Tim Sullivan to give keynote at M&A Forum

Event will be held on March 21 at The Pfister

Tim Sullivan
Photo from the 2017 IndyCar race at Road America. Les Tension Photography
Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan, the president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based specialty vehicle manufacturer REV Group Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the annual BizTimes Media M&A Forum.

The M&A Forum provides insight to business owners that are considering plans to sell their business or to buy another company. It will be held from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Click here to register, or for more information.

Sullivan has a lot of experience buying and selling companies. He was the chairman and CEO of South Milwaukee-based mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus International Inc. from 2000 until 2011, when it was acquired by Caterpillar. Sullivan was chairman and CEO of Gardner Denver from 2013-14, and moved the company’s headquarters to Milwaukee. He then joined REV Group and moved its headquarters to Milwaukee in 2016, and took the company public in 2017.

REV Group has made several acquisitions under Sullivan’s leadership, including Lancaster, California-based towable RV manufacturer Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. in January. Last year, Rev Group acquired Elkhart, Indiana-based Midwest Automotive Designs LLC and Holden, Louisiana-based Ferrara Fire and Apparatus Inc. In 2016, the company acquired Bristol, Indiana-based Renegade RV.

The M&A Forum will also have a pair of panel discussions.

The first panel discussion, “Motivators for a business sale: Lessons learned,” will be an in-depth discussion on reasons businesses are sold – positive and negative. The panelists will include Lawrence Burnett, a shareholder with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., John Lauber, founder and former owner of Lauber CFOs, Linda Mertz, CEO of Mertz Associates Inc.  and Mike Graf, former owner of Letterhead Press Inc. The discussion will be moderated by Ann Hanna, managing director and owner of Taureau Group.

The second panel discussion, “Recapitalize or sell? Know the benefits and pitfalls before deciding” will be an in-depth, candid discussion with business owners and industry experts who will share lessons they have learned from business sales, including transactions they’d like to “do-over” and the big wins. The panelists will include Jonathan Eder, co-owner of In-Place Machining Company, Steve McGlothlin, executive vice president and chief credit officer of Old National Bank, and Paul Sweeney, partner with PS Capital Partners. The discussion will be moderated by Molly Dill, managing editor of BizTimes Milwaukee.

The M&A Forum will also include three concurrent breakout sessions.

“Building Company Value – Timeline to Exit,” will be presented by Hanna and Corey Vanderpoel, managing director and owner of Taureau Group. It will be focused on how to position your company for maximum value at the time of sale.

“Behind the Curtain – Financing Options and Little Known Secrets of M&A” will consist of a panel discussion with Karin Gale, CPA and lead business advisor to middle market businesses for Schenck and a member of the firm’s Manufacturing and Distribution industry team, Tommy Olson, senior vice president of corporate banking with Old National Bank and Christopher Rechlicz, shareholder with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. The discussion will be moderated by Kevin Anderson, Milwaukee region president for Old National Bank. It will focus on several topics including: how to finance an acquisition at the lowest cost and most effective manner, key advisors to consult during the process, key negotiating points to know, the consequences of financing, structure and business decisions.

The third breakout session, “The Sale Process: What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Sell,” will be presented by Meghan Shannon Berndt, a shareholder with Reinhart. It will focus on what to expect before, during and after a sale and what you can do now to prepare so are you are ready when the time comes.

The M&A Forum is sponsored by Old National Bank, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. and Taureau Group. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership is an event partner. Click here to register or for more information.

Or, click here to see a video from the 2017 M&A Forum.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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