An industry leading manufacturer of funeral vehicles in Ohio.
The Company, through its two brands, had been in operations for over 143 years and had recently controlled almost 70% of the funeral vehicle market. Due to the recession in 2008, more people were opting for lower cost cremations versus traditional burials which significantly impacted the demand for new vehicles. What was once a 1,800 vehicle per year industry became fewer than 1,200. With a sizeable debt load and declining revenues, the Company’s lender was considering shutting the business down and liquidating.
Equity Partners was retained to quickly determine if there was a viable going concern buyer for the Company. After identifying multiple interested groups and conducting site visits with several potential buyers, 4 offers were submitted .
After several rounds of negotiations to improve the terms, Equity Partners, in consultation with Accubuilt and the secured lender, deemed the highest and best offer to be from Armbruster Stageway, an industry competitor. The secured creditor agreed to finance Armbruster and a closing was scheduled to coincide with a large industry trade show so both parties could announce the transaction together. The offer maintained operations in place and provided continued employment for over 90 people.