Openfirst is a direct marketing firm that utilizes state-of-the-art information technology to integrate personalized information into direct marketing campaigns. Prior to engaging Grace Matthews, the company had significant opportunities for growth, both internally and through potential acquisitions, but it lacked the means to capitalize on these opportunities because of an overleveraged capital structure.
After discussions with Grace Matthews, Openfirst determined that a sale of the company to a growth-oriented investor coupled with a recapitalization of the company’s debt would be the best solution to maximize value for the current stakeholders as well as to provide for future growth.
Grace Matthews managed a competitive process in which it approached a number of strategic and financial buyers for the business. A key goal in discussions was to identify buyers who would understand and be supportive of Openfirst’s growth opportunities. Openfirst’s management team participated by conveying their vision for the business, which helped Grace Matthews negotiate the best possible terms with each potential buyer and financing source.
Grace Matthews was successful in assembling a buying group that was well-positioned strategically and financially to support Openfirst’s growth plans. The transaction was led by the private equity groups Prairie Capital (Chicago) and River Cities Capital Funds (Cincinnati), with senior debt financing from Associated Bank and mezzanine debt financing from Greyrock Capital Group.