Cultivating growth by establishing trust
Domaille Engineering is a manufacturer of high-precision optical fiber polishing machines and fixtures. The company was founded in 1990 by Nancy and Mike Domaille and rapidly developed an expertise in ultra-precision machining and metrology, which eventually led to their current mastery of high-precision optical fiber polishing machines and fixtures.
A decision was made to sell Domaille and its founders began meeting with various private equity groups. They narrowed the list to three potential groups but ultimately chose Capital For Business® (CFB) due to its emphasis on long-term growth, transparent management practices and Midwest values.
According to Don Henderson, a former Domaille executive, what made CFB particularly appealing to Domaille was its detailed understanding of the manufacturing industry as well as its acceptance of the existing company culture. Henderson appreciated that CFB was a smaller private equity firm, which enabled it to establish trust and develop close business relationships based on similar culture and values.
CFB added Domaille to its investment portfolio in 2011 and began working to create sustainable growth over the course of five years.
Strategy to cultivate growth
CFB’s strategy focused on investing in long term business goals by deepening Domaille’s management team and cultivating growth opportunities. Initial conversations after the acquisition included exploring:
- Management transition and the requirements for an effective management team
- Potential acquisitions to generate long term business growth
- International business opportunities
Emphasis on collaboration
Domaille and CFB then collaborated to create a clear strategic road map for future growth, which was useful in cementing an ongoing partnership. Building trust enabled CFB to attract a management team that could seamlessly incorporate itself into the daily operations of Domaille as well as work with CFB to identify potential acquisitions and markets. In fact, CFB provided Domaille with an analysis of current marketing trends in the fiber optic market, which was useful in identifying acquisitions and other opportunities. CFB invested in growth by allocating capital to both acquisitions and expanding Domaille’s product development.
Partnering with management
CFB and on Domaille agreed upon a clear business plan from the start. As such, CFB was prepared to provide board-level guidance and empowered the management team to execute the plan. CFB and Domaille management built a true partnership that brought the best insights for potential growth opportunities.
Takeaway and testimonials
Ultimately, CFB’s approach to operating with integrity and developing a true partnership with Domaille enabled long term growth.
“What we liked about Capital for Business was they had a Midwest focus and the values that came with that area,” said Henderson, “it was an easy choice – wasn’t even close. We could see ourselves working with them. Everything they said was 100% true and they were great owners to work with.”