Case Studies

HVAC Distribution

$50M company with 100 employees

Zion, IL

Corporate Restructuring: As the COO, retained via agreement with lender, Board, and majority owner. Restructuring the company, crafting a new go to market strategy, implementing bar code systems in the 7 warehouses, and restructuring branch operations for retail and wholesale transactions. Also jettisoned a poor performing division.

  • Cut debt service in half by restructuring $9M in loans.
  • Reduced inventory by $3M.
  • Sold company.

Concrete Forms and Leasing

A $75M company with 65 employees

Smithfield, NC

Chapter 7 Filing Execution: Retained by lender to execute a Chapter 7 asset recovery for this concrete forms and scaffolding rental company. Retained staff in 5 locations, worked directly with Trustee to secure assets for major lender, assisted staff in collecting AR and equipment from each construction site, negotiated settlements with equipment vendors, and set up auction in 2 states.

  • Recovered $6.5M from Chapter 7 asset liquidation.


A $110M multi-format, multi-plant lithographer with 350 employees

Clifton, NJ

Strategic Analysis: Engaged by the first position lenders to determine the most effective go forward strategy for this printer specializing in high quality work for the fashion, automotive, and financial industries. Assessed the viability as a going concern at the New Jersey and Tampa plant sites. Worked with all five stakeholder institutions to understand everyone’s needs. Crafted a plan to reorganize the company at a reduced revenue rate based on current shrinkage. Created debt restructuring alternatives for each party.

  • Accepted extended offer by mezzanine firm to institutional lenders to buy out their stake and assume execution of the reorganization.

Importer for Distribution

The largest in the fundraising industry with $82M revenue, 76 employees

Vernon Hills, IL

Inventory Reorganization: As the COO, engaged by the CEO to pare down and reorganize the excess inventory to attract a new lending institution for this firm that services 90% of all U.S. elementary schools. Built a 3 store retail chain. Negotiated and contracted to liquidate $6.4M inventory balance in six months. Removed large top line number from the balance sheet to attract refinancing.

  • Liquidated $2.3M in inventory in 2 months.
  • Saved $1.2M annually by eliminating the need for 2 third party warehouses.
  • Secured debt refinancing and stabilized company.


A $325M parts manufacturer; 1200 workers

Salem, OH

Strategic Analysis: Installed by the majority equity firm to craft a next step strategy, assessed the operations, management, and assets of 2 plant locations. Crafted the strategy to place the company in bankruptcy protection. Attracted the DIP financing required to maintain a going concern. Crafted strategic plan going forward.

  • Restructured multi-plant operations.
  • Negotiated investments from major manufacturers—GM, Chrysler, and Ford.
  • Sold company to an equity firm in a 363 sale.


$4.2B in revenue as the nation’s largest diversified dairy cooperative

Corona, CA

Retained by this dairy products manufacturer to craft a shutdown strategy for a cheese plant that was under an $18M contract to consume steam from a local power plant. Navigated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) statutes and case law to craft legal solution. Designed system to cool steam to distilled water. Worked with the municipality to merge distilled water into drinking water system. Navigated local politics to ease the impact of the shutdown.

  • Crafted shut down strategy.
  • Created solution to use 75,000 pounds per hour of steam with a zero sum impact.
  • Solved water shortage issue within the Colorado River basin.

Textile Manufacturer

$68M revenues, 350 employees and the largest pet bed producer

Plainfield, IL

Manufacturing operation had been shut down. Restarted plant to consume inventory, build product, and position company for sale as a going concern. Negotiated sale of manufactured product to existing customers: Target, Petsmart, and Petco.

  • Crafted book to position company
  • Released memorandum to equity, capital and hedge fund markets
  • Sold company to fabric manufacturing from overseas looking for foothold in US
  • Fully leveraged the value of the real estate

Environmental Remediation

A $120M firm with 425 employees

Chicago, IL

Corporate and Operational Restructuring: Installed by the Board, the lender–National City, and the equity partners. Restructured debt with the lender. Rebuilt operations to accommodate seasonality. Converted capital equipment into cash with lease back agreement. Shut down unprofitable office locations. Opened locations in advantageous regions. Restructured sales force. Identified additional vertical markets to increase sales.

  • Restructured debt.
  • Restructured operations.
  • Because of new strength, became an acquisition target.

Polymer Manufacturing

A start-up maker of polycarbonate disc media sleeves

Chicago, IL

Corporate Dissolution: Engaged by holding company, Draupner LLC, to dissolve the LLC through Assignment for Benefit of Creditors (ABC). Performed due diligence on the operation to determine strategy. Set up Trust Agreement as an ABC. Seized control of all assets, including bank accounts, patents, trademarks, tooling, and inventory. Created prospectus to attract potential buyers. Solicited stalking horse bid to set up auction.

  • Took firm into ABC.
  • Sold company to foreign entity in Cyprus.


A $72M golf equipment chain with 335 employees

Minneapolis, MN

Business Broker: Retained by the lender, Bank of America, to position this 50 store company for sale or to liquidate its assets. Performed extensive due diligence on a niche business model that focused on buy/sell/trade. Crafted book to position the company for sale. Mined for potential equity partners or acquisition by chain retailer. Engaged liquidators to dispose of all of the company’s assets.

  • Took firm into Chapter 7.
  • Recovered 45% of investment through liquidation.


The world’s largest screen printing press manufacturer with $45M revenues and 150 employees

Niles, IL

Bank Exit Strategy: Engaged by the lender, Bank of America, to craft exit strategy. Performed due diligence on national and international operations. Defined future of the market. Identified future marketplace opportunities. Crafted detailed exit strategy with multiple options for the lender.

  • Negotiated with owner to buy out the lender, who was made whole.

Printing and Packaging

$63M packager of consumer product samples with 82 employees

Mundelein, IL

Operational and Strategic Redesign: Hired as General Manager to grow all aspects of the operation, change the product mix, and craft a long term 10-year strategy to support this company that supplies P&G, Kimberly Clark, J&J, Alberto Culver, Wyeth Laboratories, Roche, and Glaxo-Smith-Klein. Reengineered existing products to adapt to customer need. Identified and installed all capital equipment to handle the product shift. Worked with DEA to establish handling systems to meet standards that govern over-the-counter drugs. Designed short term and long term scheduling systems to control profit margins. Created succession plan for this family-run company.

  • Changed strategic direction.
  • Added manufacturing capability.
  • Converted company from a sales driven enterprise to a customer focused entity.

Professional Sports

A start-up professional sports league

Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Start Up: Engaged by the financier to build an entire professional sports league from the ground to games on the floor in a 6 month time frame with $16M. Recruiting among the ranks of the Olympic, National, All American, and international players and coaches we drew up all the contracts. Negotiated real estate deals to build team offices in 4 cities, plus established the league office. Piloted effort that designed a new game ball and recruited a major manufacturer for royalty fees.

  • Exceeded a 23% ROI target by 173% by building an award- winning transactional website with ticket (Ticketmaster) and fulfillment functions.
  • Attracted $40M in additional funding by successfully constructing a detailed operating model.
  • Attracted $7M in sponsorship by crafting and executing the branding strategy at the league and team levels.
  • Finished building process in budget and on time to complete first full season.