Brightstar Corp., a BCP Portfolio Company, Adds Premium Tech Support Capabilities with LucidCX Acquisition

Continued global investment and service expansion bolster Brightstar’s device protection offering and enhance overall customer experience

DALLAS, TX, Jan. 19, 2021Brightstar Corp. (Brightstar), the global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions, today announced it has acquired LucidCX, a provider of premier customer service management software and services. The acquisition follows a period of significant global investment for Brightstar and adds premium technical support capabilities to its expanding service portfolio.

LucidCX provides industry-leading tools to support customers through the entire lifecycle, from onboarding to repairs, returns and upgrades, across multiple channels including digital, retail, call centers and head offices. Its clients include global mobile carriers, device manufacturers, world-class banks, manufacturers and retail giants. Brightstar will leverage LucidCX’s award-winning software and services to help its customers deliver world-class customer service and drive down the cost of customer care. Brightstar will simultaneously help Lucid scale its operations and bring its services to a new host of customers.

“Brightstar is committed to delivering holistic solutions for today’s technology lifecycle. LucidCX builds additional capabilities into Brightstar’s services, supporting our Device Protection and wider smart technology services, ensuring we deliver exceptional value and capabilities to our customers,” said Rod Millar, CEO, Brightstar. “The addition of LucidCX will enable Brightstar to deliver the best experience to consumers as it continues to drive innovation and value throughout the device protection landscape. We are excited to bring LucidCX’s technology, knowledge and capabilities to our clients to drive significant value to them and consumers.”

“For over 16 years, LucidCX has been recognized for our tradition of innovation, exceptional customer care and long-term relationships with top global brands, and we are proud to become a key part of Brightstar and join a team that has been leaders in the mobile device industry for over two decades” said Matt Dyson, CEO of LucidCX. “Together we can further transform the customer journey, and we are excited to tap into Brightstar’s resources and reach to scale our offering and support more global customers.”

About Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar Corp. is a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions and the world’s fastest growing device protection provider. We work with carrier, retail and enterprise customers in approximately 50 countries, touching every stage of a device’s lifecycle, from when it’s manufactured to the moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. To learn more about Brightstar Corp., please visit www.brightstar.com.

About LucidCX

LucidCX provides omni-channel knowledgebases, diagnostics and process automation services ensure that no matter where or what a customer asks, we’re there to help. Trusted by world-class banks, network operators, insurers, manufacturers and retailers, our award-winning services aim to deliver premium customer support while significantly reducing costs for our partners. To learn more about LucidCX, please visit www.lucidcx.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For Brightstar Capital Partners
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Brightstar Corp.
Articulate Communications
brightstar@articulatecomms.com

Letter from Founder & CEO Andrew Weinberg

Brightstar Family,

I hope that you and yours have enjoyed a healthy, safe and joyous holiday season.

I want to share some brief thoughts with you as we enter the new year and close the book on an unprecedented 2020. Last year was one for the history books with a true black swan event shutting large parts of the global economy and isolating people from their families, friends and co-workers. But, despite the challenges of working amid a global pandemic, 2020 was a milestone year for Brightstar Capital Partners. We’ve shown substantial growth as a firm across a number of fronts, and our team’s resiliency and ability to use our collective intellectual capital to support and continue to grow our portfolio companies has been extraordinary.

Transactions: While adjusting to a remote environment, we completed two platform acquisitions and two add-on acquisitions for our existing portfolio companies, bringing the total transactions completed since our inception to 21. Our team sprinted through 2020’s finish line, closing two acquisitions in the final weeks of the year. We acquired Amerit Fleet Solutions as our second platform investment in Fund II, and Bobcat Southwest as an add-on acquisition that bolsters our InfraServ platform. You can read about these acquisitions here and here. Our deal pipeline is robust as we move forward.

Assets Under Management: We have raised approximately $2.0 billion of committed capital since inception, including exceeding our target with more than $1.0 billion raised for Brightstar Capital Partners Fund II.

Offices: In the past 12 months, Brightstar enhanced our distributed model by opening permanent offices in Palm Beach, FL, Nashville, TN, and Orange County, CA to support our existing headquarters in New York and our offices in St. Louis and Denver. We also set up a temporary office in Greenwich, CT.

Human Talent: 10 impressive new colleagues came on board as Brightstar expanded to more than 40 employees across the firm.

To start 2021, Michael Drexler joined us as a Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer based out of our Palm Beach office. In this new role, Michael will work closely with the entire Brightstar team, advising the firm on its long-term growth strategy. He brings a wealth of experience from his prior role as Managing Director and Global Head of Strategy and Business Transformation at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

In June, Michael Singer joined us as a Managing Director and serves on the board of Amerit Fleet Solutions and Global Resale. In his prior roles, Michael led and was the executive sponsor for numerous acquisitions, their respective integrations and portfolio sale processes. He most recently was the Chief Strategy Officer for Brightstar Corporation, where he also served on the boards of several of its portfolio companies.

