Bergman Companies, Inc., of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was a full-service pavement maintenance company managing asphalt pavement and repair projects. Longstanding and respected in its industry, the construction company had reached more than $10 million in annual sales when its owners began considering retirement.
While owner Bill Bergman and his wife were ready to sell their construction business, the potential buyers expressing interest in the company were not fully ready to make the purchase. The buyers had pursued the opportunity years earlier but dropped the idea because of tax issues. Two key employees then made a bid to buy Bergman Companies. Wipfli was called upon to provide expertise and sell-side assistance.
Wipfli’s Kevin Janke helped the Bergmans through a potential deal with the two employees, which eventually proved unsuccessful. When the previously interested buyers re-contacted the Bergmans, this time an agreement appeared promising. Janke assisted the Bergmans in putting together the successful sale of their business.
Over the course of the two-year process, Wipfli helped structure the acquisition and aided the Bergmans in navigating the lengthy transaction. Acting as a solid business advisor, Janke laid out all the ramifications of making the deal and helped to keep emotion out of the transaction.
Janke also worked closely with the accounting staff at Bergman Companies and with the company’s legal counsel to then present the owners with various tax assumptions and consequences for consideration.
Most important to the owners was Janke’s ability to reassure them that there was light at the end of the sale. He remained available and accessible to the Bergmans throughout the two-year experience, providing prompt response and service.
After two years, the sale of Bergman Companies, Inc., was completed. The Bergmans received a higher-than-asked price for their business—seemingly just rewards for the patience and trust they demonstrated throughout a prolonged process.