Valesco Reels in Seventh Investment in Fund II with T-H Marine Supplies

On April 30, 2019, Valesco closed its seventh investment out of Valesco Fund II. The transaction was a majority buyout of T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., a leader in the recreational marine, boating, and fishing accessories market. T-H Marine was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Huntsville, AL.

T-H Marine provides parts to virtually every recreational boat platform produced in the United States – including bass boats, offshore fishing boats, pontoon boats, ski boats and runabouts. The company operates in two primary sales channels: OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and Aftermarket (distributors, e-commerce, big box and specialty retail, direct sales and dealers). Since its founding, T-H Marine has become a recognized brand in its industry with over 20 brands and 48 patents. Valesco’s investment supports a recapitalization of the existing ownership group and will support the continued growth of T-H Marine’s successful legacy business while also expanding its current e-commerce footprint. As a Tier 1 supplier in the industry, T-H Marine is well positioned to continue its successful growth strategy.

Jeff Huntley Sr. bought his father’s business in 1994 and has set out to build an industry leader in the marine accessories market. Huntley is excited for the next stage of the business, stating “Our third generation business is growing very rapidly, and we believe Valesco’s expertise and capital can help us further accelerate that growth and strengthen our fundamentals. We love their philosophy of Commitment Beyond Capital and empowerment of management teams. They truly get it, fit with our culture and will be a partner of great integrity and trust.” Jeff will remain as CEO and will lead the company alongside his son, Jeff Huntley Jr. (VP of Operations) and Greg Buie (VP of Sales).

Valesco continues to seek investment opportunities to provide equity and subordinated debt for control buyout, recapitalization, minority, management buyout and mezzanine situations out of Valesco Fund II. T-H Marine is a great example of relationship, partnership and creativity to find the best possible outcome for the business, the founding shareholders and Valesco. The company is poised for continued success and we could not be more excited to add T-H Marine to our growing portfolio.

Valesco Partners Highlighted in "Women in Private Equity to Know" by McGuire Woods

Two of our Partners here at Valesco, Angie Henson and Heather Hubbard, were recently included in a spotlight of women in private equity. Women in Private Equity to Know is an ongoing effort published by McGuire Woods and serves to profile women leaders in private equity. Read the transcript of their interviews below:

Q: What attracted you to PE?

Angie Henson (AH): As a young, recently engaged college graduate, I thought my career path was heading down a much different path when PE found me 21 years ago.

I was approached by an old friend I had worked for during my college summers. He wanted to start a swim school. As this was a side business for him, I became responsible for the startup of the business, from finalizing the name, obtaining an employer identification number, marketing, scheduling and even teaching the swim classes. At the time I didn't realize it, but this was my first hardcore introduction to the world of business.

This friend ended up working at Valesco. When a position at Valesco became available, he thought of me. I was a little bit of a fish out of water at first, but soon realized that not only Valesco but PE was a right fit and where I would find myself long term. The opportunity to work with so many diverse companies and help to make a positive impact in the lives of the people surrounding those companies is like no other feeling. It's not always easy, but it's always rewarding.

Heather Hubbard (HH): My first business was a small farmer's market I started in my parents' kitchen where I took all of their food out and sold it back to them. I was on my second cash register by the age of eight.

I've always known that I loved understanding business, how companies made money and how managers organized people and operations. During my freshman year in college, I came across a small meeting of students in a classroom late one evening and listened in. The group was the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and the speaker was a small business owner in town. He was telling the students about everything from how he started his business and marketing his products all the way down to commercial real estate lease rates and software packages. I was immediately hooked on the complexities as well as practicalities of running a small business.

I continued with my education and decided to major in entrepreneurship because nothing was more interesting to me than harnessing the creative energy of a dynamic business leader and understanding his or her business. PE was a perfect fit from my very beginnings in the industry.

As a member of the PE community, I am able to make a real and meaningful impact on the lives of business owners and their employees. My team and I get the great opportunity to impact all aspects of a small business to drive its operations to be better than it was when we started. I don't have a cash register anymore, but I still have just as much fun.

