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Bastech LLC Completes Refinancing with SunTrust Bank

Bastech LLC (Jacksonville, FL), a leading provider of performance chemical solutions to the paper/pulp and mining industries, completed a $14 million refinancing with SunTrust Bank.  The proceeds were used to repay its remaining senior and subordinated debt and to expand its credit facilities.  The senior term and revolver financing allowed Bastech to substantially lower its interest costs and provides ample funding for future working capital needs.

Bastech sales have grown more than 350% since the 2007 acquisition by Cave Creek Capital and Courtney Group and its financing needs have grown larger and more complex.  President, Bob Closs, noted, “SunTrust will be an excellent partner going forward as we continue to expand and service our client’s growing needs, particularly as our sourcing and sales grow outside of the United States”.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Jourdin Lambright, Marketing Associate
Phone: (480) 478-6960


Greenwich Associates Survey Ranks Integro Tops in Broker Client Loyalty

New York (January 25, 2012) – Insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro, established in 2005 as an alternative to legacy brokers, has overtaken them in ‘lead broker’ client loyalty, according to results of Greenwich Associates’ annual industry survey.

Integro earns a perfect 100 score when clients are asked if they’d recommend the firm to peers – eleven points higher than the 89 average for the ‘Big-Three’ (Marsh, Aon and Willis Group).

“Integro wins strong loyalty recognition from clients, especially lead clients, all of whom would recommend Integro to a peer in the industry,” said David Fox, Greenwich Associates managing director. “Integro is more than up to the challenge of the tough market. The firm is demonstrating strong results as it builds its presence as measured by total clients and clients citing Integro as their lead or most important broker.”

Peter Garvey, Integro President and CEO, said, “We created Integro to fill a gap in the broker marketplace – a firm capable of competing with the very biggest companies on offerings designed to deliver our services in a personalized, customized manner. It is gratifying to be recognized by clients and to know that my colleagues are providing results worthy of such recognition.”

According to Greenwich Associates’ research, pace-setting performance in several categories boosted Integro’s standing, including:

  • Customer Satisfaction: Integro’s 100 score bests the ‘big-three’ average of 91 as lead broker;
  • Broker’s Ability to Understand Client’s Business Needs: At 95, a stellar showing for Integro and well above the ‘big-three’ average 81;
  • Broker’s Global Coordination and Management: Integro’s 100 dramatically outpaces the ‘big-three’ average client 70 rating;
  • Ease of Working with Brokerage: Integro’s 95 soared above the ‘big-three’ average 82;
  • Broker’s Ethical Standards: Integro’s 100 contrasts with the average ‘big-three’ 93 rating.

Integro also earns exceptionally high marks for Firm Transparency, Broker Innovation, Coordinating Claims Processing with Carriers, and Client Satisfaction with Visit Frequency, among others.

The Greenwich Associates survey, conducted in late 2011, covers insurance brokerage and carrier needs of U.S.-based companies with annual sales over $500 million. In-depth telephone interviews are conducted with senior professionals responsible for insurance and risk management. These professionals are asked to comment on the most important client service elements for each broker and carrier such as professional knowledge, execution, service, and underwriting. This analysis identifies the best corporate insurance carriers and brokers and highlights valuable information on the needs of risk management professionals.

Greenwich Associates is the premier strategic consulting and research source for providers and users of financial services worldwide.



About Integro
Integro is an insurance brokerage and risk management firm designed to serve organizations with complex risks. Repeatedly praised and awarded for dedicated client service, Integro’s industry-leading brokers operate from offices worldwide. Its headquarter office is located at 1 State Street Plaza, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10004. 1-877-688-8701.

Editorial Contact:
Betsy Van Alstyne
Tel: 212-295-5445


Integro acquires Pleasant Hill’s Argo Insurance Brokers

San Francisco Business Times by Chris Rauber

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 11:06am PDT – Last Modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 1:12pm PDT

Integro, a New York-based insurance brokerage and risk management firm with an outpost in San Francisco, said Wednesday it has acquired San Francisco’s Argo Insurance Brokers.

To read full article, click here.


