OneAccord Capital recently closed on its first acquisition, Yakima-based Graphic Label, Inc. This is OAC’s first in a planned series of purchases of high-potential, profitable, privately-held companies throughout the Pacific Northwest.
OneAccord Capital was formed in January as a private equity firm focused on a market segment we believe the institutional capital industry overlooks: small, profitable companies owned by retirement-age entrepreneurs who want to extend their legacies while protecting their employees and communities.
Closing the Gap, Preserving the Legacy
For years, researchers have pointed to a growing trend of baby boomers who own businesses, are reaching retirement age and need to find the right transition path. The numbers are impressive: tens of thousands of businesses in the Pacific Northwest will change hands over the next several years. The capital markets are not prepared, nor are they focused on this type of organization. This creates a gap between businesses and buyers which places these companies, their employees and their communities in jeopardy. OneAccord Capital’s mission is to help close the gap.
OAC’s leadership and investors are successful entrepreneurs and veteran corporate executives who bring more than a century of combined operational experience and an aligned set of values centered 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 have led it to consistent profitability. They employed about 20 people in their hometown of Yakima. 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,” said Lyle. “OneAccord Capital has the vision and capability to help GLi win in the marketplace, both now and over the next several years. 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. For example, in an industry that generally drives for quick-turnaround results, OAC strives to invest the time necessary to build long-term value.
OneAccord Capital has installed a new chief executive officer, former Thomas Kemper president Max Clough, to groom and mentor next-generation leadership within GLi. Our 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 community. The Von Essens have invested alongside OneAccord Capital in GLi and will remain as advisors.
OAC’s investors have more to offer local businesses than a check. They have business experience, connections, skills, insights and a desire to make a difference. And like the Von Essens, they have a torch to pass.
The team at OAC is working hard to chart a course for Gli’s growth and identify their next investment among the many local private-company owners looking to keep their legacies alive.
Speak with an expert about transitioning your business.