Two U.S. Army Vets Team Up to Acquire Veteran-Owned Company
Industry: Specialty Construction and Building Materials
Location: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
The DVS Group Role: Buyside Advisory
Kansas City, Missouri – U.S. Army veterans Joseph Howell and Jim Kane, acquired Midland Marble and Granite, a premier manufacturer and installer of marble, granite, tile and flooring products in the Midwest. The deal closed in March 2022.
About Joseph Howell and Jim Kane
Joseph Howell spent 20+ years in the US Army and US Army Reserve specializing in logistics operations and talent acquisition, officially retiring from the military in 2021. After his military service, Howell spent time as a VP of Operations for a manufacturer and distributor of specialty packaging products, building his civilian resume to eventually take his next step into business ownership.
Howell explained his motivation in a business acquisition: “In the Army you’re always thinking about where you can go next. In my transition from military service member to civilian, I recognized business ownership as a faster way to success vs. moving up the corporate ladder”. He knew he wanted a mid-sized company of 50+ people, and an organization where he could apply his military leadership skills to advance employee success and future organizational growth.
Howell also knew he wanted to acquire an established, successful business versus doing a start-up, particularly after spending time learning and networking with other Veteran entrepreneurs through The Veteran Fund. One of Howell’s closest mentors through The Veteran Fund was James Kane, who had successfully acquired four different, well-established businesses in two short years through working with DVS and The Veteran Fund.
The seeds of a deal were planted long before Howell became a client at DVS. Since founding his Midland Marble & Granite in 1996, Army veteran Bryan Caton had various conversations with Kevin Lindsey at DVS throughout the years about his desire to find the right fit for his succession. Caton believed his company has benefitted greatly from the leadership skills and work ethic that the military provided him. In addition to leadership qualities, he was also looking for a buyer who had familiarity with his business and a similar customer base to his to ensure a smooth transition for his customers.
When Caton was finally ready to transition out of Midland Marble & Granite in 2021, he asked DVS to help him find a perfect fit. Finding the “perfect fit” became possible through the expertise and experience of Sam Taets, Director at DVS Group, who not only re-engaged with Midland, but was also able to bring Howell and Kane together to form a partnership to get the deal done. Caton loved the fact that both Howell and Kane were veterans, and that Kane had already acquired businesses with similar customers in Santa Fe Glass, Precision Glass, After Paint and White River Bath.
“Sam Taets with The DVS Group provided ‘boots on the ground’ during the acquisition process. He was incredibly responsive to my questions, and his expertise was a steady hand providing me with some calm during the emotional process of buying a business. Sam provided tools and information allowing a vision of the potential of my acquisition,” said Howell.
When the newly formed team were asked about what they’re looking forward to most about the acquisition, Howell enthusiastically said, “We are really excited about the future with Midland Marble and Granite because the existing group of employees were already focused on pleasing the customers. I stepped into a team already invested in excellent customer service, digging deep to ensure there was great satisfaction and pleasure from their customer’s investment. I care so deeply about our customers’ experiences. In the end, we are partnering with them in creating a long-term space they can be proud of for years to come.”
About Midland Marble & Granite
Founded in 1996, Midland Marble & Granite, is firmly established as on of the Midwest’s leading providers of granite, marble and tile products and installation for both residential and commercial projects. You’ll find their work in some of the most impressive homes in the Midwest as well as public venues such as Crown Center and Liberty Memorial. Midland Marble & Granite offers customized interior design consultation, professional installation and expert customer service with showrooms in both Kansas and Missouri.
About the DVS Group & The Veteran Fund
The DVS Group is a middle market merger & acquisition firm providing advisory services to businesses, individuals, family offices, and investors across the United States. For 20 years, DVS has maintained an enduring commitment to Make Change Positive with our work, specializing in socially conscious deals that benefit businesses and the communities they serve. Whether buyers or sellers, our dedicated team of professionals combines extensive industry experience, negotiation savvy, and exceptional relationship building expertise to close deals for our clients.
Founded by Kevin Lindsey as an extension of DVS’s commitment to specializing in deals that impact communities, The Veteran Fund’s mission is to increase Veteran business ownership through acquisitions of established, successful businesses and to develop an ecosystem of support for Veterans post-acquisition. More information can be found at TheVeteranFund.com.