Cherry Tree Advises Vantage Financial on its Sale to Peoples Bancorp
“Cherry Tree was absolutely the right choice. We wanted an investment bank who not only had the experience to guide us through a transaction and effectively highlight the most valuable aspects of our business, but also a firm that shared our values and would help us find the right partner for our customers, our employees, and our business partners. We highly recommend Cherry Tree to anyone looking for advisors who pay attention to what is important, and work tirelessly to help clients achieve the best outcome.”
— William Foudray, Chief Executive Officer, Vantage Financial
Financial Services, Technology
Nationwide Provider of Technology Equipment Financing to Middle Market Companies
Sale to Publicly-Traded Financial Services Holding Company
In February 2022, Vantage Financial, a national lessor of equipment to middle market companies, announced it agreed to be sold to Peoples Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Peoples Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: PEBO), for total cash consideration of $54 million. Also, Peoples Bank agreed to repay approximately $21 million in recourse debt on behalf of Vantage. The transaction closed in March 2022.
Upon completion of the transaction, Vantage became a subsidiary of Peoples Bank but will continue to operate under the name Vantage Financial. The substantial majority of Vantage’s current leadership and associates are expected to continue in their positions, led by Vantage co-founder and CEO, William Foudray. Vantage co-founder and Chairman, Bob Murphy, plans to retire in March 2022 and will not be remaining with the company.
“We are excited to welcome Bill and his highly talented team to Peoples and look forward to Vantage continuing its impressive track record of originating high quality assets,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peoples. He continued, “The addition of Vantage to the Peoples suite of product offerings will allow us to build upon our recent success with our North Star Leasing acquisition, while also becoming a top 100 U.S. leasing business based on combined assets.”
“My team and I are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Chuck and the Peoples team. We believe that the combination of our intense focus on achieving above average risk-adjusted returns along with Peoples’ balance sheet will enable Vantage to accelerate on its track record of profitable growth,” Foudray commented. “The increased capabilities and resources for Vantage will benefit our clients, business partners, and employees.”
Cherry Tree’s Role
Cherry Tree was engaged to assist Vantage and its shareholders in identifying the best partner to help Vantage achieve its next phase of growth through a sale of the business, while allowing one of the founders to retire. Cherry Tree’s role included preparing evaluation materials, introductions and discussions with numerous potential partners, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of a transaction. It was especially important to the shareholders and management team that the process was well planned and efficiently executed, to not disrupt the core business operations, and to complete the transaction in a timely manner. And with our client being a private, non-regulated business being acquired by a publicly traded and regulated business, navigating and advising smoothly through a complicated transaction was essential.
About Vantage Financial
Vantage is a national lessor of equipment to middle market companies in a variety of industries throughout the United States. Vantage provides its clients with value-added technology leasing solutions based on long-term client and partner relationships built on exceptional service, creativity, and integrity. More specifically, Vantage provide its clients with flexible solutions for the utilization of technology equipment. Headquartered in Excelsior, MN, Vantage has regional offices located around the country to better serve their customers including Guilford CT, Holmdel, NJ, Santa Barbara, CA, Austin and Houston, TX, and Milwaukee, WI. Vantage Financial has been in business since 2011. Learn more at www.vantagefncl.com
About Peoples Bancorp
Peoples is a diversified financial services holding company and makes available a complete line of banking, trust and investment, insurance and premium financing solutions through its subsidiaries. Peoples Bank has been headquartered in Marietta, Ohio since 1902. Peoples has established a heritage of financial stability, growth and community impact. Peoples had $7.1 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2021, and 135 locations, including 119 full-service bank branches in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. Peoples is a member of the Russell 3000 index of U.S. publicly-traded companies. Learn more at www.peoplesbancorp.com