Q: Why is it important for more women to pursue careers in PE?

HH: I think its vitally important for women to pursue a career in PE because our perspective on the world needs to be represented. Women have a unique take on the environment around us and we interact with life in a different way than men. I think a balanced perspective is key because we all, whether man or woman, have unique life experiences to bring to each situation.

AH: The most important reason women should pursue a career in PE is the perspective we bring to the table. Women should continue to be loud and have a voice at the table, especially in such a male-dominated industry. Many businesses today are owned by women. If they invite a PE group into their business for whatever reason, I have seen situations where having a female from a PE group walk in the room can make a difference. The female business owner automatically feels more comfortable in when she feels she has someone in the room she can relate to and possibly see things in a way that men might not.

Q: In an industry where women leaders are still a rarity, what do you see as the value of two women of your stature working together at the same PE firm?

AH: Heather and I acknowledge that it is a rarity to have not just one but two female partners in a PE firm. We have an opportunity that many don't have to be able to share our perspectives and continue to instill diversity in our own firm. One example of a perspective we have been big proponents of is work/life balance. This has become especially important not only from a female perspective but from a generational perspective and vital to attracting and retaining talent. We share this perspective not only in our firm but with our portfolio companies and in networking conversations with other female colleagues.

HH: Two women working together in PE is a rare thing, Angie and I are able to relate to each other on a level that is unique for a female in our industry. We feel that we have tried to use our positions to continue to promote the hiring of great talent, regardless of gender. I think that we have a different perspective to offer. We manage our team and portfolio companies from a different angle than the men in our office. We value having a firm that reflects the world around us, balanced from a gender perspective.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women entrepreneurs? What advice would you provide to overcome it?

HH: There are not a lot of great examples of female entrepreneurs to model your life and career after as a woman and a business owner. We have personal lives, families, friends and hobbies to balance with work and we have the added perspective of a society that is not always set up to understand our unique situation and challenges.

My best advice is to continue to create your own path. We can't have it all; that's not a possibility. We can choose the things that matter to us most with work, family and life and not stress so much about the rest. Figure out where you will shine and let yourself off the hook for the rest.

AH: I think the biggest challenge many times lies in ourselves. We think too much that we can't hang with the boys, but, believe me, you can, you will and you will succeed beyond anything you ever thought imaginable!

Q: What advice would you provide to a woman-led company interested in securing PE?

AH: Explore your options — there are many PE funds out there today with many different strategies for how they partner with companies. Do your homework, ask questions, meet multiple members of the team, reach out to references and see who you feel most comfortable with. This will be your partner (and more than likely become a good friend as well) for some time. It's important that you are comfortable with them and their long-term strategy for your business.

HH: Focus on what kind of partnership you want to have with your PE partner and work very hard to get to know who you will be working with well ahead of a transaction. Whether you will be remaining as a full-time executive or taking a step back to do something new, your new PE partner will be a part of your life and your employees' lives for years to come. They will be shaping the next chapter of your business. You want to make sure that they are a good reflection of the values and vision for your organization.

See the original article published by McGuire Woods here.

Valesco Adds Ulterior Motives International to its List of Fund II Portfolio Companies

On March 6th, 2019, Valesco closed its sixth investment from Valesco Fund II. The transaction was an investment into Ulterior Motives International, Inc. (“UMI”), which specializes in the implementation of information-based turn-key National and Local Store Marketing applications for multi-unit brands specializing in the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. UMI was founded in 1998 by Brooke and Marc Pollock and is headquartered in Plano, TX. https://umi-inc.com/Home

UMI provides a wide array of services including account management, creative design, print production, data management, E-marketing, trade area analysis, direct mail, partnership marketing, and web services to an engaged and highly recurring customer base. UMI serves both corporate and franchise communities, offering strategic marketing programs and solutions that are proven to drive sales, impact customer loyalty and frequency, share of voice and offset competitive intrusion. Through UMI’s proprietary online marketing/brand communication portal, customers have the flexibility to manage all of their marketing activity within a dynamic, user-friendly, virtual platform. This technology is customized for each brand and allows the entire chain to efficiently order corporate-approved print products and other strategic marketing initiatives in a streamlined manner. Valesco’s investment will support the continued growth of UMI’s successful legacy business while also expanding into new industries and adding additional services.

