More than 100 business leaders attended the Wyche M&A CEO Roundtable in Greenville, where four Greenville leaders shared experiences, challenges, trends and lessons from major transactions shaping business in the Upstate.
Lynn Harton, president, United Community Bank
2010: Negotiated the sale of The South Financial Group to TD Bank in 2010 after the 176-location Greenville institution sustained $1.7 billion in losses. Purchaser TD Bank agreed to pay shareholders $61 million – 28 cents a share – as well as purchase $347 million preferred TARP shares for $130.6 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
2015: Managed United Community Bank’s $240.5 million purchase of Greenville-based The Palmetto Bank, making it one of the largest in the state.
Wisdom: “Have a clear strategy. Know what you’re going after and why you’re buying what you’re buying, because M&A may or may not be the right answer for you.”
Bob Humphreys, chairman and CEO, Delta Apparel
2000: Managed spin-off transaction of Delta Apparel from parent Delta Woodside Industries in June 2000
2000-2015: Led the acquisition of several firms, including Salt Life, Junkfood, M.J. Soffe Co., HPM Apparel and Gekko Brands. Sales were more than $120 million for Q2 this year.
Wisdom: “It’s important to understand why you acquired a company. If Delta Apparel is acquiring a company, it’s because that company has done something we haven’t done yet. It’s important to understand the unique qualities that company has, celebrate them with their employees so they really feel a part of the culture and the success, and show those good qualities to the rest of our organization.”
Todd Newman, CEO, Encore Technology Group
Role: Led deals ranging from hundreds of millions to a billion while at The Carlyle Group, and left as managing director after more than a decade. Newnam now manages Easley-based Encore Technology Group, which itself spun off as an independent company in early 2013 after an acquisition.
Wisdom: “If you’re a CEO or owner and you’re thinking about growing, you are picking who you’re going to be with for the next five years and maybe longer. It’s important to make sure you have alignment and trust.”
Michael Riordan, president and CEO, Greenville Health System
Role: Led Greenville Health System in taking control of Oconee Medical Center and Laurens County Medical Center in 2014; currently spearheading the effort to expand the system’s footprint, said Riordan.
Wisdom: “Don’t just grow for growth’s sake. You’re impacting lives. It’s important to show love and support knowing that people’s lives are going to be changed. The community will remember how that organization and those leaders were treated and honored during the transition.”