WHEN A FIRE IN THE BELLY DRIVES AN IDEA
Rex Electric and Technologies CEO Mr. Dominic M. Sergi was ready to make a change and move into the next stage of his life. He was the third generation to join his family’s Chicago-based company, where he had worked since he was ten under the tutelage of his father Carmen Sergi, learning everything about being an electrician. The company was shuttered for 15 years beginning in 1965 until Mr. Sergi restarted it in 1979. He successfully grew the company, adding employees, adding new businesses and professionalizing services. In 2016—after 37 years of running Rex—Mr. Sergi was ready to sell.
Finding Hidden Value
Mr. Sergi knew that like most companies, Rex Electric had hidden EBITDA and hidden value that would be important to unlock as the process for selling the company moved forward. After discussions with several firms, Mr. Sergi engaged Ravinia Capital to uncovered the hidden value and prepare the company for sale.
A Tailored Approach
The Ravinia team was a good match for Mr. Sergi because they both brought a “fire in the belly” to the deal. Ravinia completed a significant sell-side, due-diligence process and then reached out to an exhaustive list of buyers that included corporate strategic competitors in and out of the Chicago market, private equity firms with telecommunications components, and family offices. A comprehensive Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) that was a collaboration between management and the Ravinia team was developed as well as a sell-side due diligence quality of earnings analysis. A widely attended webinar resulted in several offers.
The Heart of the Enterprise
Selling a 95-year old family business means finding a buyer with values that are shared by the seller. There is a good business reason for it. Companies with similar corporate cultures will usually be more successful when they integrate. Striving to achieve the best result, the Ravinia team focused on identifying a wide group of potential buyers who would respect Rex’s values and would be committed to continuing the legacy and reputation that Rex had built in the marketplace. The standout was Chugach Alaska Corp., the owner of a diverse group of businesses that was established in 1972 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). As a company it promotes and protects the cultural values of its shareholders while fulfilling its vision to remain financially sound. The Ravinia team saw a match.
Completing the Deal
The four-month diligence period was intensive as Chugach wanted to make sure that the integration would be smooth and that Rex would fit its 10-year strategic objective. Over the months of due diligence, every Chugach board member met with the Rex team to ensure the economic and emotional success of the transaction. When a delay surfaced, Ravinia resolved it quickly and efficiently. A week later, the transaction closed