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Bortech, a mature company in Keene, N.H., was nearly sold to a Seattle based company before a local entrepreneur, Leo White, stepped in to buy it. White was committed to keeping the enterprise in N.H. and needed some growth capital.
“Like many small businesses that are in a phase of growth or selling the business to an individual or the employees, Bortech was too risky to qualify for bank loans and its projected 20% annual growth was not large enough to attract equity,” said Vested for Growth Managing Director John Hamilton.
Bortech was a solid business, but had lost money two years earlier, was bringing in a new ownership team, and had insufficient collateral. As a result, bank’s viewed the company as a risky loan. The company’s projected growth wasn’t large enough to attract venture capitalists.
Why VFG made this investment
Bortech’s specialty-welding product dominated its niche market and White, its new owner, had learned the right lessons from the business's earlier loss. He had a strong management team and a convincing growth plan, which included capturing new markets. Royalty payments on the investment were based on a percentage of future sales.
Three years after Vested for Growth’s 2002 investment, Bortech had doubled its sales and staff, and expanded employee benefits including profit sharing, a 401K plan, and short- and long-term disability insurance. White repaid VFG just three years into the 10-year loan, when Bortech became fully bankable.
Business success story on New Hampshire Community Loan Fund site: Bortech worker feels her voice counts
Press release: Growing manufacturer becomes bankable
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