New law exempting M&A Advisors from SEC registration is welcomed by small businesses and those who depend on them

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (H.R. 2617), signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022, includes a provision exempting brokers that facilitate small business M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) from federal broker-dealer registration. The section on “Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification” amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, effectively codifying the SEC’s sweeping 2014 M&A Broker No Action Letter. It benefits businesses who work with M&A advisors because advisors will no longer have the increased transaction cost and complexity of working under a broker-dealer who adds no real value to a transaction except to ensure compliance. The new exemption will go into effect at the end of March 2023.

The Securities Act amendment responds to the growing demand for M&A activities in the small business sector, which has increased in recent years. This exemption is expected to make it easier for small privately held companies to access M&A services and, by eliminating regulatory burden, reduce transaction costs for those looking to sell, merge or acquire other companies. Small businesses are defined in the law as those with up to $250 million revenue or $25 million EBITDA, which covers more than 99% of all privately held companies in the U.S.
The new law should bolster the overall economy as small businesses contribute significantly to job creation and economic growth.

The exemption applies to change-of-control transactions only, not equity securities offerings (i.e., capital raising). To qualify as a control transaction, the acquirer must end up with a 25% or greater interest in the acquired company and participate directly or indirectly in its management (e.g., board representation or executive management). The limits on the exemption easily cover all of Exit Strategies Group’s M&A activities.

In conclusion, this new law exempts M&A brokers from federal broker-dealer registration and right-sizes federal regulation of small business transactions while preserving important investor protections. It is a welcome change for small privately held companies and their stakeholders, those who advise them, and the broader economy.


For further information on this topic contact Al Statz or Chip Trimmier. And don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team with any M&A or business valuation questions, needs or referrals.

Exit Strategies Group Advises Parasound Products in Successful Sale

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as exclusive M&A Advisor to San Francisco based high end audio manufacturer Parasound Products, Inc. on their successful acquisition by StarWarriors IV, a company controlled by David Sheriff, a serial entrepreneur with in manufacturing and supply chain management. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1980, Parasound has a long history of designing, producing and selling exceptional-value high-end home audio components to the critical listener. Products include stereo and mono amplifiers, preamplifiers with DACs, integrated amplifiers with DACs, multi-channel amplifiers, and phono preamplifiers. Products are sold in more than 60 countries through a network of quality audio/video retailers and select custom installation specialists. Customers are home audio enthusiasts, residential and commercial custom installers, renowned recording-mixing and mastering engineers. Parasound has an undisputed reputation for sound performance, reliable craftsmanship, honesty, and extraordinary customer support. Its products win best-in-class awards in the most influential audiophile publications year after year.

StarWarriors IV, LLC is Limited Liability Company formed by serial entrepreneur David Sheriff to own and operate Parasound. David has extensive experience with supply chain management and automation implementation, along with a deep understanding of business finance and logistics. He has developed this expertise of fifteen years while serving as the head of a dynamic virtual company, where here worked with thousands of businesses on manufacturing and distribution implementations.

“Exit Strategies is incredibly pleased to have partnered with Richard and Jeanie Schram, owners of Parasound. Our process generated strong interest from multiple strategic acquirers and equity partners, and StarWarriors IV, LLC ultimately provided the best combination of economic terms and cultural and strategic fit” said Al Statz, President of Exit Strategies Group. “We are thrilled with the outcome for the Schrams and their team as they continue building on their success and drive this segment of the high end audio amplifier market forward. This acquisition illustrates Exit Strategies’ continued commitment to providing strategic valuation and M&A advisory services to U.S. audio manufacturers and audio technology companies.”

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco CA and Portland OR, the firm has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions. Exit Strategies represents closely-held and family-owned companies and helps them optimize results in a strategic sale or recapitalization. Its industry expertise spans all areas of industrial automation products and services and advanced manufacturing. For more information visit www.exitstrategiesgroup.com.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Advises on Successful Sale of MSM Inc.

