C.R. LAURENCE CO., INC.
Founded in 1963, C.R. Laurence Co. (“CRL”) is the leading, vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor of architectural hardware, tools, equipment and supplies for the glass and glazing industry. The Company’s sole shareholder, Donald E. Friese, wanted to ensure the orderly transition of the company prior to age 80. His objectives were to: (i) receive at least $1.0 billion in cash for the Company; (ii) maintain operational authority for at least five years after the sale; (iii) ensure executive compensation plans remained in place for five years; (iv) guarantee all CRL employees kept their jobs post-closing; and, (v) maintain all leases on CRL facilities owned personally by the shareholder at current rates and terms.
Mr. Friese had a strong preference for a strategic buyer and aversion to significant leverage post-transaction closing that might in any way imperil the future health and prosperity of CRL. In short, he wanted to have his cake and eat it, too, as these requirements severely constrained the potential cost-saving synergies available to strategic buyers. Mr. Friese retained the services of Greif & Co., well known for putting its clients’ interest first, to fulfill this tall order.