SOURCE: Spire Capital Advisors

March 13, 2008 09:10 ET

Service Is Driver of New M&A, Investment Banking Firm

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008) - Spire Capital Advisors LLC has been formed to offer investment capital and mergers and acquisition services to Wisconsin companies with $2 million to $20 million in annual revenue -- a market the founder says has been underserved in the state.

"Owners of companies in this lower middle market traditionally have not been well served," said Christopher Zuzick, managing partner of the new firm. "When seeking assistance with a transaction, business owners typically had the choice of working with a high-end M&A investment bank or a business broker utilizing Internet listing services. At Spire Capital Advisors, we believe business owners deserve better."

The new firm, which already has deals being transacted, focuses companies with growth potential. On the M&A side, it's the owner who wants to retire or leave the business for another reason, but knows the company could grow. On the equity capital side, it's the owner who realizes an infusion of investment capital and expertise is needed to more immediately capitalize on growth opportunities.

Wisconsin has a lot of companies that fall into those categories, especially companies owned by baby boomers who are now retiring or who will retire in the coming years, according to Zuzick.

"We want to help those owners find the right buyers, or find investment capital to help them more quickly capitalize on their markets," he said.

Zuzick started Spire Capital Advisors with three other people, Todd Manderfield, who is serving as vice president of the company, and Greg Larson and Terry Sivesind, who each are shareholder/partners.

Zuzick and Manderfield are working out of the firm's Milwaukee headquarters in the private business office section of the War Memorial Center at 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., while Larson and Sivesind are in Madison. Spire Capital Advisors also expects to soon have a partner in Wausau to serve central and northern Wisconsin.

Extensive Experience

Both Zuzick and Manderfield have extensive experience in the field of professional services and manufacturing. And like Larson and Sivesind, each has business operating experience to support their equity investment and mergers and acquisitions knowledge.

Zuzick began his career in 1987 with Phoenix Products Company, Inc. in the manufacturing industry, holding senior management roles before transitioning to the M&A field. He is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) with the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors and holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University.

Manderfield established a background in sales and marketing in the manufacturing and construction industries before moving into M&A advisory services. He is a member of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). He also serves as a member of the Muskego Economic Development Committee.

Larson is the managing partner of Cedar Tree, a Madison-based investment firm, and is a director of The Wisconsin Cheeseman and of Anchor Bank SSB, both of Madison, and of Myron Manufacturing Co. of Maywood, N.J. He previously served as president and CEO of a Madison company, DEMCO, and held director positions at other Wisconsin companies.

Sivesind co-founded and has been a member of the senior management team for several biotechnology companies in Madison including Promega, PanVera and Mirus. His career began at Ohio Medical Products, which eventually became Datex-Ohmeda, and is now part of GE Healthcare.

Online Collaboration

Zuzick also announced that Spire Capital Advisors has engaged a web-based service that will give clients and partners of the firm a secure online deal room for due diligence and other document sharing.

"This will be a virtual library of information about transactions and support materials," Zuzick said. "Anyone involved in a deal will be able to access the deal room, where financials, company brochures and images and videos of a business will reside in a very secure environment."

Spire Capital Advisors has contracted with Minneapolis-based Certus EDM, which offers deal rooms and other investment banking and M&A support via the software-as-a-service model.

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