Jesse Rosenfeld joined Brightstar to kick off 2021 as a Principal focusing on fundraising and Investor Relations. Jesse has nearly two decades of experience in the industry, and comes to us from Riva Ridge Capital Management, where he led fundraising and investor relations efforts for a private investment firm specializing in complex, overlooked or misunderstood situations in the leveraged company universe.

In addition to adding new colleagues, we are happy to announce several promotions. Jonathan Quigley, Managing Director, will add the title of Chief Network Officer. His expanded responsibilities include overseeing Brightstar’s deal sourcing strategy. Christy Lukach, Peter Smith and Craig Thomas were all promoted to Principal from Vice President, and Maggie Zerman was promoted to Vice President from Fund Controller.

We’re expecting even more success in 2021 as we continue to roll up our sleeves, bring on new partners, forge new and closer relationships and lay the groundwork for a post-COVID recovery. I want to thank all of you for your continued support.

Andrew Weinberg
Founder & CEO

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

InfraServ Expands to West Coast with Gateway Dealer Network’s Acquisition of Bobcat Southwest

Combined company will operate 25 locations across the Midwest, Southeastern and Western United States

St. Louis, MO and San Diego, CA, December 29, 2020 – InfraServ US, LLC, an industrial equipment dealership and services platform, announced today that it has acquired the Bobcat Southwest dealership group. The acquisition will be completed through InfraServ’s subsidiary, Gateway Dealer Network, a leading provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bobcat Southwest, based in San Diego, CA, is a full-service Bobcat dealership group offering new and used sales, parts and service, and rentals across six locations in Southern California and Nevada. With the closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate 25 locations spanning 10 states across the Midwest, Southeastern and Western United States.

“Reputation is everything in our industry, and Bobcat Southwest has a reputation for providing premiere service to its growing list of customers. We are thrilled to expand our geographic footprint and continue to earn our customers’ trust by supplying high-quality new and rental equipment as well as parts and service,” said Mike Allen, CEO of Gateway Dealer Network.

“We look forward to a bright future with the Gateway Dealer Network team. They share our consistent commitment to customers, culture and valued employees, and we know that we will reach great heights by leveraging our combined services, knowledgeable salespeople and dedicated factory trained professional technicians,” said Rich Fuller, Founder of Bobcat Southwest.

About Gateway Dealer Network

Gateway Dealer Network, founded in 1990 and based in St. Louis, MO, operates principally as a provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services across its footprint of dealership locations spanning 8 states. For more information, please visit www.gatewaydealer.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Bobcat Southwest is the dealer of choice for compact and construction equipment in Southern California and Nevada. With six locations and an extensive inventory of new and used equipment, and factory trained professionals in our parts, service and equipment rental departments, we are committed to keeping you working. For more information, please visit www.bobcatsouthwest.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

Brightstar Capital Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Amerit Fleet Solutions, a Leading National Provider of Fleet Maintenance and Repair Services

Expansion Will Help Company Provide Services to Support Mission Critical Infrastructure for Customers Across the United States

New York, NY and Walnut Creek, CA, December 28, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with families, founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Amerit Fleet Solutions (“Amerit” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s co-founders who lead the senior management team. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Amerit, headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA, is one of the leading providers of outsourced fleet maintenance across the United States, leveraging its nationwide infrastructure, including mobile maintenance solutions, to provide integrated services to customers wherever they are needed. The Company’s team of highly skilled technicians and managers provide customized service programs to over 150,000 vehicles to improve clients’ fleet uptime, safety, and reliability.

“We are thrilled to partner with Amerit as it continues to provide premium service to blue-chip customers around the country,” said Dr. Raul Deju, Partner at Brightstar. “The Company has earned its trusted reputation in the industry by always putting customers’ needs first, and we are excited to build on that success and aim to reach new heights.”

“Amerit will remain focused on ensuring the maximum uptime, safety and reliability of our customers’ individual fleets,” said Dan Williams, Co-founder and CEO of Amerit. “Our partnership with Brightstar supplies us with additional resources and relationships to capitalize on the significant growth potential with both new and existing customers across diverse end markets.”

“Since we founded Amerit over a decade ago, the Company has worked hard to become a nationwide leader in fleet maintenance and repair services,” said Amein Punjani, Co-founder and COO of Amerit. “The Brightstar team’s operational expertise in the fleet management and supply chain worlds will enhance our ability to provide our customers with mission critical services and support.”

“Dan and Amein have built an exceptional team, culture and commitment to meet their customers’ needs,” said Matthew Allard, Partner at Brightstar. “Transportation, logistics and the demand for safe, reliable fleets are ever increasing with e-commerce and decentralized business models, and we are excited to partner with Amerit as they continue to capitalize on these megatrends.”

