My guest in this episode is Badge Stone. Badge started his search journey with Stone Pump & Trench that was on the verge of bankruptcy when he acquired it. After turning it around, he acquired another company called Perimeter Security. He sold both and made investing in searchers his full-time role through his firm, WSC & Company, alongside two other partners. Badge has invested in over a hundred searchers and has extensive experience as both an investor and operator.
WSC’s seven-person team is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and is investing and of its second fund, a $100 million fund closed earlier this year focused on the traditional search fund model.
During our discussion, we talk about turning Stone Pump & Trench around, lessons learned from over a hundred search fund investments, a few notable companies, he’s been a part of, what’s typically missing in a new company, and a wide range of discussion on board construction and usage for entrepreneurs and investors alike. This episode is fantastic and I learned a ton and I think you will too.
Think Like an Owner Sponsors
Live Oak Bank – Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SMB lender providing SBA and conventional financing for search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire lower middle market companies. Live Oak has closed billions of dollars in SBA financing and is actively looking to help more small company investors across the country. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Lisa Forrest or Heather Endresen directly to start a conversation or go to www.liveoakbank.com/think.
Hood & Strong, LLP – Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. Hood & Strong is highly skilled in working with search funds, providing quality of earnings and due diligence services during the search, along with assurance and tax services post-acquisition. They offer a unique way to approach acquisition diligence and manage costs effectively. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at [email protected].
Oberle Risk Strategies– Oberle is the leading specialty insurance brokerage catering to search funds and the broader ETA community, providing complimentary due diligence assessments of the target company’s commercial insurance and Employee benefits programs. Over the past decade, August Felker and his team have engaged with hundreds of searchers to provide due diligence and ultimately place the most competitive insurance program at closing. Given August’s experience as a searcher himself, he and his team understand all that goes into buying a business and pride themselves on making the insurance portion of closing seamless and hassle-free.