Nashville-based NovaCopy, an award-winning provider of print technology and innovative business solutions, has been acquired by its current senior management team with equity financing provided by Trivest Partners, LP, a private investment firm that focuses on founder and family-owned businesses in the Southeast.
NovaCopy Owners and Shareholders 2017Founded in 1999, NovaCopy has been recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States for more than 10 years and has 11 locations with revenues of $80 million in 2016. NovaCopy has acquired three companies in the past eight months with seven potential acquisitions, in various stages, currently underway.
“We have been approached by many potential acquirers in recent years due to our exceptional growth and stellar reputation”, said Darren Metz, CEO and founder. “While we turned down those inquiries, two NovaCopy partners, Carolyn Stafford and Alex Brandon, were seeking a liquidity event and retirement while my partner Joe White and I both wanted to continue owning and managing the company. All four owners had a common goal of keeping our management team intact so that we could continue our traditions of excellent customer and employee relations without disruption from new owners or investors. Selling to our management team was a great idea, but we could not make the numbers work until Trivest put together a creative solution that achieved all of our goals.”
As part of the recapitalization, NovaCopy provided cash bonuses to long-term employees, which was used by the current NovaCopy senior management team along with equity from Trivest to buy the business from the selling shareholders. As a result, NovaCopy founders Alex Brandon and Carolyn Stafford have retired, while Joe White and Darren Metz participated with 18 other NovaCopy managers in buying the company (see attached photo) Going forward, Metz will remain CEO and the largest individual shareholder along with Joe White, who will continue as President and second largest individual shareholder.
Metz added, “This transaction is the culmination of the careers of my life-time friends and partners, Carolyn Stafford and Alex Brandon. I am thrilled to see them enjoy the fruits of their labor while welcoming NovaCopy’s management team as my new business partners for the exciting next phase of NovaCopy’s growth.”
Trivest was selected for private equity financing due to an alignment of shared values including a hands-off approach to portfolio company operations. Jorge Gross, Partner in Trivest, expressed excitement participating with NovaCopy, Inc. in this new chapter of the company’s story.
“Our firm has extensive experience working with business service companies like NovaCopy that need financing for growth and executing succession plans. We seek to invest in companies with solid, intact management teams like NovaCopy, because we don’t get involved in daily operations,” said Gross. “Including the broad management team along with Joe White and Darren Metz in the new ownership structure ensures NovaCopy customers, vendor partners and employees will enjoy uninterrupted positive relationships with NovaCopy.”
Chartwell Financial Advisory, Inc. (“Chartwell”), acted as the exclusive financial advisor to NovaCopy. Chartwell was engaged to help NovaCopy choose from more than 30 potential strategic and financial acquirers who had indicated interest in acquiring NovaCopy.
“It truly was an honor to assist NovaCopy in achieving this unique management-led buyout with equity funding by Trivest. This move enables Darren Metz and the management team to continue their vision of consolidating the fragmented business technology industry across the United States,” said Greg Fresh, Managing Director, Chartwell.