The creative and relentless
pursuit of the right deal
We’re continuously getting smarter and sharper at redefining the way Canadian entrepreneurs operate and exit their businesses.
My initial discussion with FirePower goes back years, I met with their team when my partner and I were at the early stages of considering an ownership transition. We spent a lot of time getting to know the team and understanding their thoughts on what the sale process would look like. Now that we’re all sitting on the other end of the process, I can say with certainty that the FirePower team overdelivered on everything they said they would do; they ran a thorough process to identify and work with potential partners, and they dug in through several challenges, not the least of which was the pandemic. They were the right advisor for our process and I recommend anyone in the lower mid-market give them a call.
We needed to manage and prepare for the increased demand from our telecom partners and their customers, but needed to refresh our infrastructure to manage this growth, which is where FirePower’s Private Equity division came in. Since acquiring TIG in November 2019, FirePower has helped TIG gain deep actionable insights via improved reporting, automated and powered the scheduling of 100+ employees with data to improve service delivery and limit down time, and strategically guided TIG to expand our relationship with our telecom partners. We are now able to be laser focussed on the KPI’s that matter, and in the first year of our partnership we have been able to lean on, and utilize the full strength of FirePower to double our business.
We chose FirePower over a lot of other banks and it proved to be the right decision. We were impressed with the M&A team’s grit; they worked very hard and drummed up a lot of interest in our company. Throughout the sales process, Al and Evan were there for us, helping us craft the story and taking work off our plates. It really felt like a partnership. There are banks that just want to get a deal done, and there are banks that make sure they get a good deal for their clients: FirePower is definitely the latter. There is no question that we will work with Al and his team on future transactions.
Since our launch in 2012, Sprout has become a leading workplace wellbeing platform, with a vision to become a global leader in technology-driven health and wellness solutions. Achieving our next phase of international growth required financing, and we considered several possible options, including FirePower’s private debt. The FirePower team dug in and worked to structure a non-dilutive, flexible debt offering that ultimately provided the best fit with our financing objectives.
BATL was born out of a personal passion, started as a backyard business. After some early steady growth and a successful Toronto commercial location, I was approached by FirePower CEO, Ilan Jacobson, with a proposal to partner so we could build something truly special. Once we joined forces, it quickly became clear that having Ilan as a partner, along with the support of the FirePower team, would give BATL a real advantage. In addition to capital, Firepower provided the strategic expertise and support we needed to take BATL to the next level. Since day one, Ilan Jacobson has been a stalwart supporter as we scaled the business across North America. We’re proud of the success we’ve achieved for BATL so far - it’s fueled by people that share the passion to make something great every day. Ilan Jacobson and the FirePower team have been part of that…a driving force to help us reach new heights. And we’re just getting started!
With global demand for our platform accelerating, we needed resources to continue to grow. Trevor Simpson and his private debt team stepped in, working with our management to expeditiously craft a debt solution that provided the financing we needed to achieve our next milestones.
We wanted to expand the business and had ideas about how to do that, but we needed capital, which is where FirePower’s Private Equity division came in. Since acquiring Interwork in April of 2018, Anthony and the FirePower team have been very supportive of investing in our growth. There’s a lot of collaboration in terms of strategy and business direction. Anthony provides us with insights and input from a business model perspective, and that’s made a difference in our strategic thinking process.
The Firepower M&A Advisory team was a pleasure to work with. They made sure we had a thorough understanding of the sale process right from the start. The team compiled an extensive worldwide list of prospective acquirers, and after considerable work, found us a strategic buyer that fit with our objectives. This was no easy feat, given the firm parameters we'd set out defining the right buyer: one who would embrace the culture of our company, be aligned with our existing values, support our current management team, leverage our relationships with our vendor partners, and allow us to retire.
At all times, we were well supported by Alan and his team, which made the process much easier than anticipated. I am happy to recommend Firepower to anyone who is looking to sell their business.
Our business is complex, having two very different marketing strategies and product objectives, and Jared and Trevor understood this. They matched the needs of our businesses to their product capabilities, and structured an excellent financing solution that was perfectly aligned to our needs for cash efficiency and growth capital. It was a pleasure working with Jared, Trevor and the Firepower team, and we see a long term relationship with them.
