New Private Equity Firm Applies Stewardship, Experience, Long-term Vision to Buy and Grow Baby Boomer-Owned Private Companies in the Pacific Northwest
KIRKLAND, Wash. – AUGUST 3, 2016 – OneAccord Capital today announced the acquisition of Yakima-based Graphic Label Inc., its first in a planned series of purchases of high-potential, profitable, privately-held companies throughout the Pacific Northwest.
OneAccord Capital is a new private equity firm focused on a market segment it believes the institutional capital industry overlooks: small, profitable companies owned by retirement-age entrepreneurs who want to extend their legacies while protecting their employees and local communities.
“For years, researchers have pointed to a growing trend of baby boomer owners who are reaching retirement age and need to find the right transition path. The numbers are large: tens of thousands of businesses in the Pacific Northwest will change hands over the next several years,” said Jeff Rogers, a OneAccord Capital co-founder. “Yet the capital markets are not prepared and generally are not focused on this type of organization, which puts the companies, the employees and the local communities in jeopardy. OneAccord Capital’s mission is to help close the gap.”
OneAccord Capital’s leadership and investors are successful entrepreneurs and veteran corporate executives who bring more than a century of operational experience and an aligned set of values that center on stewardship and long-term vision.
“We see the Monday after the Friday, the Day One after the close, both for the business owners and the business itself,” said Darin Leonard, a OneAccord Capital co-founder. “We understand these are extremely difficult decisions for successful business owners who have poured their lives into their companies and communities. Traditional capital sources generally don’t have time to embrace elements that are often much more important to business owners than just the transaction price. We have the perspective and know-how to navigate the complexity required for a successful transition, and to get the business itself to the next level.”
OneAccord Capital’s first acquisition, Graphic Label Inc., (GLi) provides labeling, lot-code traceability and other services to fruit and produce growers/packers in the greater Pacific Northwest and California. Lyle and Shelley Von Essen started the company in 1993, and they have led it to consistent profitability, employing about 20 people in the Von Essens’ hometown of Yakima, Wash. When they decided to sell, they conducted a meticulous vetting process to find the right buyer in terms of values, operational experience, and long-term vision for growing the business.
“We weren’t going to sell to just anybody. OneAccord Capital has the vision and capability to help GLi win in the marketplace, both now and over the next several years,” said Lyle Von Essen, a co-founder of GLi. “They showed they care about the business, our customers, our people and our community, and they share our excitement about the opportunities ahead for GLi.”
In acquiring GLi, OneAccord Capital aims to depart from the traditional norms of the private equity industry, which generally drives for quick-turnaround results, by focusing on building long-term value.
OneAccord Capital has installed a new chief executive officer, former Thomas Kemper president Max Clough, in order to groom and mentor next-generation leadership within GLi. Their strategic plans call for expansive growth for the company with a corresponding increase in employment in Yakima. OneAccord Capital will maintain GLi’s ongoing civic commitments, and look for new ways to contribute to the Yakima community. As part of the model, the Von Essens have invested alongside OneAccord Capital in GLi, and will remain as advisors.
For OneAccord Capital’s inaugural team of fourteen investors, who all have successful entrepreneurial experience of their own, GLi represents the type of company in which they want to invest, and the kind of impact they seek to make on behalf of the people and communities involved.
“Our investors have more to offer than just a check. They have business experience, connections, skills and insights. They want to help make a difference,” said Scott Smith, OneAccord Capital’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “Like the Von Essens, OneAccord Capital investors recognize they also have a torch to pass.”
“We are excited about GLi’s prospects, and we know hard work lies ahead,” said Smith. “We are digging in together to chart a course for GLi growth, and to identify the next right fit for OneAccord Capital investment—the next Lyle and Shelley among the many local private-company owners looking to keep their legacies alive.”
About OneAccord Capital
OneAccord Capital is a new investment group whose purpose is to buy and grow profitable, privately-held companies in the Pacific Northwest. It endeavors to extend these companies’ legacies by applying principles of stewardship, operational excellence and long-term vision to produce exponential growth for its acquisitions and strong returns for its investors.