What was your most significant deal of the year?
This January, we closed the sale of RW Lyall & Co., a long-established family business in Orange County, to Hubbell Inc. Lyall is a manufacturer of highly engineered replacement products for the gas transmission market, a significant industry given both aging infrastructure and the high-profile nature of failures such as the San Bruno gas explosion. The deal was a great result for our client and generated proceeds far in excess of initial valuation expectations. The eventual winning bidder was a large strategic buyer who felt the synergies with Lyall justified a sizable premium to the market.
Nishen Radia, 40
Title: Co-Founder, Managing Partner
Firm: Focal Point Partners
Rank: Investment banking, No. 8
Years at firm: 14
Residence: Marina del Rey
What was your most unusual deal of the year?
The sale of Pinkberry, the high-profile frozen yogurt chain. It was a difficult transaction. The company was experiencing declining same-store sales domestically and store closures, but it was also experiencing growth internationally with strong demand for franchises across the world. These conflicting trends made securing the right investor to acquire the brand more difficult. But we were able to generate another strong outcome for the company’s owners in selling the business to Kahala Brands, the owner of a number of quick-serve concepts including Cold Stone Creamery.
How do you manage the workload?
With two young kids aged 4 and 2 that is probably the hardest part of my job. I’m trying to set times that are off-limits to work – bath time being one of them – but it’s not always easy.
What trends are you seeing in the sectors that you serve?
FocalPoint Partners is a generalist firm in that we cover all the large industry groups. Particular hot spots include food, technology, and health care, where secular growth trends are driving capital flows.
How has the deal process changed through the years?
The Internet has given clients far greater ability to research the best banker for their deal, which has led them to evolve what they are looking for in an adviser. The move toward product and industry specialization is here to stay.
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