Category Archives: News

12Aug/08

Integro—Ranked No. 1 in Service Amongst National Insurance Brokers

Smaller can be better when it enables a firm to quickly respond to clients’ needs and offer consistently high-quality service, the chief executive officer of Integro Ltd. says.

New York-based Integro was named as the best retail brokerage among firms with revenues of $50 million to $250 million in this year’s Business Insurance Readers Choice Awards, reflecting a combination of quality, value, service and innovation.

“We’re a small organization, very flat and nimble. Everyone is involved with clients in a meaningful way, day to day,” said Roger E. Egan. “Our minimal hierarchy means we act like a partnership, and that structure maximizes collaboration and helps keep people focused on serving clients’ needs.”

Strengths of Integro, which was founded only three years ago by Mr. Egan, a former Marsh Inc. president, Peter Garvey, who was co-president at Marsh, and founder and former CEO of MMC Capital Inc. Robert Clements, include “our service model, knowledge and analytics,” Mr. Egan said.

“Part of our service is old-fashioned standards, such as returning phone calls on the same day, for example. That kind of service can get lost sometimes in a larger organization,” he said.

Integro now has more than 360 employees and 10 offices throughout North America, Bermuda and London and “we’re growing nicely organically,” Mr. Egan said. While he doesn’t rule out an acquisition, Integro has access to the major markets its clients need so it currently has no plans to expand its footprint, he said.

“Our mantra is to be in the complex risk business. We emphasized large risks when we started, but we’ve really changed it to complex risks,“ and while many of Integro’s clients are in the Fortune 1000, the brokerage firm is able to serve smaller clients as well, Mr. Egan said.

Innovation is important to Integro, and two recent examples Mr. Egan cited are XS PLUS, a modeling product that “goes way beyond benchmarking” to test the effectiveness of layered excess liability coverage programs, and Hedge Shield, a product that protects investors in hedge funds from losses due to fraud or asset seizure.

“We get great ideas from clients on how to provide more value,” he said.

“We define value in a very simple way: value is better coverage, better claims results, better pricing, more responsive service, more knowledge. All of those things delivered to the client create that value,” Mr. Egan said.

12Mar/08

Liberty Distribution teams up with Cave Creek Capital for Management Buyout

Liberty Distribution Company, LLC, an outsourced provider of candy, snacks and promotional items to national non-food retailers, completed a growth recapitalization led by Cave Creek Capital Management LLC, an Arizona-based Private Equity firm. The transaction provided additional capital for expansion, liquidity to the Founder, and an opportunity for senior management to participate in the ownership of the business.

Investors in the transaction included Cave Creek Capital; C3 Capital Partners, LP; MFC Capital Funding, Inc.; and the Company’s senior management team, led by CEO Jim Schweikert.

“We have strengthened our capital base and our strategic focus to serve a broader range of our customer’s promotional needs. We look forward to expanding our business through both new customers as well as strategic acquisitions,” noted Liberty CEO, Jim Schweikert.

“Cave Creek Capital is pleased to partner with a management team of this caliber. Jim and his team pioneered this industry with a proprietary and highly efficient packing and distribution process and intense focus on customer service. They’ve driven rapid growth over the last ten years by finding ways to expand high margin sales for their customers through improved products and merchandising,” commented Cave Creek Capital Partner, Scott Lavinia.

Cave Creek Capital Managing Partner, Kevin Fechtmeyer, also noted, “Many retail chains are just now discovering the benefits of using Liberty to assist in the merchandising of their non-core items at the checkout aisle. We believe we are early in the growth cycle for the Company.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Liberty
Liberty is the leading provider of confection, snack and impulse purchase items to non-food retailers in the United States. Liberty partners with national retailers to provide candy, snacks, promotional items and related merchandise in the checkout aisle. Relying on leading edge technology and its distribution backbone, Liberty delivers custom-packed boxes to customers at over 30,000 locations nationwide.

About Cave Creek Capital Management
Cave Creek Capital Management (“CCCM”) based in Scottsdale, Arizona, invests in mid-size companies with strong growth potential throughout the United States. The firm makes control and non-control equity investments primarily in specialty manufacturing, financial and business services, and consumer industries. By partnering with executive teams who combine strategic vision with operational excellence, Cave Creek Capital can help companies fund and implement successful growth plans. CCCM’s goal is to invest in companies with strong competitive positions and add value through management or strategic input. CCCM invests in companies with revenues between $20mm and $200mm.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Patricia Attridge, Administrator
Phone: (480) 659-4699
admin@cavecreekcapital.com

11Mar/08

Arizona Republic Features Liberty Distribution

Who knew that candy around the checkouts could be big business?

