Howard Wershbale & Co.

ESOP Transaction Case Study – The Sale of Bettcher Industries sponsored by PNC Wealth Management

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Time: 11:30am - 1:30pm
Location: The City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave., 2nd Fl., Cleveland, OH 44114
Speaker: Don R. Esch, Shaylor R. Steele, and Peter Taft

Please arrive at 11:30 am for networking time in advance of lunch.
Lunch will be served at noon with the meeting beginning at 12:20 pm.


About the Program
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) owned companies, like all businesses, need to find ways to make new investments, diversify and expand into new markets and product lines, and remain competitive in the market place. The challenges are real. This panel will begin with an overview of ESOPs as an ownership/exit alternative and an update on current developments affecting ESOPs. The panel will then discuss how a local 100% ESOP-owned company, Bettcher Industries, faced the above challenges with a unique private equity transaction that maintained minority ESOP ownership, created wealth for their employee owners, and positioned the company for future growth - all while supporting a vibrant company culture. Topics covered will include the circumstances that led to the transaction, the participants and their roles, the unique challenges and solutions, and post-closing considerations. Bettcher Industries is a leading manufacturer of tools and equipment for the food processing market and one of Northeastern Ohio’s many successful privately-held companies. Some attendees may be familiar with Bettcher as a result of passing their iconic “Red Barn” headquarters along the Ohio turnpike just south of Vermilion.

About the Speakers
Don R. Esch, President and CEO of Bettcher Industries, Inc:
Esch joined Bettcher Industries in 2001 as VP of Sales & Marketing, was named President and COO in 2009 and became CEO in 2014 when he led the company’s successful transition to an ESOP entity. Under Esch’s leadership, Bettcher has become recognized as one of Northeast Ohio’s most noteworthy manufacturers. In 2015, Esch was recognized as a finalist in the Northeast Ohio EY Entrepreneur of the Year® awards program. In 2017, Esch led the company through a transaction selling a majority of the company to Morgenthaler Private Equity (MPE Partners). The transaction has been recognized by the National Center for Employee Ownership for its unique nature successfully marrying employee ownership and private equity. Bettcher recently received the “2018 ESOP Impact” award from the Ohio Employee Ownership Center and was named as a first time winner of NorthCoast 99 in August, 2018. Education: Albion College, B.A., Economics, University of Oklahoma, M.B.A.

Shaylor R. Steele, Partner, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP: Shaylor's primary focus is on helping clients provide fully compliant, affordable and attractive benefit programs for their employees. Shaylor takes a practical, common sense approach to counseling clients, and uses out-of-the-box, creative strategies to help clients navigate complex legal issues without compromising their business objectives. He helps clients resolve disputes involving health and welfare and retirement plans, both at the claim level and through litigation. Shaylor leverages his dispute resolution experience when advising clients on all other benefits matters, to help avoid unnecessary disputes, and to maximize the likelihood of success when unavoidable disputes arise. Education: Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2006, J.D.; Trinity College, 2002, B.S., Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics.

Peter G. Taft, Partner, MPE Partners: Peter joined Morgenthaler in 1987 and has been with MPE Partners since inception. Peter is actively involved in all elements of deal origination, due diligence, structuring, negotiation, and portfolio management. Peter currently serves as Chairman of B&E Group, Bettcher Industries, dlhBOWLES, and Plastic Components, Inc. He led or co-led many realized portfolio company investments from Morgenthaler legacy funds including, Avtron, Satellite Logistics Group, Enginetics Aerospace, and Mark Andy. Previously, Peter worked in the investment banking group of McDonald & Company Securities (now KeyBanc Capital Markets). Education: Amherst College, B.A.; Harvard Business School, M.B.A.

Laura B. Springer, CRPC®, CFP® │ 2018-2019 Program Chair

Reservation Policy – All attendees are encouraged to register in advance and walk-in reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis only.  Meeting cost is $25 for members when paid in advance before noon 10/08/18, $40 for members at the door, $40 for guests and $200 for a table of six (please submit names to admin@epccleveland.org by 10/05/18).  If you reserve and are unable to attend, please call the office to cancel by noon 10/08/18 to avoid a no-show reservation billing.

Continuing Education – EPC Cleveland will request approval for this program from the CFP® Board of Standards for CFP® designation holders. EPC has received approval from the Supreme Court of Ohio for Ohio attorneys to receive CLE credit. EPC Cleveland will request credit from the Ohio Department of Insurance. A certificate of completion will be available for those CTFAs, CPAs, and CWS designees who feel the program satisfies their continuing education requirements.  

To Reserve, click "Register Now" below.


Thank you to our sponsor:


Parking Options
Option 1:  Reduced parking fees are available on a space-available basis at Ampco Euclid Gateway Garage (740 Euclid Ave., entrances on Euclid & Prospect) to those who enter after 11:01 am and exit before 2:29 pm.  Guests should present ticket to the reception desk at The City Club for validation.  After validation and if within the timing restrictions, the parking fee is $3.
Option 2: Through a special arrangement between The City Club and The Metropolitan at the 9 (2017 E. 9th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115), guests are able to take advantage of a $10 valet rate.  To take advantage, tell the valet you are attending an event at The City Club.  Once at The City Club, pick up a blue ticket from the reception desk.  Present this ticket to the valet upon claiming your car.  This option is available to those who park at or later than 11:01 and pick up their vehicle before 2:29 pm.
*Prices and timing restrictions subject to change without notice.

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