We engaged FirePower to support our acquisition strategy: expanding verticals, adding scale to operations and strengthening F12’s presence nationally. As it turned out, we couldn’t have asked for a more hardworking team. FirePower’s perseverance building relationships with prospective targets, either directly or through their advisors, helped create awareness of F12’s interest in acquiring strong companies across Canada.
With demand for our platform accelerating, we needed financing to fund Spark's rapid growth, but wanted to hit a few more milestones before considering an equity raise. FirePower’s debt offering provided an effective solution, positioning the company to meet its growth objectives without the high cost of dilution.
While our eventual buyer represented a great strategic and cultural fit for TSi, we faced some notable challenges throughout the process. Al and his investment banking team were instrumental in getting us over the hurdles. They detailed the compelling advantages of making this transaction work for both sides, highlighted evidence of the value the deal would create, then worked relentlessly to get us to a successful outcome.
“We needed financing to fund our rapid expansion, and preferred debt over equity to avoid significant dilution. We were already well into discussions with other lenders when FirePower’s Private Debt team came to the table. Trevor and his team invested time and effort to gain an understanding of our business, giving us confidence that they would come through. Ultimately, the team presented us with a loan structure offering the terms and flexibility that we needed, and despite being down the path with other lenders, we went with FirePower. With this loan in place, we're well positioned to fund our rapid growth without the heavy cost of dilution.”
From the outset, FirePower’s Private Capital team recognized the value in our software platform. In addition to making a series of investments in our company, they worked with us to focus our market strategy and approach, and identified a new market opportunity in the cannabis sector. At the end of the day, FirePower’s (and particularly Anthony's) hands-on guidance and support were instrumental in securing our new partnership with Ample Organics. Now, as part of Ample’s ecosystem, we have access to the sales pipeline and resources to accelerate our growth in both the cannabis and beverage & alcohol segments.
FirePower's M&A Advisory team helped us to convey the strong growth story that was Versature, showcasing our people, processes, numbers and metrics. They built a worldwide list of potential acquirers and through diligent effort surfaced a strong US buyer for Versature. Alan and the team were a great source of expertise and experience during our negotiations. The team's execution was impressive, guiding us through the process to a successful close just 90 days after signing the LOI.
We wanted to secure an institutional lender that was not only supporting our acquisition, but also was keen to grow with us as we execute our aggressive expansion plans for PitaPit. FirePower's M&A Advisory team brought that to the table and as a result, we are confident and well positioned to move ahead...
We engaged FirePower after an unsuccessful process with another firm. They cast their net worldwide for strategic and financial buyers, 102 in total. We had 8 offers to consider, the one we preferred from Kolmar. FirePower then helped us overcome the challenges of closing an M&A deal across the Pacific, setting both parties up for success post-closing. We sincerely thank the team for their hard work.
FirePower’s team delivered what we needed: an institutional term debt structure that is well thought out with respect to terms and conditions, and has enough flexibility to allow us to grow.
We had the closing call this morning, pushing us past the ever receding finish line! I wanted to thank you for your help getting this transaction done. The Firepower M&A Advisory team delivered on all the promises. From what I have seen of the team, great things await. In particular, I want to thank Jon and Matt who have been invaluable in every stage of the transaction and a pleasure to work with.
I was impressed with FirePower’s level of commitment and sophistication even ahead of partnering together. It could have been all talk, but the FirePower M&A Advisory team delivered on their promises.
We have been extremely impressed by the efforts of FirePower in helping us identify a partner the team is excited to join forces with. Their support in managing the entire M&A process let our management team focus on building the business rather than being over burdened with getting the deal done. We sincerely thank FirePower for their hard work.
As with most situations involving shareholders, I realized early on that an M&A Advisory team could play a critical role in managing this sensitive transaction. The team at FirePower provided invaluable guidance and advice.
FirePower was a core M&A advisor to Telos, guiding us, initially in evaluating our strategic options, and then through the transaction itself.