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as exclusive M&A advisor to the owners of Maintenance Supplies and Marketing, Inc. (MSM), a facilities maintenance supplies distributor serving Northern California, on their successful sale to BradyIFS, a leading distributor of foodservice disposables and janitorial/sanitation (“JanSan”) products. Deal terms were not disclosed.

MSM owners Len and Lisa Polito along with Leigh Polito, Vice President of Operations expressed appreciation for the sale representation effort: “We couldn’t have done it without Louis and Exit Strategies. Louis found us the perfect buyer and managed the process as the link between seller and buyer. Louis was extremely knowledgeable, professional and an integral part of the entire process from start to finish “.

About MSM

MSM was established in 1982 in San Rafael, CA. Over the years, the company has diversified its offering by adding additional facilities maintenance and JanSan products. MSM provides quality products and high touch customer service to a broad range of institutional customers. To learn more, please visit http://www.msminc1.net.

About BradyIFS

With headquarters in Bell, CA, and Las Vegas NV, BradyIFS is one of the largest and most integrated foodservice and JanSan platforms in North America. The company sources, manages and distributes a broad range of products for thousands of customers in segments including education, healthcare, hospitality, restaurants, building service and more. Our consultative solution selling, strong manufacturer relationships and buying power, robust digital capabilities and service minded logistics enables our customers to succeed. For more information, please visit www.bradyifs.com.

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco CA and Portland OR, the firm has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions. Exit Strategies represents closely-held and family-owned companies and helps them optimize results in a strategic sale or recapitalization. Its industry expertise spans all areas of industrial automation products and services and advanced manufacturing. For more information visit www.exitstrategiesgroup.com.


For more information on business valuations or exit planning, contact Louis Cionci at LCionci@exitstrategiesgroup.com, or call 707-781-8582.

Exit Strategies Group Advises on Successful Sale of Automation Inc.

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as exclusive M&A advisor to the owners of industrial automation solution provider Automation Inc. on their successful sale to Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE: AIT). Deal terms were not disclosed.

Founded in Minneapolis in 1981, Automation, Inc. distributes motion controls, robotics, machine vision, process controls, sensors, pneumatics, material handling and machine framing components from leading global manufacturers, and designs and builds mixed technology systems.  Exceptional technical support and extensive production and engineering services have made Automation Inc. a sought-after supplier partner to major OEM and end user manufacturers in the Upper Midwest.

Exit Strategies is incredibly pleased to have partnered with Henry O’Donnell and Scott Sorensen and the Automation Inc. management team. We led them through a structured sale process that produced multiple competitive bids and optimized shareholder value. This deal illustrates Exit Strategies’ continued commitment to providing strategic valuation and M&A advisory services to U.S. industrial automation technology companies.

Applied Industrial Technologies is a leading value-added distributor and technical solutions provider of industrial motion, fluid power, flow control, automation technologies, and related maintenance supplies. Its leading brands, specialized services, and comprehensive knowledge serve MRO and OEM end users in virtually all industrial markets through our multi-channel capabilities that provide choice, convenience, and expertise. For more information, visit www.applied.com.

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco CA and Portland OR, the firm has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions. Exit Strategies represents closely-held and family-owned companies and helps them optimize results in a strategic sale or recapitalization. Its industry expertise spans all areas of industrial automation products and services and advanced manufacturing. For more information visit www.exitstrategiesgroup.com.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Advises Neff Power in Successful Sale

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as exclusive M&A Advisor to St. Louis based automation solution provider Neff Power, Inc. on their successful acquisition by GCG, a portfolio company of private equity firm Audax Group. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1965, Neff Power is a fast-growing industrial automation solutions provider serving customers in 10 states. They distribute robotics, motion controls, sensors, safety, vision, pneumatics and other automation products from leading global manufacturers, and provide significant technical support, production services and engineered solutions. Neff Power is an ISO 9001:2015 Certified company focused on delivering outstanding service to its customers and to continuously improving that service. They have a strong management team, a talented and technically proficient workforce, and they utilize advanced integrated business systems. Overall, a great company.

