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VEER Recaps Business Transitions of 2021

2021 was a year to remember and a year to forget (perhaps with the help of a good therapist!). Those of us not directly impacted by heat domes, wildfires and floods consider ourselves extremely fortunate. For those who were, we send our tangible and intangible support, and are blown away by your positive spirit and resiliency. To add insult to injury, COVID hung over all of us like a fog in 2021, seemingly clearing at times only to be swept back in, leaving us straining for visibility and perspective. Through it all, our sense of community remained an even more powerful force. Strangers helped strangers. Families helped families. Like everyone else, we feel somewhat battered and fatigued by what has been thrown at us the last two years, but overwhelmingly encouraged by the people who have clung together through all the challenges.

The greatest privilege of our business is the opportunity to meet business owners and their families, partners and advisors. We get to hear their stories – how they started their businesses, the challenges they overcame, the lessons they learned, and the objectives they value for the next chapter of their lives. The stories below feature entrepreneurs that took chances, made sacrifices, faced hardships and built legacies for their families and employees. To play a part in their business transitions is an honour we take very seriously.

To all our clients, partners, contacts and friends, we wish you the very best of the holiday season, and a safe, healthy and happy 2022.

Here’s a look back at some of the success stories we were honoured to help facilitate:

Private Dental Laboratory

Earlier this year, we were privileged to guide a private dental lab through an acquisition by a strategic buyer. The previous owner was feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day operation of their business and needed to step back in order to spend more quality time with their family. They have since sold and continue to provide significant value to the company during a transition period through the training of staff and transfer of goodwill. This achieves our client’s objective of receiving adequate compensation for their business and time, while also significantly reducing their daily responsibilities and hours worked. Our client was able to regain some much-wanted time with their family which had prompted the sale, and will soon enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Woofy’s Pet Foods

As VEER runs a confidential sell-side M&A process, it’s not often that we get to publicize (and brag about) the names of our clients. But in this case, we do. When we first met Mike and Kim of Woofy’s Pet Foods, they emphasized how they wanted to hand this special 38-year-old local brand to someone who understood quality and wouldn’t just sell the dry food and accessories that you could find in the grocery store aisle. Upon introducing them to Mary of Paw Street Market, we could tell there was a match from the start. Both the owner and buyer kept speaking the same language. They talked about putting their pets and customers first, not compromising on the quality of their products or service and how their businesses were oriented around those principles.

We have been approached by several groups over the last few years, all interested in buying our business. Once we learned about Paw Street Market and got to know Mary and her team, we knew that we had found a quality group of people that would take great care of our customers, staff and other business partners. This sale enables us to retire knowing our business is in excellent hands.

Mike Trimble, Woofy’s Pet Foods owner

Woofy’s is the leading pet food and accessory retailer in the Comox/Courtenay/Campbell River region, and opportunities to bring together two such compatible and synergistic businesses do not come around very often. The more we learned about Woofy’s and its amazing team, the more we were impressed with the special business that Mike, Kim and their staff have built over the last 38 years. We are excited to build on their legacy.

Mary Young, Paw Street Market owner

GeoRadar Group of Companies

In another year of firsts, VEER was thrilled to work with the teams at both GeoScan and Xradar BC to create and launch an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) for their GeoRadar Group of Companies. The company is now 100% employee owned (and proud of it!), as GeoRadar continues to set itself apart from its competition. Employee ownership will be a powerful tool for talent attraction, retention, improving service levels, and further building upon their employee culture to create value for both their customers AND their employee shareholders. Will of the GeoRadar Group shared his thoughts on implementing their ESOP with VEER:

Candice and Bob were a pleasure to work with through the whole process. Always a pleasure chatting with them, they listened and acted on your ideas whilst also getting feedback from the employees of the company to make sure that the ESOP would be a success. VEER were knowledgeable, but modest enough that if they did not know something, they would go and find the answer for you. No false promises were made!”

Will Meredith, Founder of GeoScan, Xradar and the GeoRadar Group

You can read more about their journey to becoming employee-owned here: https://www.geoscan.ca/blog/employee_ownership/

Western Canadian IT MSP

Finally, VEER was pleased to facilitate a well-deserved exit for another BC business owner. This long-established Western Canadian IT Managed Services Provider will continue to serve its customers and community under new ownership. Our client needed a partner who could manage the change period exceptionally well for both employees and customers in their service-based industry to ensure future success. The serendipitously found financial buyer brings renewed vision, industry expertise, and shares the same values of ownership thinking and “evolution not revolution”, which will help ensure a smooth leadership transition. The VEER team was delighted to help achieve the objectives of the owners, employee stakeholders and buyer. Our entrepreneur can enjoy their retirement knowing that the company and its people are in great hands.

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