CT entrepreneur acquires a local pizza restaurant using a Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a loan arranged by Speritas Capital Partners.
A CT entrepreneur – let’s call her Liz – was looking for a new business opportunity that would shorten her commute and allow for better work/life balance. Having worked in the same industry for decades, Liz was ready for a career change. We can all relate to that!
Through word of mouth Liz identified an established (and profitable!) 20+ year old Connecticut pizza restaurant where the owner was looking to retire and ready to sell.
Liz had been looking for the right business for a long time. This opportunity was close to her home, a good commute and within her limited budget. A web savvy entrepreneur, Liz felt the business had a lot of untapped potential to grow through improved digital marketing efforts.
Liz, not wanting to miss out on this perfect opportunity, signed a letter of intent, put down 25%, then tried to obtain financing from local lenders. Unfortunately they turned Liz down when they learned that she lacked restaurant experience.
Liz was close to losing her deposit when she found Speritas Capital Partners while searching for other financing solutions online. While we tend to get most of our business from referrals, it’s always nice to be found on the web!
Liz began working directly with Jeff Bardos, our CEO and structuring guru. Jeff felt that SBA, if Liz could qualify, offered the best way to meet her strategic goals. SBA would allow for a higher loan to purchase price ratio and a longer maturity vs. conventional financing. This would free-up cash flow for Liz to invest in and grow the business.
Liz shared her resume and the necessary financial information with Jeff, who was then able to create a deal narrative [or deal summary] to better position Liz for an SBA loan.
What made Liz eligible for an SBA 7a loan?
- Liz had good credit
- Liz had run her own business, demonstrating her ability to succeed on her own
- Liz had cash and had already put down a significant deposit
- The pizza business was established and had consistent, sufficient cash flow to support the loan
Lack of experience in the industry was Liz’s biggest hurdle for obtaining financing.
Jeff demonstrated that while Liz lacked restaurant experience, Liz had successfully owned and operated a profitable small business and had transferable P&L experience.
Jeff suggested that the seller commit to training Liz during an ‘adequate’ transition period to help ease the lender’s concerns. It was helpful to Liz that long term staff was willing to remain.
Property lease term did not match the loan term.
Closing this deal required that Liz negotiate a new, extended lease with the existing landlord. (In most loan situations the length of the lease must be at least as long as the term of the loan.)
Flood insurance required – but previous owner did not have flood insurance.
Given the location of the property, this deal required flood insurance on the equipment – which the seller did not previously hold. This made obtaining insurance more complicated, and a small, additional expense, but still doable.
The challenges above made lenders reject Liz’s loan application. Most lenders don’t have the flexibility or the time to work through hurdles for small borrowers like Liz.
Jeff used his large lender network to identify a flexible lender who was happy to work with Liz after Jeff had re-written her narrative. Jeff’s knowledge of banks and bank regulation enabled him to find solutions to each challenge Liz faced in meeting SBA requirements and match Liz with the right SBA lender.
LOAN TYPE SBA 7a
LOAN TERM 10 YEAR
PRIME + 2.75%
SBA PREFERRED LENDER
CLOSING TIME 8 WEEKS
ABOUT THE LOAN
Total Loan Amount: $200K
Loan Type: SBA 7a loan for Business Acquisition
Term & Rate: 10 Year Loan at Prime (5%) plus 2.75%
Lender: Preferred SBA Lender
Date of Deal: May 2018
Time to Close: 8 Weeks
Lender Application Fee: None
Other Bank Fees: $2,500 for SBA packaging
Required SBA Guaranty Fee: $4,500
(paid out of loan proceeds)
Broker Fee: Speritas Capital – 1% paid ‘on success’ at closing.
(Speritas never takes an upfront fee, nor should any ethical broker.)
Other Loan Costs: Liz made a $2K deposit to be credited towards lender expenses related to the deal such as business verification reports, third party appraisals, filing/recording fees, environmental impact reports etc.
FAST FORWARD TO THE HAPPY ENDING
This was a story of a buyer who was in many ways qualified to purchase a business, but was unable to get financing through traditional means because she didn’t know the right lenders, and she didn’t know how to shape her story to increase her chances for funding. Both local banks and brokers turned her away.
When Liz found Speritas Capital, she found a true financial partner, one with a genuine interest in helping her succeed, and one with the banking experience and deep lender relationships to make the deal happen.
We’re happy to report that Liz successfully acquired her dream business – in the right location – and immediately got busy learning the ropes of the pizza business, refining operations and preparing for a busy summer season. She launched some new marketing campaigns and joined some select online ordering portals. The Speritas team has visited the store (no arm twisting required) and gives a thumbs up to both the margherita and the salad pie!
Liz, our proud (and very busy) new business owner says...
“If I ever need assistance with any financing down the road, you guys are my first phone call, no questions.”
The Speritas Capital team is always happy to hear your story, learn more about your financing needs and answer your questions. And we never take an up front fee. Contact Speritas Capital Partners today!
Jeff Bardos, CEO
Cathy Blood, Partner and Director of Marketing
The Speritas team brings our 30+ years of banking experience and our transparent, strategic approach to every client and every deal, both large and small.