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To someone who has never lived the lifestyle, the world of international business and private equity can sound very romantic—constant travel, exotic locations, important meetings. But combine those demands with a desire to spend more quality time with your spouse and children, and the two worlds quickly collide.
Such was the case for Rich Waryn, whose 20-year career in private equity had him living in Dubai, Moscow, London and Washington, DC. His wife Liz Katkin, a partner in a law firm, was also traveling frequently. Together, they decided that it was time to settle down near family, focus on their kids, and find a business that fit their combined skill set and experience.
Working with a business broker, Rich and Liz looked at a number of opportunities and discovered an established logistics business that was on the market. The idea of taking over an established business and focusing on efficiency and growth rather than start-up activities was very appealing. The company was LDK Logistics, a non-asset-based logistics management company providing white glove transportation and logistics solutions with exceptional customer service. The company serves high-tech computer, medical equipment, telecommunications, retail, kiosks, display, trade show and other “non-dock” delivery needs throughout North America.
Rich and Liz did their homework before buying the business, finding out along the way that logistics represents a $1.2 trillion worldwide market that is experiencing steady growth. Previous owners had invested a lot in technology and automation but had no real vision for long-term growth. Rich and Liz realized this left them with a substantial opportunity to grow the business. Their strategic plan focused on adopting a new operating system along with looking at expanding current partnerships along with growing new ones. This was the opportunity they had been waiting for. After this realization they quickly moved to acquire they financing they would need to purchase the business.
The business broker not only helped Rich and Liz find the right business to buy, but also provided a list of banks to secure the needed funding and provide a working capital line of credit to make the right investments for the long-term success of the business. After exploring a few of the options, they chose to work with KeyBank because they felt the team there really understood them and their goals and worked to make a cumbersome process as easy and painless as possible. Their KeyBank relationship manager along with the market SBA Specialist recommended a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) program for the purchase of the business, and because KeyBank is an SBA Preferred Lender, they were able to walk Rich and Liz through the process and help with all the requirements.
In addition to the SBA loan, Rich and Liz also secured a line of credit, a KeyBank purchase card, automatic check processing services, and even new personal accounts. With all of these resources in place, LDK Logistics is well positioned to move forward with its plans for growth.
Having owned the business for just more than a year, Rich and Liz have seen organic growth as well as new customer acquisition through an increased focus on business development. The new technology platform will streamline the internal workflow, making it easier for the company to maximize the efficiency of day-to-day labor-intensive processes and focus more on growth and expansion. They have brought in a new director of sales with extensive experience in the logistics industry, and with the team of employees, many of whom have been with the company since it was launched in the late ’90s, they are excited about the potential for the future.
A new joint venture with CMIT Solutions to provide logistics support is just the first of what Rich and Liz hope will be a string of partnerships and acquisitions to diversify the business. With increased revenues will come the need for more employees and more banking support. The couple’s experience with the SBA Loan program and with KeyBank has shown them that they absolutely made the right decision, and they are thankful for the support they have received.
Rich and Liz recently received state-level recognition as a Top 100 Women-Owned Business for 2015 and are enjoying the change in lifestyle that they were seeking.
“After 20 years of international experience in the private equity field, it was time to settle down and find a business opportunity that would allow me to balance work and family. KeyBank found the right loan to make that possible and has been with me at every step to help me accomplish that goal.” – Rich Waryn, Co-owner, LDK Logistics
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