Raabe Corporation is a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of custom matched touch-up paints and private label aerosol and liquid coating products. Founded by the entrepreneur Richard Raabe in 1951, the firm evolved from a modest store-front mixer of touch-up paints for local auto shops into a nationally recognized leader in its chosen niche markets.
In the summer of 2004, the company’s shareholders, Kent and Daryl Raabe, determined to sell the business and engaged Grace Matthews to manage the process. Goals for the transaction were to maximize value in order to allow the Raabe’s to continue to fund their foundation and philanthropic activities, continuity for the business, and participation by the management team in the ownership of the business going forward.
Grace Matthews determined that the best way to achieve these goals was a targeted auction process that included both established specialty chemical firms and private equity funds. GMI expedited the entire process within a five month time frame, contacting and negotiating with potential buyers and assisting in securing bank financing for the deal. The buyers for the business were Quest Specialty Chemicals and Huron Capital Partners, who intend to manage Raabe as a platform on which to build a larger business focused on specialty coatings, adhesives, and films.