That’s been the case for Jim Schweikert and his Chandler based company Liberty Distribution Co. LLC, which sells chocolate bars, sour candies, bubble gum, potato chips and hundreds of other snacks to retailers that don’t specialize in food but want to make an extra buck.

Liberty, which sold more than 8.5 million Snickers bars alone to its retailers last year, distributes to stores where customers go to buy DVD players, plywood, air-conditioning filters and cat litter, not breath mints, beef jerky or Sour Patch candies.

But the placement of these products at the checkout has helped non-food retailers to bolster their sales.

“It’s 100 percent impulse, (and) it’s extra dollars to the retailer,” Schweikert said. “No one is going to these stores to buy these items, but they’re walking out with them.”

Schweikert’s 90-person company has charted average annual compound revenue growth of 26 percent over the past four years, according to numbers the company provided.

Liberty’s growth attracted a major local investor, Scottsdale based private-equity firm Cave Creek Capital Management LLC, which recently bought a majority stake in the company and plans further expansion.

Schweikert attributes the growth to focusing on what he calls his “non-traditional customers.” Where serving these clients is cost-prohibitive for larger distributors that sell to convenience stores, Schweikert has turned a profit by using proprietary software that enables the company to track sales and replenish their customers’ inventory as they run low.

Liberty Distribution’s shipping and storage warehouse at its Chandler headquarters is a fantasyland for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Cardboard boxes full of Reese’s Pieces peanut-butter cups, Skittles, M&amo;M’s, Snickers bars and packages of nearly 600 other candy and snack food items line the warehouse’s 35-foot walls.

A handful of workers pull out cartons of the treats from opened boxes that sit on a row of metal shelves. They place the candy inside plastic shipping crates, which wind through a section of the warehouse on a large conveyor system.

Another team of workers fills the crates with Styrofoam packing peanuts as the crates arrive at their station on the conveyor. The workers will load the crates inside UPS trucks,which deliver the items to retail stores throughout the country.

The action is precise and organized, slightly resembling a scene from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, minus the rushing river of chocolate, Oompa Loompas and fruit-flavored wallpaper.

The Willy Wonka — so to speak — of Liberty Distribution’s operation is Schweikert, who admits that he likes operating his company under the radar. The Scottsdale resident says he seldom seeks out attention for his company because of fear of tipping off potential competitors.

Growing the business

Schweikert and Cave Creek Capital Management declined to provide specific details of their transaction,which closed in January.

Under the deal, Schweikert still owns 40 percent of the company and will continue to run the business’ daily operations. The investment firm will work with Schweikert and other upper-management members on strategies for continuing the company’s growth, doing acquisitions and possibly expanding internationally.

Scott Lavinia, a partner in Cave Creek Capital Management, said the firm typically invests in companies that do between $20 million and $200 million in annual sales. The firm liked Liberty Distribution because of its consistent growth, opportunities for expansion and a lack of direct competitors, he said.

“(We felt) by bringing in the right capital base, by bringing in more partners, we could continue to grow the business without compromising the principles they have already been successful on,” Lavinia said.

CSK signs on

Schweikert, an Arizona native, started Liberty Distribution in 1998. At the time, he was running Liberty Vending, a business he started in 1985 to sell vending machines to retailers after leaving Phoenix Coca Cola Bottling Co., where he also sold vending machines.

Phoenix-based CSK Auto Corp., which owns and operates the Checker Auto Parts, Schuck’s Auto Supply and other chains of auto-parts store, was one of Liberty Vending’s first customers.

When the auto-parts retailer approached Schweikert about selling candy in the stores, he decided to shift gears. He sold the vending business in 1999, he said, and began selling candy bars, mints, gum, potato chips and other sweet and salty snacks to non-food retailers.

“I had no idea it was going to take off to what it is today,” Schweikert said.

Selling the items in CSK stores has turned into “a big profit center” for the autoparts retailer, said Gray Hendricks, divisional merchandise manager for the company.

Part of the reason behind the products’ success is that the company’s customers are a “captive market,” he said. When they come to the stores to get vehicle work done, they have no place to go.

