We had the chance to sit down and reconnect with Ron Boles, former owner of Builder’s Fireplace. Three years later, Ron reflects on selling his business, having the time to focus on his health, and now enjoying his retirement with his family.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Ron Boles. My wife Jan and I opened Builder’s Fireplace & Supply in 2000 as a family-owned company in conjunction with my siblings. A National player in the industry closed up their operation in the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, High Point & Winston-Salem) not long prior. My sister was a key person in that operation, so it just made good business sense to open the same type of business to fill void in the marketplace their exit created.
Why did you decide to sell?
In 2007 we were exploring selling the company due to my health. I had just had a major heart attack and triple bypass surgery. Unfortunately, the Great Recession came along and threw a monkey wrench into our plans. We were hit pretty hard by the downturn, so we had to ride out the storm and rebuild the company while the economy was improving. We waited about 10 years and then decided it was time to restart the process of selling our company.
How did you find out about Viking Mergers & Acquisitions?
Our daughter, Misti Boles Whitman, is an attorney and a significant amount of her practice is M&A. She was aware of Viking by reputation and they had a very good one. We identified 3 other M&A firms (Greensboro and 2 from Raleigh) that we evaluated along with Viking.
Why did you decide to go with Viking to sell your company?
We did a lot of research and we felt Viking was the best based upon our assessment of them, how long they’d been in business and the number of companies they’d sold. We also really liked the fact that Viking didn’t make a nickel, until they successfully sold our company. The other 3 companies all wanted some money up front, prior to even selling our business. We believed that Viking not making their money until we made our money ensured that they would really be motivated to sell it, and it also showed us they had had a lot of confidence in their ability to get the job done.
Another reason we decided to go with Viking was the advisor we dealt with, Keenan Moran.
What impressed you about him?
I liked the fact that he was very straight forward and very professional. I’m the same way and felt we’d be on the same page while working together on the sale.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, how would you rate the job Keenan did for you?
I’d give him a 10. He did outstanding work throughout the process. He was always there when I needed him. He kept me posted throughout the sale process; and he was always very responsive. Our daughter, the attorney, was so pleased with the job he and Viking did, she’s referred other clients of hers to Keenan.
How is life for you now?
Ron: Outstanding! Loving life in retirement. Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it because I’ve always worked hard all my life. I still stay busy but I’m doing the things I want to do and like to do… and on my own schedule! My health is the best it’s been in years. Zero stress and I’ve lost 70 pounds since we sold. We bought a place at the beach and I love spending time down there with the kids and our granddaughter. All in all, life is really good!