Universal, Inc.

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Industry: Manufacturing & Distribution- Specialty Chemicals

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Patrick Quinn was most recently the COO for Major Brands, the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in the state of Missouri. During his tenure Patrick enabled the company to double revenue at increased EBITDA margins while also modernizing systems. Following his resignation from Major Brands, Patrick sought to build his own holdings with the help of DVS.The Seller: Universal, Inc.


The Seller: Universal, Inc. has been blending the finest chemical specialties since 1978. An investment in a variety of in-house support facilities ensures great quality control within their products. A superior chemical research staff is continuously striving to meet its customers’ unique chemical needs and Universal’s sales force, made up of the most knowledgeable in the industry, allowing them to achieve great success in providing customers with a wide range of solutions for their specialty chemical challenges.


The Close: Universal’s two owners had different timetables for exit and sought a buyer who could accommodate their plans. Patrick’s experience in distribution made him an ideal buyer from a succession standpoint. DVS was able to structure a transaction that allowed the sellers to achieve their objectives while also leaving ample capacity for the business to self-fund its anticipated growth under Patrick’s ownership.

Watts Up™

Location: Merriam, Kansas

Industry: Distribution: Light Bulbs and Lighting Supplies

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Andre Smith has recently left a large telecommunications company and a leadership role that spanned the product lifecycle from ideation to post-sales support, in functional areas including product development, business development, consumer marketing, customer experience, merger integration, strategic alliances, field sales operations and customer care. Mr. Smith’s objective was to fuel his passion for leadership and business-building and was seeking a company positioned for top-line and bottom-line growth. His extensive financial and operational knowledge and experience in operating organizations will be essential in building a foundation for continued and future growth.


The Seller: Watts Up has been in business in the Kansas City Metro area for over 23 years and serves as the areas number one source for any kind of bulb or lighting need. The company also sells ballast, H.I.D, decorative fixtures, replacement glass, projection bulbs and stage lighting.


The Close: The owners of Watts Up had reached the end of their 10 year plan of ownership and were ready to sell. After receiving a letter from DVS, they were introduced to Andre as a candidate with the energy and skills to manage the company for many years to come. Given the opportunity to grow the company rapidly through MBE status under Andre’s ownership, ensuring adequate working capital in the company early on was a point of great focus. DVS engineered a deal structure that gave Andre ample capital reserves for growth while also providing a clear path for the sellers to be repaid on an accelerated basis.


Location: Olathe, Kansas

Industry: Business Services- Group Purchasing

Transaction: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Jason Andrews came to the DVS Group looking for a growth-based company within the Kansas City area. His extensive experience in sales, marketing and leadership within the healthcare space made him the ideal buyer for GroupSource.


The Seller: GroupSource (http://groupsourceinc.com/) began in Kansas in 1996 and has since expanded to all 50 states. Its customers are both large and small and come from all business industries including healthcare, accounting, legal, construction, higher education and banking. The company provides turnkey cost management services.

The Close: The DVS Group sourced the acquisition opportunity through their proprietary outreach program. The sellers had been contemplating a sale when approached. DVS then assisted in the negotiations of a fair and equitable transaction in addition to helping formulate a transition plan for Mr. Andrews and the GroupSource sellers.


Location: Boulder, CO

Industry: Manufacturing- Environmental Science

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive
The Buyer: Mr. Jonathan Harnetiaux is a serial entrepreneur with technical experience in many industries and a strong interest in the sciences. When he came to DVS he was looking to find a new challenge within a specific geographic region.
The Seller: EN-SCI (www.en-sci.com) manufactures the EN-SCI ECC Ozonesonde. This device is a lightweight, compact, and inexpensive instrument for measuring atmospheric ozone. The EN-SCI Ozonesonde is the worldwide standard for accurate, balloon-borne ECC ozone measurements and is widely used in atmospheric research and climate-change studies.

The Close: EN-SCI was carve-out from a larger corporation that wanted to divest of its non-core businesses. Mr. Harnetiaux was interested in moving back to Colorado and the company was well suited to his background, skill-set and acquisition criteria. Once the company was found the deal closed within sixty days of the introduction.

Barrier Technologies: Rated Barrier Professionals

Location: Overland Park, Kansas

Industry: Specialty Contracting- Life Safety Compliance

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Michael Haverty has a varied background in sales and business development. Most recently Mike was a Senior Vice President with JE Dunn, a national general contractor headquartered in Kansas City. Mike was tasked with business development in the data center sector, and under his leadership that division grew to be ranked in the top 15 contractors nationally.


The Seller: Barrier Technologies is a national life safety compliance specialty contractor providing services that fall under the category of fire rated barriers. Their services include perimeter joint systems for high rise construction, building expansion joints, fire resistive joint systems, acoustical & sound caulking, firestopping, and mechanically fastened board fireproofing systems. With clients nationwide, they have completed projects for facilities within many different industries including: healthcare, mission critical, government, commercial, industrial and sports and recreational.


The Close: Mike came to DVS seeking an acquisition opportunity, and it was extremely important that he not create any waves by getting into a line of work that would compete with JE Dunn. DVS had developed connections with the owners of Barrier Technologies and knew that the company was undergoing rapid growth. Barrier would benefit from a seasoned executive to lead its business development efforts. Barrier was also a subcontractor to JE Dunn and presented no competitive threat. After several months of discussions and education it was determined that the best path would be for Mike to join the firm as a partner, at the same time investing to assist with the growth plans of the company. DVS assisted with the valuation and structure of the transaction to ensure an alignment of all invested parties.