Co-Founders Brooke and Marc Pollock, who will remain President and Vice President and part of the ownership group, added, “We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with the Valesco team and look forward to continued growth and success in the future."

Valesco continues to seek target investment opportunities to provide equity and subordinated debt for control buyout, recapitalization, minority, management buyout and mezzanine situations from Valesco Fund II. UMI is a great example of relationship, partnership and creativity to find the best possible outcome for the business, the founding shareholders and Valesco. The company is poised for continued success and we could not be more excited to add UMI to our growing portfolio.

Valesco Portfolio Company Thrives - Drug Free Sport Merges with IDTM

On September 21st, 2018, Drug Free Sport ("DFS"), a portfolio company of Valesco Industries, and International Doping Tests & Management ("IDTM") merged together to create a technology industry leader in anti-doping with an unprecedented global service footprint. The merger will ensure clients of DFS and IDTM have access to top quality World Anti-Doping Agency Code-compliant collections and independent, customized program administration anywhere athletes train and compete.

Drug Free Sport is a global leader in the development and administration of technology-focused, customized anti-doping testing and education for professional, emerging and amateur sport organizations. DFS has been helping athletes maximize their innate potential in sport since 1999 in a fair and safe manner.

IDTM is a leading global provider of anti-doping services and a quality assurer for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports. With a global network of Doping Control Officers and Blood Collection Officers, IDTM has been providing anti-doping services for International Federations, National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), and independent sporting organizations and events since 1992.

DFS and IDTM combine to provide client access to over 500 professionally trained Doping Control Officers and Blood Collection Officers strategically placed in over 50 countries. Both DFS and IDTM will continue to operate independently while capitalizing on operational synergies to maximize client service and efficiency.

Partnerships Built on Solid Relationships

A partnership is a relationship. All choices are intentional and thoughtful. It is this mindset that Valesco Industries embodies with compelling enthusiasm. Our recent investment in Access Destination Management Services, in partnership with Stone Creek Capital, is indicative of that approach.

With Valesco, our attentiveness to the partnership shines during the diligence phase and immediately post-close. When it came to Access, we built the foundation of the relationship with a stellar management team from day one. That team delivered on our proposed vision of liquidity and then created the tactical blueprint for Access’ continued growth, guaranteeing long term potential for the company. The collaboration with the independent sponsor, Stone Creek Capital, added valuable assets that bolstered the strengths of our team. The handling of this investment is a testament to Valesco’s strong track record of successful relationships that have been built with business owners and management teams.

Our team fully understands the importance of partnership in an independent sponsor transaction. We teamed up with Stone Creek Capital in providing both flexible capital and a strategic vision. This collaboration of assets and individuals helped us achieve a successful outcome for all parties involved. Valesco operated as an independent sponsor for its first 17 years before raising a committed fund in 2011. That experience has made our company hyper-aware of the dynamics of economics, quick decision making, and the importance of adding value both pre and post close.

The video below highlights Valesco’s emphasis on the value of partnership. As you come across opportunities in need of majority equity and or subordinated debt, choose Valesco Industries as your relationship oriented partner.