GCG is a leading value-added provider meeting the wire, cable, connectivity and automation needs of customers across a wide spectrum of markets, including Industrial Automation, Communications and Industrial OEM. GCG also has cable assembly operations and is a leading wire and cable provider to the U.S. Navy.

“Exit Strategies is incredibly pleased to have partnered with Kent and Loretto Wemhoener and the Neff Power team. Our process generated strong interest from multiple strategic acquirers and equity partners, and GCG ultimately provided the best combination of economic terms and cultural and strategic fit” said Al Statz, President of Exit Strategies Group. “We are thrilled with the outcome for the Wemhoeners and their team as they continue building on their success and drive this segment of the industrial automation market forward. This acquisition illustrates Exit Strategies’ continued commitment to providing strategic valuation and M&A advisory services to U.S. industrial automation technology companies.”

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco CA and Portland OR, the firm has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions. Exit Strategies represents closely-held and family-owned companies and helps them optimize results in a strategic sale or recapitalization. Its industry expertise spans all areas of industrial automation products and services and advanced manufacturing. For more information visit www.exitstrategiesgroup.com.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Advises Excelsior in Sale to Ryerson

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as the exclusive M&A advisor to the owners of metal fabrication and machining company Excelsior Inc. on their successful sale to Ryerson (NYSE: RYI). Deal terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1996, Excelsior is a California-based metal fabrication and machining company specializing in large-scale materials, assemblies and industrial millwright services. The company serves a diverse set of manufacturing clients in industries ranging from food processing to renewable energy, EV, oil & gas, agriculture and medical equipment. They have over 80,000 SF of operations in California’s Central Valley and Silicon Valley.

Ryerson is a leading value-added processor and distributor of industrial metals, with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. Founded in 1842, Ryerson has around 4,000 employees in approximately 100 locations.

“Exit Strategies is delighted to have partnered with Excelsior owners Ray Roush and Heins Pedersen. Our process generated strong interest from both strategic and financial buyers, and Ryerson ultimately provided the best combination of economic terms and cultural fit” said Al Statz, President of Exit Strategies Group. “This deal illustrates Exit Strategies’ continued commitment to providing strategic valuation and M&A advisory services to U.S. manufacturing and industrial service companies.”

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies Group (ESG) is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Portland, ESG represents private companies on the sell-side and works with private equity, public and private companies and family offices on the buy-side. Its industry expertise spans all areas of advanced manufacturing, automation, business services, and food and beverage. Since inception, ESG has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Announces the Sale of Catalyst UX

September 30, 2022 (Silicon Valley, CA)

Exit Strategies Group advised Catalyst UX, a leading provider of User Experience design and development, on its recent sale to Unosquare.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon with offices in the USA, Mexico, and the UK, Unosquare builds custom software – and the required engineering teams – for cancer diagnostics technology, healthcare, fintech, and high-tech companies. Unosquare uses a proven model to provide fully Agile software engineering teams, BI, staff augmentation, cloud migration consulting, application development, QA/test solutions, and application support programs with more than 1,000 successful projects completed. Unosquare has been one of the 100 fastest growing private companies in Oregon three years in a row and was most recently on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the USA for 2015 and 2016.

“It was a pleasure working with Paul Giurata, the CEO of Catalyst on this transaction. We are excited about integrating Catalyst with Unosquare and appreciate the opportunity to play a part in bringing them together”, said Roy Martinez. “We think Catalyst and Unosquare are a great fit.


Roy Martinez is a business intermediary at Exit Strategies Group. To confidentially discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, Roy can be reached at 707-781-8583 or jroymartinez@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Advises on Successful Sale of Walker Industrial

Exit Strategies Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it recently served as exclusive M&A advisor to the owners of Walker Industrial in their successful sale to Graybar. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Founded in Newtown, Connecticut in 1977, Walker Industrial is a value-added distributor of industrial automation products in New England and online. Founder Jack Ryan says this of his experience working with Exit Strategies Group, “Their understanding of our industry and our business was second to none. Their process attracted the best strategic buyers for our company. … This led to multiple rounds of bidding and resulted in having three finalists to choose from at very attractive valuations.”

