Closed Deal Announcement – Peakstone Advises ESOP-owned Manufacturing Company on Sale to Strategic Buyer

M&A Advisor

September, 2017. Peakstone served as exclusive financial advisor to Southern Imperial, Inc. on its sale to FFR Merchandising, Inc.  Southern Imperial, based in Rockford, Illinois, was founded in 1957 and has been employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) since 1997.

Southern Imperial is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of high value-added point-of-purchase retail product display and loss prevention solutions.  The Company creates and delivers a broad range of products designed to enhance the visual presentation of retail goods, reduce product shrink, and increase retailers’ sales and profit margins.  Southern Imperial sells over 15,000 SKUs to many of the leading retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

FFR Merchandising, headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, is a portfolio company of Olympus Partners.  Following the transaction, FFR is one of the largest suppliers of merchandising, loss prevention, and operational efficiency solutions in North America.

Steve Vandemore, former Chief Executive Officer of Southern Imperial and now Chief Executive Officer of FFR, said, “Selling an ESOP-owned company is an incredibly complex transaction process. Peakstone negotiated a great sale price for the ESOP participants and provided thoughtful, technical and strategic advice throughout the process.  Peakstone recognized the strength of the Southern Imperial management team and was able to deliver an outstanding valuation by finding a partner that could utilize the incredibly talented and dedicated Southern Imperial workforce and management team, providing everyone with great opportunities in the future.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

For additional information about this transaction, contact:

Stephen Sleigh, Managing Director, 312-346-7318,

Mark Horita, Managing Director, 312-346-7308,


About Peakstone

The Peakstone Group is a leading investment bank that specializes in mergers and acquisitions advisory and capital raising for middle market clients. Our team is comprised of senior investment banking professionals who have decades of experience and have executed hundreds of transactions totaling billions of dollars. For additional information, visit