Producing outstanding results by conducting a competitive auction process …

“Mertz exceeded our initial ideas of value. The process was conducted in a confidential manner. In addition, our employees benefited from the sale. We were only needed for ultimate decisions. In short, we are pleased that the new owner is continuing the traditions we established at the company, and that we realized the value we did as a result of Mertz’s role.”

– Jon Townly, former Geneva Ingredients owner

“Mertz delivered on what they said they could do and achieved a value that, frankly, I never thought they could achieve. Also, the structure of the transaction was highly beneficial to the owners. I have since advised my clients to use Mertz Associates and will do so again.”

– Bruce Harms, Axley Brynelson

Geneva Ingredients is a manufacturer of savory flavorings for prepared entrees offered by large food companies. The company grew at a rate of 20% per year prior to the sale and profits were exceptional. It was a key supplier to a number of large frozen food companies.

The owners did not wish to maintain an active role in the management of Geneva after the transaction was completed. Their main objectives were to obtain the best value, see that the employees were not adversely affected by the sale and maintain confidentiality as long as possible.

Scope of Mertz’s role
Mertz studied the business and the industry in which Geneva Ingredients operated. Then, Mertz prepared a detailed offering memorandum, a marketing plan and a customized database of potential buyers. Buyers included both domestic and international competitors, large food companies and private equity groups with similar operations.

By carefully releasing selected information in stages and screening prospects by their interest and qualifications, Mertz was able to maintain confidentiality within the industry and with non-owner employees until shortly before closing. A data room was organized, and the three top prospects were invited for a plant visit only after they reviewed the data room and prepared a valuation.

In the final negotiation process, Mertz substantially increased the total values over those initially proposed and brought an all-cash offer.

Mertz’s value add
Mertz developed and controlled a highly competitive marketing process for this desirable company to capture the high intrinsic value. The marketing process helped to achieve a beneficial all-cash structure, and maintained confidentiality virtually throughout the process. Mertz achieved a value in excess of two times revenues, exceeding the owner’s original expectations by 80 percent. In addition, the employees were not only retained by the new owners, they were invited to share ownership.