OwnersEdge acquires three Green Bay technology firms

Brookfield firm plans more acquisitions

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Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:19 pm

Brookfield-based OwnersEdge Inc. on Friday completed the acquisition of BAYCOM Inc., TourGuide Solutions and BAYCOM Cellular Inc., all of Green Bay, from Steve Elias.


OwnersEdge is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan holding company, and will integrate the three new businesses as affiliate companies. It has two existing affiliate companies already under its umbrella—Brookfield-based business communication technology provider CC&N and Brookfield-based electrical contractor NEXT Electric Inc.

The three companies acquired by OwnersEdge have a total of 70 employees, most of whom work for BAYCOM Inc. TourGuide and BAYCOM Cellular were spun off from BAYCOM Inc. over the past few years, said Lisa Reardon, chief executive officer and chairman of OwnersEdge. The transaction price was not disclosed, but the companies had combined revenue of $27 million.

BAYCOM Inc. has locations in West Allis, Green Bay and Neenah. It provides voice, mobile data and video solutions for public safety and commercial clients. TourGuide Solutions provides wireless tour guide and conferencing equipment for manufacturing companies, museums and attractions. And BAYCOM Cellular sells cell phones, smartphones and tablets at two Green Bay retail locations.

The OwnersEdge holding company now has 320 employees and $70 million in revenue.

Reardon will serve as chief executive officer of the three new companies, but Elias will continue in his existing role as president of all three. The businesses will retain all of their employees and remain based in Green Bay under their current names, Reardon said.

“There could be some synergies with (the integration) but we don’t have any final plans yet,” she said.

The BAYCOM companies made sense for an acquisition by an ESOP company because their structure and culture fit well with OwnersEdge, she said. They are also profitable and healthy firms.

“They’re the right size, they’re in a complementary technology field, both the revenue and the EBITDA was in the criteria that we were looking for,” Reardon said.

“I see this move as a catalyst for growth that will reinforce our commitment to customers in the markets we serve,” Elias said. “Most importantly, the ESOP structure will reward employees for their dedication and hard work and support our ‘customer first’ culture.”

The acquisition will also help diversify the business functions at OwnersEdge.

“This move will benefit all of our employee owners since we’re acquiring three strong businesses that have a solid record of growth and profitability. At the same time, we’re expanding our revenue stream and protecting ourselves from single-industry fluctuations,” said Chris Adee, vice president of finance for OwnersEdge Inc.

Reardon plans to integrate the new firms into OwnersEdge over the next 12 months and then search for several more acquisition targets.

“We currently have five companies in our portfolio. Our ultimate goal is to have eight businesses within the next few years,” she said. “We’re interested in companies that are poised for growth, have a healthy culture and are run by leaders who see the value in an ESOP model.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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