The Exit: Options for Montana Entrepreneurs

This article, written by Bryce DeGroot, was originally published in the Montana High Tech Alliance newsletter. 

Entrepreneurs are visionary leaders who are driven by ideas and execution. They are intensely devoted to building their company.  It should come as no surprise that most business owners spend little time planning for the inevitable fact that they will someday exit their company.

The decision to sell a company or a share of equity can be driven by personal goals such as retirement, the need to free up time or capital for the next venture, or business strategy.

The best exit strategy weaves together the company’s growth strategy and long-term exit planning into an outcome that maximizes value and achieves the shareholder’s personal goals.

2016 Private M&A Market Report

We are pleased to share that we recently published our 2016 M&A Report. We published it to provide insights for business owners and advisors in the lower middle market. It focuses on activity in 2015 and expectations for the remainder of 2016.

Report highlights include: 

  • Deals by buyer type
  • Valuation multiples
  • Interview with an active buyer
  • Buyer perspectives on 2016

To download the report, please click here:

Press Release: Compass Advisors advises on the sale of Guardian Security

For Immediate Release

(Billings, Mont.) - Compass is pleased to announce the sale of Guardian Security, Inc, a leading provider of security services to facilities and government agencies in Montana. 

Compass Advisors advised Guardian Security on the transaction. Financial terms will remain confidential. 

Compass Advisors is an M&A advisory firm devoted to helping business owners successfully exit their companies and capture the proceeds of their life investment.  Since 1991, the firm has advised in the sale of more than 140 companies. 


For more information, contact:

Bryce DeGroot
Compass Advisors | 406.577.1206

Press Release: Compass Advisors advises on the sale of Wellness WORx

(Bozeman, Mont.) - Compass is pleased to announce the sale of Wellness WORx, a health and wellness company, by an investor group which included management. Wellness WORx's unique business model and full suite of wellness services has allowed them to experience strong growth. 

The management team will take full ownership and operating responsibility. 

Press Release: Announcing the Sale of Western Builders Supply

For Immediate Release

Billings, MT – August 25, 2015

Compass Advisors is pleased to announce that Pan American Screw, LLC (“Pan American”), a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company, has acquired Western Builders Supply, Inc. (“WBS”), a branded distributor of construction fasteners based in Billings, Montana.

Western Builders Supply, founded in 1945, distributes specialized construction fasteners across the Western and Midwestern U.S. The company’s flagship line of star-drive construction screws is sold under the Big Timber® brand.  

Pan American Screw, a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company based in Conover, North Carolina, is a distributor of multi-purpose fasteners for decking, cabinetry, window & doors, sheet metal, framing and wood applications.

Insiders' Take on 2015 M&A Activity

Without question, the M&A market has been extremely active in 2015.  Both buyers and sellers have benefited from it.  Axial, an online network for business transactions, recently surveyed 100 deal professionals, including advisors and private equity investors.  They were asked for their take on M&A activity for the rest of 2015, what's in the way of completing deals, and growth strategy.  Click below to hear what they said: 

Family Businesses Struggle with Succession

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) has conducted the US Family Business Survey since 2002. Since their first report, the economy has changed drastically. In the 2014-2015 survey PwC recently issued, they provide interesting insights on family owned businesses throughout America. To get diverse data on the state of US family firms, they interviewed 154 businesses across sectors and lifecycles.

Overall, owners tend to be more optimistic than in 2012. But the optimism is not without challenges in the background. Many are trying to adopt new technology to compete in the post-recession economy, deal with changing market conditions, and still face the ever-present reality of succession planning.