“We don’t have to compete retailwise for what you would pay at a supermarket or a Circle K,” Hendricks said. “It’s displaced auto parts in an autoparts store. That’s how profitable it is.”

Small quantities

Scott Ramminger, president of the American Wholesale Marketers Association, said he knows of few candy and food distributors who deal exclusively with non-food retailers.

“It’s just not … necessarily profitable for a traditional distributor to make a stop to sell 10 candy bars or a couple bags of chips,” said Ramminger, whose Fairfax, Va.-based organization represents mostly convenience-store distributors.

Because Liberty’s customers don’t typically have room to store food inventory, the company often ships single packages of each item the store wants to sell for each delivery. Schweikert declined to name his other customers because of confidentiality agreements he has with them, but he said the list has grown consistently each year as they look for other ways to make money.

Corporate expansion

The trend has allowed Liberty to expand to 90 employees, move into larger digs and open additional offices.

In 2003, the company built a 35,000-square-foot building in a Chandler business park near Arizona Avenue and Warner Road that now houses its corporate headquarters and Integrum Technologies LLC, a Web development firm that Schweikert also owns.

The company previously leased about 14,000 square feet of warehouse space in southeast Phoenix. Last year, the company ranked 66th on a list that the Chandler Chamber of Commerce compiled of the top 100 economic contributors to the city, based on Arizona employees and revenue. The list stated that Liberty’s Arizona revenue was $8.9 million and it had 50 employees in the state. Liberty also leases warehouses in Memphis, Tenn., and Mechanicsburg, Pa., where it opened up shop in 1999 and 2003, respectively.

12Dec/07

Cave Creek Capital Management LLC Acquires Specialty Chemical Company BasTech, Inc.

BasTech, Inc., based in Jacksonville, Florida, has been acquired by an investor group led by Cave Creek Capital Management, LLC, The Courtney Group, Incorporated, and C3 Capital, LLC in cooperation with management. BasTech produces specialty chemical products for customers in paper, pulp, mining and fertilizer sectors. www.bastech-chem.com

Investors in the transaction also included senior management, Jerry Rex and Gary Durrant, former executives at Dow and Union Carbide.

“With the completion of this transaction, we will be able to expand our horizon further, and still maintain the excellent relationships we have built with customers and vendors over the past 46 years,” said Jerry Rex, BasTech’s President. “We will have a strong focus on providing quality products and a commitment to the highest level of customer service.”

Kevin Fechtmeyer, President of Cave Creek Capital, and Tom Courtney, President of The Courtney Group, note that they are looking forward to their partnership with Jerry Rex and Gary Durrant, two seasoned executives who have built and managed successful performance chemical businesses.

“BasTech has some great technology and we look forward to pursuing growth opportunities that the company did not previously have the resources to pursue,” said Jerry Rex. “We are bringing a new management team which will allow us to grow and provide increased products and services to our targeted industry customers.”

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Patricia Attridge, Administrator
Phone: (480) 659-4699
admin@cavecreekcapital.com

12Nov/07

Kenexa Named to Deloitte’s 2007 Technology Fast 50 List

Kenexa® (NASDAQ: KNXA), a leading provider of talent acquisition and retention solutions, today announced they were named to Deloitte’s prestigious Technology Fast 50 for Greater Philadelphia, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences companies in the region by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services organizations. Kenexa placed number 24 on the list. Rankings are based on percentage revenue growth over five years, from 2002 to 2006. During this period, Kenexa’s revenue grew 246 percent.

Deloitte honored the 2007 winners at an awards ceremony at The Hub Cira Centre in Philadelphia on October 25, 2007. James Restivo, chief knowledge officer of Kenexa accepted the award on behalf of his company.

Kenexa’s Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Karsan said, “Achieving continued revenue growth comes as a result of Kenexa’s dedication and commitment to providing our customers with the solutions they require to remain competitive. We are delighted to be recognized by Deloitte and honored to among the leading technology companies in our region.”

“Sustaining high revenue growth over five years is an exceptional accomplishment. We commend Kenexa for making the commitment to technology and delivering on the promise of market longevity,” said Michael J. Purcell, Greater Philadelphia Marketplace Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Leader for Deloitte & Touche LLP. Purcell added, “We are proud to name Kenexa to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50.”

