Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Wilnat, Inc. (doing business as KGM) and St. Louis-based private equity firm Compass Group Equity Partners
Benchmark International has successfully brokered the sale of Wilnat, Inc. (doing business as KGM) to St. Louis-based private equity firm Compass Group Equity Partners. Tim and Nancy Wood, the sellers of KGM, engaged Benchmark International in June with a mandate to close by year-end with a buyer that would be precisely the right fit for their plans going forward. “Benchmark International put us in the position by mid-October of having met with four potential partners over the course of a week, each offering essentially the same deal value and structure. We had the luxury of picking the group we thought would be the best partner going forward for our family, our employees, and our business partners,” stated KGM CEO Tim Wood.
These meetings followed a uniquely short 15-day marketing campaign in which over 400 potential acquirers were approached. “In today’s market, with some good preparation and an amazing one-of-a-kind opportunity like KGM, we can really make things happen quickly,” stated Benchmark International Managing Director Clinton Johnston.
KGM is an Oklahoma-based distributor and servicer of meters, regulators, valves, and other critical measuring and flow-control equipment primarily serving utilities and municipalities. Benchmark International Director Michael Macinnes added, “A business like this - operating in over 24 states, with government contracting aspects, and major OEM contracts - throws up a great deal of complexity and requires real teamwork, especially with a 73-day deadline between signing the letter of intent and the drop-dead date for a closing.” The transaction closed on December 29. “Benchmark International provided a great service to the Wood’s; they prepared KGM for the rigors of diligence and the transition in working with a collaborative strategic partner,” stated Chris Gibson, Compass Group’s Managing Director.
Benchmark International put us in the position by mid-October of having met with four potential partners over the course of a week, each offering essentially the same deal value and structure. We had the luxury of picking the group we thought would be the best partner going forward for our family, our employees, and our business partners
Legal counsel was provided to the buyer by McGuire Wood’s partner, Jon Finger, and to the sellers by Nelson Mullen’s partners, Doug Starcher and Peter Schoemann.
This transaction contributed to Benchmark International’s nearly 200 deals closed in 2021. Regarding the transaction, Benchmark International’s Executive Chairman, Steven Keane, stated “We are very happy to have had the opportunity to get this deal lined up and closed for the Wood family. In a year of unprecedented M&A activity for family-owned businesses, this deal will stand out as one in which our deal team really went above and beyond to ensure the best results for our clients. If ever a client deserved that, it was the Wood family, and we are so happy that they were able to go into the new year with the deal behind them and the ability to focus entirely toward the next step in their professional journey.”