We'll roll up our sleeves and go deep.
We are owner-operators to the core - we see our investments in Canadian businesses through that lens.
Our Private Equity team helps owners like you to transition to new ventures (including retirement) and to ensure your legacy is in good hands. Prized relationships with your clients and employees, for example, are treasured for the long term. Or if you’re looking for a partner who rolls up their sleeves and truly helps build alongside you, then we’re the team you’re looking for.
Our group was formed in 2017, and is led by Anthony Lipschitz, a seasoned operator with 20+ years of experience, from running pre-revenue start-ups and VC- and PE-backed companies, to leading StubHub (an eBay company) in Canada.
By design, we are actively investing in just a handful of niches. If you operate in one of those, you will know, as we continually look for platforms and bolt-on acquisitions that complement our existing portfolio holdings.
We know the potential / perceived conflict between our M&A Advisory and Private Equity activities. Rest assured that the two teams operate independently and confidentially from one another, and do not overlap in terms of their sectors of activity.
We always strive to solve for three things: people, problems & growth.
- We want to work with great people with the same drive and moral compass as us.
- We want to solve challenging problems in industries where we can apply our collective skill sets to win.
- We want to grow personally and professionally through the business building journey.
The first question we ask ourselves in every potential transaction is whether we can add value to existing operations, and be good stewards of them in the future. While it sounds nebulous, it’s a very real gut feel that both we and existing ownership will know quickly. No amount of data analytics can be a substitute for that.
Only after determining the chemistry will we analyse and dissect, as would any other potential buyer of your company. Our acquisition process is as efficient as it can be, but we recognize that it is a challenging, time-consuming often emotional time, and will pace things accordingly.
We enter every conversation and negotiation in good faith. We strive to do the right thing, as that always pays off in the long term.
For the vast majority of transactions, we acquire a controlling stake. The owner(s) may or may not retain a shareholding – every deal has different sets of circumstances that would drive that decision.
We are extremely patient investors – we don’t have to sell our positions within 5 to 7 years as other funds do. We are in this to create long term value for all shareholders.
If you’re transitioning out, we are flexible throughout the transition period, striking a balance between your needs and those of the company.
We are motivated by the journey – the building of businesses. We avoid the typical tactics private equity firms have become known for, e.g. aggressive cost cutting and layoffs, as it is our belief they aren’t conducive to long-term business-building. We recognize the value of loyal employees and the strong bonds you’ve built with customers, suppliers, etc. alike. The by-product of this investment and operating strategy are great returns, staying to true to the core culture you’ve built and to continuing the legacy and existing success that’s brought you to this point.
From the archives: July 2019
The Path to Exit and Beyond: Entrepreneurs' Stories, Part I
“The sale of a company can mark the beginning of a major time of reinvention and renewal...but It can potentially lead to a difficult…
Last Call Analytics
Last Call Analytics has developed a frontline sales analytics and visualization platform for the beverage and alcohol industry. FirePower invested Gap Debt as a way to bridge them to a Series-A financing.
One of three equal shareholders of Corrosion Service, an infrastructure services company, approached FirePower, seeking to buy out the other two. Although this was a highly sensitive situation, we were able to structure a deal that led to a successful close.
Beverage & Alcohol
Our client was searching for new sources of revenue as it faced increased competition in its core business. FirePower's VMX team identified an attractive new sector, and our client entered it. Largely due to its efforts in that new sector, our client was subsequently acquired at an extremely compelling valuation.