Coastwide Laboratories

We counsel waiting for the right window; market readiness leads to value

Orca Capital advised the sale of Wilsonville based Coastwide Laboratories, Inc. to Corporate Express, now a subsidiary of Staples, Inc.  Coastwide Laboratories, Inc. was a leading Northwest distributor and manufacturer of facility and breakroom supplies, including a complete line of environmentally sound cleaning products, under the Sustainable Earth® label.

Assuring transaction readiness

At the time when Norman Duffett first met the company’s leadership, a shareholder dispute was causing complications for Coastwide Laboratories’ market readiness. Norm helped to resolve the shareholder dispute by negotiating the buyout of the dissident shareholder. While the company wanted to sell then, Norm advised improving margins and paying down debt. That way the company could obtain a higher valuation and keep more of the proceeds.

Patience rewarded

Three years later, Coastwide had its house in order. The capital structure was simplified, as a settlement had been achieved. The company’s financial performance was strong. They had paid down the last dollar of term debt.

The Deal

With Norm’s help, Coastwide Laboratories successfully sold to Corporate Express in an all cash deal for a much improved valuation.

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