Aaron Haid, former president and owner of Queen City Transportation, has sold his business to National Express. Haid purchased Queen City Transportation in 2014. National Express, which already owned locally based Petermann Bus, approached Haid (unsolicited) about acquiring his business.
Keith Carlson, Director of M&A Advisory Services at VonLehman, was the company’s exclusive M&A advisor during the selling process. Carlson initiated the engagement by providing Haid with a comprehensive analysis and list of recommendations regarding the initial proposal issued by National Express (and how to counter it). The analysis and recommendations provided were based on Carlson’s construction of a comprehensive financial model, a multi-faceted valuation approach, and a full qualitative review of the non-binding/written offer. Ultimately, the analysis and suggested changes coupled with Carlson’s negotiation skills were critical in enhancing the buyer’s final proposal.
“Aaron [Haid] and Queen City Transportation were doing a tremendous job in Cincinnati, and their peers and competitors were taking notice,” Carlson said of Queen City Transportation. “They were approached by a high-quality strategic buyer that has experience growing via acquisition. This was great for Aaron as experienced buyers provide some confidence regarding one’s ability to close. That said, seller’s need their own representation to counter the buyer’s savviness and to deliver the high level of diligence expected from an experienced buyer.”
Carlson’s strategic and tactical approach ensured a favorable outcome for both buyer and seller. Following the eventual non-binding agreement, Carlson facilitated and coordinated all buyer due diligence (environmental, legal, employee, and operations), assisted with follow-on negotiations, and reinforced confidence on both sides of the deal.
According to Haid, “After receiving an offer to sell my business I hired Keith [Carlson] to help negotiate the deal. Little did I know the work was just starting and it was far more complex than I ever imagined. Keith dug in right away making sure we were on the same page, which allowed me to focus on running my business. After Keith negotiated a strong letter of intent in my favor the due diligence work began and he worked tirelessly with my accountant, attorney and the acquiring company’s team to complete the work. Keith went above and beyond through the entire process and I knew his job was done extremely well when the acquiring company’s lead said he was great to work with.”
National Express has retained Haid and all other Queen City Transportation Employees following the close of the transaction.