Al Statz, President of Exit Strategies Group said, “I feel honored to play a part in every client’s story but working with Jack was extra gratifying because we’ve known each other since early in my career when I was running an automation manufacturing company. Jack’s exceptional life and legacy is an inspiration, and I look forward to seeing what he does in full retirement mode. Getting to watch clients explore new passions after a successful sale or recapitalization of their life’s work is one of the reasons I love the M&A profession.”

Graybar is a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services.

About Exit Strategies Group

Exit Strategies is a leading provider of strategic merger and acquisition advice/execution and business valuation services. Founded in 2002, with offices in San Francisco CA and Portland OR, the firm has advised on well over 100 M&A transactions. Exit Strategies represents closely-held and family-owned companies and helps them optimize results in a strategic sale or recapitalization. Its industry expertise spans all areas of industrial automation products and services and advanced manufacturing. For more information visit www.exitstrategiesgroup.com.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Exit Strategies Group Initiates the Acquisition of Ibex Engineering by Motion Solutions

Exit Strategies Group has advised Motion Solutions, a leading provider of custom engineered positioning systems and a portfolio company of Frontenac, on the recent acquisition of Ibex Engineering.

Based in Newbury Park, CA, Ibex Engineering is a manufacturer of precision linear and rotary positioning systems for original equipment manufacturers.  The partnership will give Motion Solutions even greater access to the ultra-precision end of the market and bring advanced automated manufacturing capabilities, and give Ibex more resources to serve higher volume clients.

“It was a pleasure working with the leadership of Motion Solutions and Frontenac on this transaction. We are excited to see the combined team’s future success unfold and are thankful to have played a part in bringing them together!”, said Al Statz, President & CEO of Exit Strategies Group.

Motion Solutions, based in Aliso Viejo, CA, provides custom, application-specific engineered systems to OEMs and industrial customers in the medical, life sciences, semiconductor, robotics, and industrial automation sectors. They provide a complete selection of services, including electro-mechanical design, prototype and volume manufacturing, and engineering expertise.

Frontenac is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the consumer, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with established operating leaders, through an executive-centric approach called CEO1ST, which seeks to identify, acquire, and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. Over the last 50+ years, Frontenac has worked with over 275 owners of mid-sized businesses as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning.


Al Statz is the founder and president of Exit Strategies Group. To discuss a potential business sale, merger or acquisition, confidentially, Al can be reached at 707-781-8580 or alstatz@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

$1.1 Billion Sets New Record for C.I.A. Members

Cornerstone International Alliance (C.I.A.) members completed 146 business transactions in 2021, representing more than $1.1 billion in combined transaction value.

Cornerstone International Alliance is comprised of 25 industry-leading M&A and investment banking firms in the U.S. and across the globe, focused exclusively on serving businesses in the lower middle market. Exit Strategies Group is a founding member of the Alliance and our CEO Al Statz serves on its board.

“This is an incredible accomplishment and a testament to our member’s expertise, the strength of the organization and the global network it creates,” said Nick Olsen, Managing Director of Cornerstone International Alliance. “The members’ combined experience, resources and collaborative efforts are generating a new level of value for their clients in the lower middle market, and we’re excited about what’s ahead in 2022.”

The Alliance members typically work with business owners whose companies have $500,000 to $10 million in EBITDA or $5 million to $150 million in revenue; the primary services provided include business sales, acquisitions, and valuations.

“We’re always striving to find ways to help one another through networking and the sharing of best practices, which is the goal of the organization,” explains Al Statz, CEO of Exit Strategies Group. “All CIA member firms have a track record of success and high integrity. And together we are actively working to set the standard for M&A excellence in the lower middle market.”

Founded in 2018, C.I.A. members have completed over 3,600 business transactions.