RLS Associates, founded in 1986 in Wilmington, DE, is one of the MidAtlantic’s oldest and largest independent investment banking firms, providing…
Mergers & Acquisitions Services
- Selling a Business, Product, Service or Market, divestiture services in larger firms where some portion no longer fits the strategic vision of the organization, and where no exit or transition plan exists in smaller firms, and;
- Buying a Business, Product, Service or Market, where organic growth may not be sufficient to fit the Organization’s business needs; and
- Private Equity Group / Corporate Development Outsourcing, including one energy services company that acquired 22 companies via its RLS acquisition program.
Capitalization & Investment Banking
- Growth Capital, helping clients address needs for growth capital, whether equity or debt, and whether for acquisitions or recapitalization; and
- Independent Resources, assisting owners with introductions to appropriate resources (e.g. lenders, wealth managers, trust advisors, insurance professionals, and “deal” lawyers & accountants).
RLS Active in the Middle Market
Target market for RLS is Middle Market firms. Sellers typically have top line revenues between $2 million and $100+ million; the firm’s “sweet spot” is in the range $5 million to $60 million revenues.
Buy-side engagements share the same “sweet spot,” but some recent engagements have ranged well beyond $150 million revenues.
RLS Staff Are Senior Executives
Twelve experienced senior business professionals make up the RLS core team, with at least two team members staffing each engagement. RLS team members have extensive educational backgrounds with premier earned reputations for ethical and effective intermediary and consulting services.
Sam Waltz, an early retired DuPont Co. strategic senior executive, in 1993 founded his strategic consultancy Sam Waltz & Associates LLC Business & Communications Counsel, and he affiliated with RLS in January 2005.
National / Global Markets Served
From its offices in Wilmington, DE, and in Jenkintown, suburban Philadelphia, PA, RLS has worked with sell-side clients as far afield as the Pacific Coast. Buy-side clients range even farther afield, and just in 2009-10, RLS has engaged discussions in Europe and Canada.
Referrals Create General Practice
More than 90% of RLS client assignments come from referrals, creating a generalist practice.
RLS is happy to pay a “Finder’s Fee” or Referral Fee to its friends who forward a confidential lead that results in a transaction. Contact Sam Waltz for more detail.
RLS Associates’ Fees & Who Pays
An Engagement with RLS Associates – whether Sell-Side or Buy-Side – has two portions,
- “Engagement Retainer Agreement,” a modest below-market stipend paid quarterly, which pays for RLS research, designing, developing, marketing and “running a Program” for the Client, and
- “Deal Fee,” which is the ”Risk-Sharing” “Success-Based” “Performance Compensation.”
“Opportunistic” basis is simply a matching of known buy-sell opportunities, without an Engagement Retainer Agreement. It does not include the “running a Program” for the Client.
For the Deal Fee, like most firms, RLS Associates relies on a “Modified Lehman Formula,” designed to best serve the Client, paid at closing and settlement of the transaction.
How RLS Associates Works
RLS works on either the Sell-Side or the Buy-Side of a Deal, but never on both sides of the same Deal, simply as an ethical matter.
Each and every Deal at RLS Associates is a “custom Deal,” and the Engagement Retainer Agreement provides for a very modest below-market level of compensation for the “heavy lifting” that may (or may not) result in an Acquisition, Sale, Merger or new Capital.
Approach by RLS Associates is designed to…
- Protect Confidentiality for RLS Clients;
- Locate the right Buyers, Sellers, and / or Investors to maximize the economic and strategic interests of our RLS Client;
- Minimize the time our Clients divert from their business interests; and
- Provide Objective Executive Level Strategic Insights, Advice & Counsel.
In terms of “managing expectations,” RLS Associates prepares its Clients that “running a Program” for M&A make take 6-18 months, with 9 months as an average or mean, but obviously some projects can be “fast-tracked” through more quickly, and others might occur over a longer period, by mutual agreement.
Who Should Call RLS Associates
If a company has ever considered:
- Outright Sale of Business or Product Line;
- Bringing on a Strategic / Financial Partner; or
- Acquiring another Business or Product line,
Then ask us at RLS Associates for a Confidential FREE Consultation to learn more.
In addition to RLS Associates’ direct services (representing sellers and buyers of businesses and helping owners to secure growth capital financing), RLS also assists business owners with introductions to appropriate resources (lenders, wealth managers, trust advisors, lawyers, accountants, insurance professionals, etc.).
RLS Focus & Extended Staff of Advisors
RLS does not specialize in just one industry, and it is equally comfortable in manufacturing, distribution, B2B or B2C services, as well as technology and healthcare. RLS has worked in larger niche retail operations when it can provide a high value-add services.
RLS has six “of counsel” advisors with broad industry backgrounds and experience in a number of industrial, consumer and service industry vertical markets. In addition, RLS has an extensive network of senior executives with specific, vertical industry expertise and contacts to augment our already substantial resources and network.
Examples of industries in which RLS has strong executive resources include, but are not limited to: (a) Chemicals and Materials Manufacturing, (b) Food & Beverage, Nutriceuticals, & Snack Foods, (c) Electronic Components and Devices, (d) Data Protection/Disaster Recovery, (e) Mechanical Trades, (f) Contract Manufacturing, (g) Packaging, (h) Aerospace, and (i) many other niches.
Business Life Cycles Drive Change
RLS Associates is committed to assisting business owners and/or prospective business owners with business lifecycle events.