Heartland Food Products

Location: Westwood, Kansas

Industry: Manufacturing & Distribution of Food Products

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Private Equity


The Buyer: BOK Financial Capital Corporation (www.bokf.com) was established in 2007 as a subsidiary of BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF), a financial services holding company with $30 billion in assets. BOKFF is focused on providing capital to private, middle-market companies within or near the BOK Financial footprint, which includes Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.


The Seller: Heartland Food Products (“HFP”) was founded over 30 years ago by Mary and Bill Steeb to the delight of children across the United States. HFP is ‘The Waffle Company’ and manufactures best-in-class waffle bakers and best in class waffle mixes and also pioneered the placement of bakers in hotels (free waffles for breakfast!), educational institutions, and even some restaurants as a way to sell HFP’s proprietary waffle mix. A classic razor and razor blade business, HFP has bakers in over 11,000 of locations feeding hungry travelers and students on a daily basis.


The Close: After 30 years, Mary Steeb desired an exit of her ownership. However, after 30 years, HFP co-owner Bill Steeb, a constant improver, had developed exciting innovations to disrupt the breakfast waffle category as well as take the company into Blue Oceans of lunch and dinner. In order to achieve that growth without threatening the ability of HFP to continue its solid performance for another 30+ years, additional capital and management support would be necessary. Bill wanted a Purple Squirrel in a new partner that delivered a low debt capital structure and interest in long-term ownership. The DVS Group was able to connect BOK and HFP quickly and quietly while also providing education on both sides on to make the fit a true Purple Squirrel. The combination of patient capital support from BOK relative to standard 10 year funds played a significant role, as did the capacity to contribute a much larger majority of equity relative to debt. Bill rolled a significant portion of his equity, remains a minority owner of the new entity and will be in place to see his innovations come to fruition with the enthusiastic support of BOK.

MRC: Midwest Recycling Center

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Industry: Recycling- Electronic Waste Management and Data Deconstruction

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Private Equity


The Buyer: A group of 3 investors contracted with DVS to find a company to purchase. Of these investors, Mr. Melvin Deal was chosen to be the future operator of the acquired entity. Melvin is an award-winning facility manager for Saddle Creek Corporation, a large 3PL company with operations throughout the US.


The Seller: Midwest Recycling Center or “MRC” (midwrc.net) is a leading recycler of electronic waste or “e-waste” in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Iowa. MRC collects any item that requires a cord or battery to run it, and then either refurbishes and re-sells the item or breaks it down into commodity components. MRC Recycling is one of the few recyclers in the state of Missouri that have achieved both R2 National, and Level 4 State certifications. This ensures that when clients recycle with MRC they can count on an audit trail for material handling as well as identity theft prevention and protection.


The Close: DVS contacted MRC on behalf of its clients and quickly determined that the company was an extremely attractive candidate based on Melvin’s skill set and the relative size of the company. DVS crafted a structure in which the sellers were able to achieve their desired valuation while also appropriately sharing the risk in such a rapidly growing entity. DVS then assisted with the lengthy financing approval process, contract negotiation, and comprehensive overhaul of the risk management strategies of the entity to position the team for success post-closing.

EMT®: Express Medical Transporters®

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Industry: Manufacturing – Transportation Services

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Private Equity


The Buyer: The Firefly Group, LLC. is led by Co-Managing Partners Mark Sneider and David Mann. The Firefly Group invests in growth-oriented, lower-middle market companies in the Midwest.


The Seller: Express Medical Transporters® or “EMT®” (www.rideemt.com) is a nationally recognized provider of non-emergency medical and student transportation. EMT® has 10 locations across 7 states- with a goal of using transportation to enable people with special needs to live fuller, more active lives. EMT® offers ambulatory, para-lift and stretcher transportation services to city, county and federal agencies, hospitals, school districts, nursing homes, and other institutions with special-needs clientele.


The Close: EMT® ownership responded to direct outreach by DVS in the hopes of creating a liquidity event. The Firefly Group saw an attractive market with solid growth opportunity, and in conjunction with DVS put together a win-win deal structure that included equity incentives for management to drive growth in the future.

Get Some Greek

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Industry: On-Line Retailer of Custom Apparel

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Private Equity


The Buyer: The buyer had a deep background in retail companies across various industries, and was looking for growth investment opportunities.


The Seller: GetSomeGreek designs and sells original and custom “fashion” apparel and accessories for fraternities and sororities all across the country.


The Close: The buyer has a passion for business building and was seeking a company with high growth potential. GetSomeGreek was a family owned business owned jointly by a son and his parents. The son was looking for an investor willing to fund growth and the parents were looking for a liquidity event to fund their retirement. The DVS Group sourced the deal and successfully managed the objectives of all parties. DVS fashioned a creative and balanced deal structure that got the parents the financial security that they were looking for while simultaneously allowing for corporate growth thanks to the creative financial structure.

CC: Coughlin Capital, LLC

Location: Greer, South Carolina

Industry: Automotive-Quality Consulting, Sorting and Re-Certification

DVS Role: Buy-Side Advisory to Private Equity
The Buyer: Coughlin Capital, LLC is a privately held investment group consisting of partners with expertise in business management, legal services, and financial evaluation. Coughlin Capital’s current investments include companies within the Logistics Services, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Staffing Services, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate Development and Sports Entertainment Industries.
The Seller: Lumbee Enterprises began operations in 1990 as a quality consulting, sorting and automotive parts re-certification company. Currently, Lumbee Enterprises inspects or reworks more than 18 Million parts per year. Lumbee has performed major vehicle campaigns, factory PDI (Pre Delivery Inspections), campaigns for USPS and is on the approved provider list for BMW, Caterpillar, Freightliner, Nissan, Mack Truck, Volvo Truck and Hundreds of Tier 1, 2 and 3 Vendors.
The Close: The buyer was a family fund that had previous experience in the Transportation and Logistics industry and had engaged DVS to conduct a regional search that concentrated in the buyer’s desired industry. The targeted company had a complex ownership structure with 3 partners of varying interests. DVS was able to structure the deal with independent liquidity events for each of the selling partners, thereby satisfying all parties involved.