Pete has over thirty years of merger & acquisition and corporate finance experience. He founded Falls Capital in 1993, merged it in 2008 with Merkel & Associates, another Cleveland-based investment banking firm, and spun Falls Capital out in 2017. Falls Capital specializes in M&A transactions representing both sellers and buyers of middle-market companies.
Prior to Falls Capital, Pete was a Senior Vice President at Kemper Securities Inc. (now Wells Fargo Securities) in Cleveland where he handled mergers & acquisitions, public equity offerings, and debt placements.
Before that Pete was with First Chicago (now J.P. Morgan Chase) where he originated and transacted M&A transactions of middle-market companies in the Midwest. He was previously in the International Division based in Hong Kong where he was the business manager for First Chicago's Asia-Pacific region responsible for all administrative activities, strategic and financial planning, human resources, and real estate activities in seven countries. He concurrently served as chief lending officer for CCIC Finance Ltd., a Hong Kong-based joint-venture merchant bank owned by First Chicago, Bank of China, and The Industrial Bank of Japan. CCIC specialized in industrial and real estate joint venture structuring and financing in China. He joined First Chicago as vice president and head of the Cleveland regional office where he was in charge of corporate lending in a three state area.
Pete began his financial career with Irving Trust Company in New York (now Bank of New York Mellon) in computer operations before going into corporate lending in the Midwest region handling the relationships with the automotive industry and its supplier network.
He holds a BS degree from Miami University and an MBA degree from Fordham University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He serves as a director of Eriez Magnetics, the world's leader in magnetic separation equipment.
• Sale of total business to a strategic or financial buyer • Divestiture of business units or product lines
Falls' professionals start any assignment by working with the client to thoroughly understand their objectives. Falls' professionals pride themselves on keeping its clients appropriately advised throughout all its assignments.
A typical sale process typically includes:
• Performing valuation assessments of the transaction • Identifying, evaluating and qualifying prospective transaction partners • Determining and recommending to the client the appropriate sale process (e.g., a limited audience solicitation, a large scale solicitation, or a single-party negotiation, and whether the process should include just strategic buyers, just financial buyers, or both) • Preparing confidential evaluation materials • Preparing a company for the sale process • Evaluating purchase proposals • Assisting client in an evaluation of the intangible issues • Negotiating terms and consideration • Managing financial due diligence • Assisting the client and its attorneys through the closing
A typical acquisition search process typically includes:
• Defining acquisition criteria by target industry, target products, target manufacturing or distribution capability and focus, size of target, target purchase price range, and the need to retain target management talent by the client • Identifying, evaluating, and qualifying prospective targets • Contacting principal owner(s)/CEO of target • Assisting the client in all aspects of the evaluation/valuation, negotiation, letter of intent, due diligence, purchase contract and closing processes
M&A Services are covered under an engagement agreement that specifies the services provided, the terms and conditions of the agreement, and the fees for our services.
Our fees for these services are typically a combination of a retainer fee and a success fee. These fees are based on our assessment of the degree of difficulty of the assignment, the probability of a successful conclusion, the overall time we believe the assignment will take, and the amount of manpower it will consume during the assignment. With the exception of acquisition search services and valuation services, generally speaking no two transactions are charged the same formula.
We believe that our fees are generally lower than industry norms and most likely lower than the amount much larger investment banking firms would charge for the same assignment. Being a small firm, we keep our overheads low and this fact is generally apparent when making relative fee comparisons. At the same time, utilizing our network of independent investment banking firms enables us to achieve the same kind of result, and often better, than a much larger organization would achieve.