Detailed Case Studies from BlackmoreConnects PE Journey

Detailed Case Studies from BlackmoreConnects PE Journey

Written By: Gerald O’Dwyer III 

The PE Guru — Blackmore Partners, Inc | July 16, 2024

Case Study 1: Matt Middleton (CPG, FOOD, RETAIL)

Background: Matt Middleton has extensive experience in the CPG food retail industry, having worked with various categories in the store except fresh meat and seafood. His current objective is to identify and acquire niche brokers on the West Coast who are ready to retire within the next 12 to 18 months.

  1. Initial Steps:
      • Matt started by qualifying his investment thesis, focusing on smaller companies to build a larger entity through consolidation.
      • He leveraged Pitchbook and Cyndex, realizing the importance of having a dedicated researcher to assist with these tools.
  • Learning and Strategy Development:
      • Attended multiple conferences to expand his funnel, network, and learn how to frame his CPG acquisition strategy.
      • Developed a concise and targeted investment thesis, emphasizing the importance of providing revenue and EBITDA size ranges.
      • Focused on finding the right PE partner interested in long-term growth rather than quick profits.
  • Using Tools and Conferences:
    • Utilized Pitchbook to identify PE firms interested in CPG.
    • Recognized the need to tailor his investment thesis to match the interests of different PE firms.
    • Attended BlackmoreConnects conferences to network, gain insights from other executives, and receive mentorship from experienced PE professionals.

Outcome: Matt learned to frame his CPG investment opportunities effectively, leverage tools like Pitchbook for strategic insights, and expand his professional network through conferences. This approach has positioned him well to identify and acquire suitable companies, ultimately aiming to build a significant entity in the CPG food retail sector.

Case Study 2: Derek Ellington (FinTech)

Background: Derek Ellington, with a background in FinTech, aimed to develop a robust pipeline of PE opportunities and value creation services for business owners. He launched his consulting firm, Value Creation Centrifuge, to provide guidance in the PE space and additional value creation services.

  1. Initial Steps:
      • Attended BlackmoreConnects conferences to network and present his investment thesis.
      • Conducted follow-up meetings with PE firms to refine his thesis and understand their reactions.
  • Learning and Strategy Development:
      • Leveraged Pitchbook to identify adjacencies and related companies in the lending as a service space.
      • Developed a method for automated LinkedIn outreach to accelerate his pipeline development.
      • Drew inspiration from Michelle Tinsley’s success story, establishing a consulting arm to enhance his service offerings.
  • Using Tools and Conferences:
    • Used Pitchbook to uncover related companies and adjacencies, expanding his list of potential targets.
    • Identified PE firms investing in his target space, enhancing his local network in Atlanta.
    • Applied insights from Pitchbook to understand market size and competition, refining his strategic approach.

Outcome: Derek successfully expanded his pipeline of PE opportunities and enhanced his understanding of the FinTech space through detailed research and strategic networking. His consulting firm now offers comprehensive value creation services, positioning him as a valuable partner for business owners and PE firms.

Case Study 3: Robert Masters (Logistics)

Background: Robert Masters, with 40 years of experience running multiple companies, focused on the logistics sector, particularly high-speed and home delivery. His thesis involved acquiring smaller companies in difficult-to-serve regions to create a regional solution provider.

  1. Initial Steps:
      • Developed an investment thesis targeting companies with $5-10 million in revenue in challenging delivery regions.
      • Identified the need to consolidate these smaller companies into a single entity, making them highly valuable to large 3PLs.
  • Learning and Strategy Development:
      • Recognized the importance of using Pitchbook to develop a pipeline of PE opportunities.
      • Emphasized the need to understand owner motivations and concerns, helping them navigate the selling process.
      • Leveraged his operational experience to build trust with potential sellers, enhancing deal success rates.
  • Using Tools and Conferences:
    • Planned to attend BlackmoreConnects conferences and utilize Pitchbook to identify suitable acquisition targets.
    • Aimed to offer consulting services to help owners prepare for exits, building relationships and credibility.

Outcome: Robert successfully refined his investment thesis and strategic approach through continuous learning and networking. By understanding owner concerns and leveraging his operational expertise, he positioned himself to consolidate smaller logistics companies into a valuable regional solution provider.

Case Study 4: Gene Kim (Cross-Border M&A)

Background: Gene Kim, a consultant with Strategy&, identified an opportunity in cross-border M&A, focusing on connecting Korean startups and mid-sized companies with Western PE firms.

  1. Initial Steps:
      • Leveraged his connections in Korea and understanding of the local market to identify potential targets.
      • Collaborated with a Korean accounting and tax firm to vet companies, reducing financial due diligence risks.
  • Learning and Strategy Development:
      • Realized the importance of having a structured approach and experienced partners to navigate cross-border deals.
      • Engaged with Blackmore to leverage their expertise and infrastructure in facilitating M&A transactions.
  • Using Tools and Conferences:
    • Participated in BlackmoreConnects conferences to understand PE firm interests and requirements.
    • Utilized Blackmore’s network and resources to scale his cross-border M&A efforts effectively.

Outcome:¬†Gene successfully identified and connected Korean companies with interested PE firms, leveraging Blackmore’s expertise and resources to facilitate cross-border M&A transactions. His structured approach and strategic partnerships positioned him to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the international market.


These case studies illustrate the importance of continuous learning, strategic networking, and leveraging tools like Pitchbook and BlackmoreConnects conferences for successful private equity journeys. Each participant’s experience highlights the value of education and networking with over 200 PE firms, ultimately enhancing their ability to identify, structure, and execute profitable deals in their respective industrie

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