Valesco Closes its 5th Investment in Fund II with Fabian Couture

On May 1st, 2018, Valesco closed its fifth investment from Valesco Fund II. The transaction was an investment, in partnership with The Riveria Group, LLC, of Fabian Couture Group Holdings, LLC and its affiliates (“Fabian”), a designer and wholesaler of men’s formalwear, uniforms and accessories for the rental, retail and hospitality markets in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in New Jersey, Fabian designs a combination of house brands (“First Nighter” and “Neil Allyn”) and private label brands, as well as a full line of tuxedos and accessories for retail sale and rental under the labels of Ike Evening by Ike Behar, Kenneth Cole New York / Reaction by Kenneth Cole by Lanier Clothes. Valesco’s investment will support the continued growth of Fabian’s successful legacy business.

Fabian’s core business focuses on the design of formalwear products including tuxedos, jackets, pants, shirts and accessories. Its efficient design, manufacturing and distribution process of high-quality, fair-priced and updated styles offer a unique value proposition to its customers. Fabian also offers a line of uniform products that serve the restaurant, hospitality and other industries, that include jackets, blazers, trousers, vests, shirts and accessories.

Allan Weiss, who will remain CEO and part of the ownership group, added, “We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with the Valesco and Riveria teams and look forward to continued growth and success in the future. “

Valesco continues to seek target investment opportunities to provide equity and subordinated debt for control buyout, recapitalization, minority, management buyout and mezzanine situations from Valesco Fund II. Fabian is a great example of relationship, partnership and creativity to find the best possible outcome for the business, the founding shareholders and Valesco. The company is poised for continued success and we could not be more excited to add Fabian to our growing portfolio.

Valesco Makes Fourth Investment from Fund II with Access DMC

On March 8th, 2018, Valesco closed its fourth investment from Valesco Fund II. The transaction was a majority buyout of Access Destination Management Corporation, LLC and its affiliates (“Access”), a rapidly-growing experiential marketing/destination management company that designs and implements special events for corporations, associations and incentive travel companies. These single or multi-day programs involve various activities (e.g. events, excursions, recreation, corporate social responsibility, etc.) as well as staffing, transportation and logistics – designed to meet each client’s specifications and goals.

Access provides convenience and comprehensive “access” to the best destinations in North America and around the world. We are proud to support the Company’s mission of providing shared experiences that bring people together which has led to an inspired, recurring customer base.

Chris Lee, who will serve as Chairman Emeritus of Access, added, “The team at Valesco believes in our strategy, our brand, our partners and our vision. They are the ideal group to advance the Access legacy.”

Valesco continues to seek target investment opportunities to provide equity and subordinated debt for control buyout, recapitalization, minority, management buyout and mezzanine situations from Valesco Fund II. Access is a great example of relationship, partnership and creativity to find the best possible outcome for the business, the founding shareholders and Valesco. The company is poised for continued success and we could not be more excited to add Access to our growing portfolio.

Valesco Invests in Principal LED, LLC

On January 2nd, 2018, Valesco closed its third investment from Valesco Fund II. The transaction was a minority investment in Principal LED, LLC and its affiliates (“PLED”), a leading LED lighting and electronics component provider to the electrical sign industry in North America. PLED generates revenue through the manufacturing and sales of UL recognized LED sign modules and cabinet products for new and retrofit sign applications, as well as neon and LED power supplies and accessories.

“As a leading supplier of quality LED and neon sign components to the commercial sign industry, Principal Lighting Group is excited to partner with Valesco as we continue our growth story,” says co-owner Blake Vincent.

“Valesco is an ideal investment partner. They not only understand and support our vision and values, but will offer key support as we execute against our mission to simplify the lives of our customers,” added Bryan Vincent, co-owner.

Valesco continues to seek target investment opportunities to provide equity and subordinated debt for control buyout, recapitalization, minority, management buyout and mezzanine situations from Valesco Fund II. PLED is a great example of relationship, partnership and creativity to find the best possible outcome for the business, the founding shareholders and Valesco. The company is poised for continued success and we could not be more excited to add PLED to our growing portfolio.

Valesco Makes Investment in Drug Free Sport, LLC

Valesco Industries, LLC (“Valesco”) is pleased to announce its first investment out of Valesco Fund II, LP (“VFII”); with a capital commitment in Drug Free Sport, LLC