Matt Wavro’s company, Skyline Engineering, has a unique business model that sets it apart from other AEC (Application Engineering Company) firms in New York City. It is an MEP design firm (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) operating in the building construction space, but they have four divisions that cover a full spectrum of services. Matt’s firm can take an entire project from start to finish including the concept phase, design, construction, materials testing, and quality control. It is only possible for them to offer such a wide range of specialties because Matt has done deals and strategic alignments to grow the business inorganically.
The Acquisition of Skyline Engineering
Believe it or not, Matt came across the opportunity to acquire an MEP firm on LinkedIn of all places. At the time, he was doing a lot of third-party inspection work, but his roots were in MEP so it piqued his interest. Every MEP project in New York City requires a special inspection, commissioning, and concrete testing, so Matt realized that there was a huge synergistic opportunity. Since he did not have the necessary capital to purchase Skyline outright, Matt approached the SBA, which helped him with a loan that only required a small down-payment and he negotiated an earn-out for the rest. It enabled Matt to tap into Skyline’s existing talent and client roster, while maintaining the former owners and provide them with a succession opportunity when they were ready to retire. Never assume you can’t get a deal done because you are too small or don’t have the capital – especially with a strategic acquisition, like Matt did, you can get creative and find a way to get the deal done.
Skyline’s Strategic Alliances
Skyline’s acquisition is a perfect example of why you should do these types of deals earlier; you will find there are a lot more options on the table. But the industry is primarily relationship-based. So, Matt formed a valuable strategic alliance as well. MWBE (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) are given special access to some opportunities, and other times it is even required. By partnering with businesses that meet the MWBE criteria, Matt can acquire new business opportunities he couldn’t access otherwise, and the MWBE businesses benefit as well. Matt’s deals enabled him to acquire Skyline and hit the ground running, so if you are interested in hearing more of the deals he’s done, listen to our podcast episode, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances in the Design and Construction Industry, with Matt Wavro.
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.
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