Doug Reynolds, a Reynolds Advisory Partners Managing Director, advised Sycamore Services LLC. ("Sycamore" or the "Company") and its controlling shareholder Melanie Coto, in the sale of its primary subsidiary. As the second largest provider of specialized language services in the US, Sycamore had a remarkable history of growth in market share. A series of unfortunate circumstances forced Ms. Coto to negotiate with its major competitor for the sale of the company operations leading to a long and involved process but ultimately highly successful transaction.

Ms. Coto is the American dream. She came to the US at very young age by herself with no visible means of financial support from her native Costa Rica. Although she did not speak the language, her goal was every immigrant's goal: to achieve success in America, the land of opportunity. With her powerful intellect she quickly taught herself the English language. She saved everything she could from her odd jobs to finance the education necessary to achieve the highest interpretation certificate available. She felt she could help Spanish speaking individuals like herself communicate in the LA court system.

Her energy, drive, and charisma quickly led to a profitable career as a court room interpreter. With so many clients, she created an agency which she grew to become the largest in the state of California. In the late 1990's she implemented technology allowing her to help immigrants speaking over 170 languages across the country live a better life in the United States.

The Company grew explosively as major clients were attracted by Sycamore's service offering and pricing. A destabilized marketplace combined with lack of marketing leadership left her in the inevitable position of negotiating with the industry leader for the sale of the Company. Having competed aggressively for years for accounts, employee and customer defections were a real risk if the negotiations became public knowledge. Additionally, the buyer was highly leveraged and any potential combination had potential anti-trust issues.

Mr. Reynolds led a team of bankers who worked tirelessly to overcome each of the issues to achieve a successful transaction. We structured a very restrictive non-disclosure agreement among the parties to maintain confidentiality, protecting the Company from any disclosure to customers and employees. We timed the negotiations to allow anti-trust review and all contract terms to be completed prior to revealing intimate details of Sycamore's business. Without operating management's knowledge of the process, we worked with Ms Coto to: (i) supplement the skills of her senior management (ii) respond to a Justice Department second request as part of the anti-trust review of the transaction (iii) create then implement a truly unique "brother/sister" financing structure which allowed the buyer to finance the transaction off balance sheet to offset the impact of the debt crisis in the summer of 2007. All this occurred in an environment with ongoing price competition between the buyer and seller over major accounts with neither side's operating managers aware of the negotiations until the day before the simultaneous sign and close.

In the end, Ms. Coto sold the business at an attractive valuation without customer or employee defection despite an avalanche of difficult and highly unusual circumstances.

This case demonstrates Reynolds Advisory Partner's creative problem solving, commitment to client service, expertise across a broad range of topics, and experience in difficult situations.

Most transactions are not fraught with these complications. Our past, present, and future is firmly based on doing the right thing for our clients.