Cave Creek Capital Sponsors Vistage All-City Event

Last Wednesday over 200 executives from around the state gathered at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix for the state’s annual Vistage All-City Event.  Cave Creek Capital Management served as the Platinum Sponsor, giving all in attendance the opportunity to learn about the firm and how private equity can help them grow their businesses.  Throughout the day, executives had the opportunity to network with one other and gain insight from expert speakers.  Highlights included a session on “small talk” with Debra Fine and later a discourse by Keith McFarland on developing effective strategy.

Vistage International was founded in 1957 and has always had the same objective: to help executives make better decisions, achieve better results, and enhance their lives.  Still operating under those same principals, Vistage has grown to over 14,000 members in 16 countries, becoming one of the world’s leading chief executive organizations.  For more information on Vistage, please visit

Cave Creek Capital Management is a private equity firm headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ.  Cave Creek Capital partners with management teams through leveraged buyouts, growth capital and/or mezzanine investment structures.  They use their capital, experience and relationships to enhance a company’s growth and competitive position.  They seek market leaders in targeted sectors such as business services, specialty manufacturing, financial services, consumer, media, and energy.  They focus on businesses that are cash flow positive, preferably $2.0 million in EBITDA and above, and their average investment hold period is approximately five years.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Jourdin Lambright, Marketing Associate
Phone: (480) 478-6960


Liberty Distribution Company Completes Recapitalization

Liberty Distribution Company (Chandler, AZ), the leading distributor of confections and snacks to non-food retailers, completed its recapitalization in August, refinancing its senior and mezzanine debt while repurchasing shares from Cave Creek Capital.  During the last two years, Liberty’s sales have more than doubled, cementing its leadership in its segment.  Wells Fargo, in conjunction with C3 Capital and Bush O’Donnell Investments, led the refinancing.  CCCM’s investment was valued at 4.2 times its initial investment, representing a gross annualized IRR of 75.4%. CCCM retains a minority investment in Liberty.  The transaction allowed management to own a majority stake and provided incremental capital for further growth.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Jourdin Lambright, Administrator
Phone: (480) 478-6960


The VMC Group, Inc. completes recapitalization with Fifth Third Bancorp

The VMC Group, Inc. (Bloomingdale, NJ) a leading manufacturer of vibration isolation and seismic design and shock control systems, refinanced its senior and subordinated debt in conjunction with repurchasing shares from its previous mezzanine investor. Fifth Third Bancorp led the $20.4 million refinancing with a combined senior and mezzanine financing package.

“We are very pleased to complete a successful recapitalization during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the debt markets” stated VMC CEO John Wilson. “Our sales had grown over 125% since our initial buyout in 2005 and the new capital positions VMC for its next stage of growth”. Cave Creek Capital is a shareholder and advised VMC in structuring and closing the transaction. Managing Partner Kevin Fechtmeyer notes; “We were fortunate to have received several term sheets from lenders given VMC’s strong performance in a soft economy. Fifth Third was a reliable and creative partner in this process and they moved decisively to complete the transaction within the targeted terms and timeframe.”

The prior mezzanine investor, Hill Street Capital, received liquidity for a portion of its shares at a valuation of 8X the original valuation and retains a minority interest in VMC.

Cave Creek Capital Contact:
Jourdin Lambright, Administrator
Phone: (480) 478-6960


Liberty Distribution completes the acquisition of select assets of Coast-to-Coast Candy

Liberty Distribution Company, LLC is pleased to announce the acquisition of select assets of Coast to Coast Candy Co. of Garden City, NY. Liberty and Coast to Coast are leading providers of confections and snacks to non-food retailers throughout the U.S.

Jim Schweikert, CEO of Liberty, says “Coast to Coast’s customers are a perfect complement to our business. We look forward to executing a smooth integration over the next few weeks and continuing our high service levels. Customers will be well supported by the management of Coast to Coast in addition to the great resources and personnel at Liberty.”

Coast to Coast has a 20 year history of operations servicing some of the largest retailers in the U.S. “We are proud of what we have accomplished over the years and we are pleased to be associated with the industry leader” says Robert Bruck, President of Coast to Coast.

Liberty is the nation’s largest provider of confections and snacks to non-food retailers, servicing over 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. on a weekly basis. Candy sales in non-food retail channels have emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the confection industry and currently represent $500+ million in annual sales. “This transaction will further cement our leadership in this industry,” notes Mr. Schweikert.

For questions, please contact:
Jim Schweikert


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.


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


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.