Success Stories

Engineered Specialty Products

Kennesaw, GA

Rocket Fuel

Tonka Bay brings outside board directors, or Operating Partners, with specific expertise to support the team and accelerate growth.

Tonka Bay's successful investments in industrial distribution led them to partner with an industry veteran, or Investor CEO, to co-develop a pro-active buy side investment thesis focused on specialty industrial distribution. Together with the Investor CEO, Tonka Bay evaluated hundreds of businesses before they met the owner of Engineered Specialty Products ("ESP").

A wealth manager that Tonka Bay has a deep, longstanding, relationship with called Tonka Bay when their client, a successful business owner, was seeking liquidity, but wanted someone who would take care of the existing management team. Tonka Bay's partnership approach and the Investor CEO's industry expertise created immediate credibility with the business owner. The business owner knew Tonka Bay and the Investor CEO were both genuinely interested and had the resources to help the team propel the company to the next level.

During Tonka Bay's due diligence, two key areas of potential significant value creation were uncovered: scaling the direct telemarketing sales and marketing function and streamlining global supply chain management. The Investor CEO and Tonka Bay leveraged their deep network of Operating Partners to recruit and add two board members who could add specific functional expertise needed to help unlock the potential value.

"My partnerships with overseas and domestic vendors, as well as my vendor screening and inventory management processes provide the ESP team with guidance, examples and contacts," said Operating Partner, Brien Whitford, who is the vice president of supply chain & global operations for a supplier of components and seals serving the OEM market. "Brien has already helped us implement a red flag vendor audit and provided a template that is helping us improve our working capital," said Ray Langton, CEO of ESP and Tonka Bay Investor CEO.

"My company has grown from startup to now, over $100m in revenue by using a direct telemarketing sales approach, along with the right end market strategies, systems, and incentives. I am working with ESP's VP of Sales to refine the sales strategy and adopt best-in-class metrics," says Operating Partner, Janet Dryer, who is CEO of a successful software and services company. "Janet's expertise and advice, coming from a larger and more sophisticated sales-oriented company, is like rocket fuel for our small private company. Janet and Brien are two great examples of Tonka Bay bringing invaluable resources to support our team. We will achieve our goals faster with the help of our Operating Partners," said Ray Langton.

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