Project Group 2000

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Industry: Business Services – Telecommunications Equipment Service and Repair

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Tom Cameron is an experienced executive who founded, grew, and sold a company involved in a reverse logistics and refurbishment business focused on printer cartridges. At the time of its sale the company was active in North America and Europe with over $10M in sales. Following his successful exit from that company, Tom became part of the business development team for an alternative investment firm with a focus in cell phone tower development.


The Seller: Project Group 2000 L.L.C (www.projectgroup2000.com) was organized in 1995 as a Full Service General Contractor for Wireless Carriers of all sizes and technologies. With field crews designed for travel, the company operates throughout North America and has a proven track record of successful multi-state build-outs. The company has a complete background in both managing and constructing various wireless and wireline systems across the United States and unlike most tower crews they understand every aspect of the communication systems and installation requirements for peak system performance.


The Close: DVS had developed a relationship with the owner of Project Group 2000 over a period of almost 3 years following initial contact on behalf of an executive client. When Tom contracted with DVS to help him find a company to purchase, the immediate connection was made based on his experience in the cell tower space. Over a period of several months, DVS helped to negotiate a mutually agreeable transaction that generated plenty of attractive upside available to both the buyer and seller, in addition to supplying growth investors with credible projections. DVS was able to secure bank financing as well as equity capital for growth to ensure that the business would be able to take full advantage of a market clamoring for more service providers.

United Landscapes


Industry: Professional Services- Commercial Landscaping

Location: St. Augustine, FL

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Mr. Charles Smith, former CEO and Senior Board Advisor to Hunter Fan Company.


The Seller: United Landscapes, Inc. (www.ulfl.net) has provided top quality landscaping materials and professional outdoor installations throughout Northeast Florida for over 15 years. United serves the residential and commercial markets and installs high quality landscaping as part of the final phase of the construction/remodeling of a property.


The Close: Mr. Smith, despite having his own experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions, hired the DVS Group for their expertise in representing individuals after he had identified the target company. The seller had a specific number in mind that he needed to achieve with the sale of the company. DVS assisted Mr. Smith in understanding how to structure a transaction that reached the number in question in a way that managed risk appropriately. DVS also secured financing for the transaction, negotiated adequate working capital capacity in anticipation of growth, worked through several unexpected delays in the sale related to complications with the transfer of certain assets, and managed all parties to arrive at a successful closing.

Levels of Discovery Furniture

Location: Overland Park, KS

Industry: Manufacturing – Children’s Furniture

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive
The Buyer: Mr. Timothy Haake
The Seller: Levels of Discovery is a designer and manufacturer of fun and creative children’s products. The company supplies retail operations including: independent specialty boutiques, large furniture stores and high-end department stores.
The Close: Mr. Haake was looking for the first of several investment opportunities that he could grow from his Kansas City area office. The seller needed an energetic young owner to continue the growth of the company. Mr. Haake’s experience in sales in a mature industry, along with his financial acumen, made him the ideal new owner. The deal was creatively structured to account for shifts in the business operations that kept both buyer and seller aligned in their interests. DVS provided advisory services through due diligence, purchase negotiations, and SBA growth financing.

Atlas Labels & Packaging

Location: Olathe, KS

Industry: Distribution- Custom Packaging and Promotional Materials

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive


The Buyer: Robert Drumm


The Seller: Atlas Labels and Packaging is a custom packaging and promotional materials distributor that sells its products to more than 500 craft brewers, wineries, distilleries and specialty food and beverage producers nationwide.


The Close: Mr. Drumm wanted a business with good cash flow located in the Kansas City metro area, ideally with a defensible niche and a growing market. Atlas fit those criteria, and thanks to years of strategic networking by DVS, our partners were able to connect the seller and Mr. Drumm directly. Mr. Drumm’s unique background and experience in the printing industry enabled him to impress the seller as a strong potential successor. DVS then provided guidance through the SBA financing process to complete the deal.

Wee Ones

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Industry: Manufacturing – Fashion Accessories

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executive
The Buyer: Mr. Miles Faust is a successful corporate executive and former President for Energizer Battery in the UK. He is experienced in large contract negotiation, team-building, and strategy for multinational retail channels. This was his first small business acquisition.
The Seller: Wee Ones is a industry-leading designer and manufacturer of hair accessories. The business grew from a small home-based enterprise to the most highly respected brand in girls’ hair accessories. The company supplies retail operations from independent specialty retail boutiques, to hair salons, to shoe stores to department stores. Wee Ones was under the management of the company’s founder and her daughter at the time Mr. Faust approached them about purchasing the company.
The Close: Realizing the complexity and sensitivity of the transaction, Mr. Faust asked DVS for assistance. DVS concurrently supported negotiations with the sellers, key international suppliers, vendors, landlord and financial partners. DVS also worked with Mr. Faust to keep his deal team coordinated throughout the due diligence process. DVS finalized a beneficial structure and closed the transaction.

River City Barricade

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Industry: Construction-Barricade Sales and Service

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Corporate Executives


The Buyer: Mr. Alex MacGillivray is a senior executive with broad expertise in the financial services industry. Mr. MacGillivray has a track record of success in achieving multibillion dollar sales revenue and bottom line profitability. Mr. Jay Preister, a relative of Mr. MacGillivray’s, was also working in the financial services industry. The two formed a partnership for the purpose of acquiring a small privately held company together.


The Seller: River City Barricade is a 25 year old regional company that offers barricades sales, rental, and service to the city of Omaha, NE. and surrounding municipalities.


The Close: Using their proprietary deal sourcing expertise, DVS found a number of opportunities for the buyers to consider, including River City Barricade. The business was not yet listed for sale but the owner was in the process of getting a certified valuation and preparing to take the business to market. The timing was perfect for DVS to negotiate on behalf of their clients in a non-competitive environment and structure a deal that was fair and equitable to both parties.