside'

Bob Campana talks about the state of the current capital market, some tips that guide his approach to dealmaking and one of his most memorable deals.

November 22, 2017

Catching the PE wave

An inside look at how Mark Goldfarb and his SS&G partners sold to BDO USA, giving the firm a long-sought foothold in Ohio and Goldfarb the resources to drive his team forward into a new way of doing business.

November 22, 2017

Aaron Grossman: Study the data and match the core values

Aaron Grossman talks about how he looks at acquisition targets and why you can't neglect your core business.

November 22, 2017

Mutual Capital Partners’ Wayne Wallace

What sellers need to know to get top dollar for their companies when they go on the market.

November 22, 2017

Small deal, big impact

Our M&A journey began with a relatively small, but challenging acquisition that involved convincing a widow to sell her business to Chromaflo.

November 17, 2017

Ken Ganley drives toward $2 billion

An inside look at how Ken Ganley finally bought Central Cadillac, an extraordinary dealership he had sought for years.

November 16, 2017

Sotera Health's Michael Petras

Michael B. Petras knows how to grow a business and he spoke with Smart Business Dealmakers about the best approach to take when negotiating deals with other companies.

November 9, 2017

How MacroPoint’s Bennett Adelson got two bites at the apple

An inside look at how Macropoint CEO Bennett Adelson crafted a strategy that earned him a second bite at the apple – and even a chance at a third – and his advice for other CEOs.

November 9, 2017

Monte Ahuja on coming back to Transtar

After Transtar filed for bankruptcy, founder Monte Ahuja reinvested in the company and returned as CEO. We sat down with him to learn why he was willing to take back the helm at Transtar and what he experienced on his return

November 9, 2017

UH’s Tom Zenty

University Hospitals CEO Tom Zenty III talks about his approach to dealmaking and explains why culture can make or break any transaction.

November 9, 2017

10 tips to sell your business the right way

10 lessons learned from more than 60 years of confidential family experience in acquiring and operating businesses.

November 9, 2017

Steve Demetriou's 3 rules of dealmaking

Jacobs CEO Steve Demetriou shares his three rules of dealmaking with the Aspire 2017 audience during a question and answer session with Smart Business CEO Fred Koury.

November 3, 2017

Hyland’s game-changing deal

It was the largest acquisition Hyland Software Inc. has ever made — by far, says President and CEO Bill Priemer. The deal to buy Perceptive Software and bring a key competitor under the same roof after more than two decades of battling for business is a game changer for Hyland.

November 3, 2017

Ed Crawford's 3 keys to success

A major part of ParkOhio's growth can be attributed to an eye-popping 86 acquisitions. We sat down with CEO Ed Crawford to talk about three keys to his dealmaking success.

November 3, 2017

Riverside Co.'s Stewart Kohl

Stewart Kohl leads a global private equity firm with more than $6 billion in assets under management and nearly 500 acquisitions under its belt. None of that would have been possible if Kohl had not taken the time to prepare for each negotiation.