Empire Photography, Inc. is a niche provider of graduation, athletic, and school photography services for elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate level institutions throughout the upper Midwest. The business was acquired from its founders in 1983 and its new owners steadily grew the Company to be recognized as the preferred regional choice for high-quality commencement, athletic, and school portraits. Over the past 35 years, Empire Photography has created lasting relationships with over 500 universities, colleges, and high schools including the University of Wisconsin, Marquette University, and numerous other well-known educational institutions.
As the owners of Empire Photography began planning for their eventual transition from the business, they naturally had many questions about how to best achieve their goals. For many years, the Company’s outside CPA firm had served as the owners’ primary advisor and this firm facilitated an introductory conversation with Promontory Point Capital. After discussing the owners’ objectives for both a transaction and a transition, PPC was engaged and began confidentially marketing the business. To achieve one of the owners’ primary goals of keeping the Company independent, PPC arranged for a transaction encompassing a private investor group and Empire Photography’s senior leadership team.
The transaction arranged by Promontory Point Capital achieved economic goals for the selling shareholders, while also providing the opportunity for Empire’s loyal management team to gain an ownership stake in the business. With financing provided by Byline Bank, Empire Photography is well-positioned for continued growth and long-term success. Promontory Point Capital closed this transaction during the first quarter of 2020.