To qualify for the Technology Fast 50, companies must have had operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 2002 and at least $5,000,000 in 2006, be headquartered in North America, and be a company that owns proprietary technology or proprietary intellectual property that contributes to a significant portion of its operating revenue; or devotes a significant proportion of revenues to the research and development of technology. Using other companies’ technology or intellectual property in a unique way does not qualify.

About Deloitte
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other’s acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names “Deloitte”, Deloitte & Touche”, “Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu” or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries or affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

Deloitte & Touche USA LLP is the US member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. In the US, services are provided by the subsidiaries of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, Deloitte Tax LLP and their subsidiaries), and not by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.

About Kenexa
Kenexa® provides outsourcing, employee research and software to help organizations more effectively recruit and retain a productive workforce. Kenexa solutions include applicant tracking, employment process outsourcing, onboarding, skills and behavioral assessments, structured interviews, performance management, multi-rater feedback surveys, employee engagement surveys, and HR Analytics. Headquartered in Wayne, Pa. (outside Philadelphia), Kenexa employs more than 1,300 people worldwide. More information about Kenexa and its global locations can be accessed at www.kenexa.com.

# # #

Note to Editors: Kenexa is a registered trademark of Kenexa Corporation. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

12Jun/07

Kenexa CEO Rudy Karsan Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 Award Winner in Greater Philadelphia

As a leading end-to-end provider of software, proprietary content, services and process outsourcing, Kenexa has received recognition from a number of prestigious organizations. Recently, Kenexa was added to the Russell 3000 Index, and Kenexa’s CEO, Rudy Karsan, received the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award. Kenexa was honored in 2006 as the RPO Provider of the Year and has also been named each year since 2003 to Forbes Best of the Web. In 2005 and 2006, Kenexa was ranked first of all Recruitment Process Outsourcing Vendors by HRO Today. In 2006, Kenexa was an SIIA Codie Award Finalist and was a Codie Award Winner in 2004 and 2005. Kenexa has been part of Software Magazine’s Software 500 since 2005. Other industry recognition includes BaseLine Magazine’s 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies in 2006 and TechHR Performance Management and Analytics Award in 2004.

12May/05

Cave Creek Capital Management LLC Completes $5 Million Investment in Integro

Cave Creek Capital is pleased to announce its recent investment in Integro Ltd., an insurance brokerage and risk management firm launched by Robert Clements, Pete Garvey, and Robert Egan and other senior executives from Marsh & McLennan Companies. The Integro team has a long track record of creating wealth in the insurance industry, generating over $12 billion of capital gains on $2 billion of investment in their previous ventures; including ACE, XL, MidOcean and Arch Capital.

Robert Clements, who stepped down as chairman of Arch Capital Group Ltd. last month, has secured more than $300 million in backing from insurance executives, private equity firms and other institutions to launch an insurance brokerage, Integro Ltd., to target large corporate accounts. The company hopes to benefit from the conflict-of-interest scandals in the insurance industry, offering brokerage services exclusively.

Cave Creek Capital was joined by several major buyout firms; including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Weston Presidio Capital and Century Capital Management LLC plus the pension trust unit of General Electric Co., hedge fund Highfields Capital Management LP and holding company Leucadia National Corp.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Patricia Attridge, Administrator
Phone: (480) 659-4699
admin@cavecreekcapital.com

12Mar/05

Cave Creek Capital Management LLC Closes VMC Buy-Out

Cave Creek Capital completed the management buyout of Vibration Mountings & Control (“VMC”), a division of Aeroflex, Inc (NASD: ARXX). Cave Creek Capital Management LLC invested in the Equity Securities alongside Management and served as their Financial Advisor in raising the Senior Debt and Mezzanine Securities.

VMC is a leader in the design and manufacture of vibration isolation, shock and seismic restraint systems, providing engineered solutions for the commercial, industrial and military markets. Headquartered in Bloomingdale, NJ, the Company sells to the following primary markets; (i) building mechanical/HVAC contractors; (ii) OEM’s for the transportation, heavy equipment and power generation sectors and; (iii) mounting systems for defense electronics and weapons systems. Systems to reduce shock and vibration are critical in many applications and markets and are often mandated by law. VMC’s management team has achieved a worldwide reputation in this area and brings over 80 years of collective experience in this market.

PNC Business Credit provided a senior bank facility of $9.2 million and Management, Cave Creek Capital and Hill Street Capital provided Equity and Subordinated Capital of $4 million.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Patricia Attridge, Administrator
Phone: (480) 659-4699
admin@cavecreekcapital.com