About Amerit Fleet Solutions

Amerit’s trusted and respected team of fleet maintenance professionals leverages a nationwide infrastructure, including mobile maintenance solutions, to provide custom-built maintenance programs to our customers, wherever and whenever they are needed. Our team of highly skilled technicians and managers provide customized maintenance and repair programs to over 150,000 vehicles to improve clients’ fleet uptime, safety, and reliability. Amerit’s comprehensive and innovative service solutions, driven by core values of partnership and integrity, deliver peace-of-mind to customers while keeping their assets on the road anywhere across the country. For more information please go to the company’s website at ameritfleetsolutions.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a middle market private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional families, founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcp.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For Brightstar:
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Amerit:
Karen Vinton
kvinton@ameritfleet.com
415-755-3302

Brightstar Capital Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Amerit Fleet Solutions, a Leading National Provider of Fleet Maintenance and Repair Services

Expansion Will Help Company Provide Services to Support Mission Critical Infrastructure for Customers Across the United States

New York, NY and Walnut Creek, CA, December 28, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with families, founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Amerit Fleet Solutions (“Amerit” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s co-founders who lead the senior management team. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Amerit, headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA, is one of the leading providers of outsourced fleet maintenance across the United States, leveraging its nationwide infrastructure, including mobile maintenance solutions, to provide integrated services to customers wherever they are needed. The Company’s team of highly skilled technicians and managers provide customized service programs to over 150,000 vehicles to improve clients’ fleet uptime, safety, and reliability.

“We are thrilled to partner with Amerit as it continues to provide premium service to blue-chip customers around the country,” said Dr. Raul Deju, Partner at Brightstar. “The Company has earned its trusted reputation in the industry by always putting customers’ needs first, and we are excited to build on that success and aim to reach new heights.”

“Amerit will remain focused on ensuring the maximum uptime, safety and reliability of our customers’ individual fleets,” said Dan Williams, Co-founder and CEO of Amerit. “Our partnership with Brightstar supplies us with additional resources and relationships to capitalize on the significant growth potential with both new and existing customers across diverse end markets.”

“Since we founded Amerit over a decade ago, the Company has worked hard to become a nationwide leader in fleet maintenance and repair services,” said Amein Punjani, Co-founder and COO of Amerit. “The Brightstar team’s operational expertise in the fleet management and supply chain worlds will enhance our ability to provide our customers with mission critical services and support.”

“Dan and Amein have built an exceptional team, culture and commitment to meet their customers’ needs,” said Matthew Allard, Partner at Brightstar. “Transportation, logistics and the demand for safe, reliable fleets are ever increasing with e-commerce and decentralized business models, and we are excited to partner with Amerit as they continue to capitalize on these megatrends.”

About Amerit Fleet Solutions

Amerit’s trusted and respected team of fleet maintenance professionals leverages a nationwide infrastructure, including mobile maintenance solutions, to provide custom-built maintenance programs to our customers, wherever and whenever they are needed. Our team of highly skilled technicians and managers provide customized maintenance and repair programs to over 150,000 vehicles to improve clients’ fleet uptime, safety, and reliability. Amerit’s comprehensive and innovative service solutions, driven by core values of partnership and integrity, deliver peace-of-mind to customers while keeping their assets on the road anywhere across the country. For more information please go to the company’s website at ameritfleetsolutions.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a middle market private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional families, founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcp.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For Brightstar:
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Amerit:
Karen Vinton
kvinton@ameritfleet.com
415-755-3302

Renee Noto Named One of the WSJ Women to Watch in Private Equity

NEW YORK, NY, November 17, 2020 — Brightstar Capital Partners is pleased to announce that Partner and President Renee Noto has been named one of the Wall Street Journal’s “Women to Watch in Private Equity.”

Renee was recognized in the fundraising category. The Journal wrote “we highlight top female talent in roles across fundraising, business development and portfolio management in the general-partner capital-formation or limited-partner worlds.”

Renee helps spearhead Brightstar’s fundraising and investor relations. She joined the firm as a partner shortly after its inception in 2015 and three years later was promoted to president. She’s a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and sits on the board of InfraServ, a Brightstar portfolio company.

Brightstar Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Weinberg told The Journal, “Renee is essential to what we do and how we do it, both in our fundraising and our day-to-day internal operations…she’s committed to making each member of our firm better.”

For the Wall Street Journal’s full article, click here (subscription required).

 

Copyright 2020. Brightstar Capital Partners. All rights reserved.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Private Capital is the Best Economic Stimulus

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, governments around the world scrambled to provide life support for their ailing economies. In just the first few months of the crisis, more than 50 nations announced stimulus packages totaling an estimated US$10 trillion and central banks around the world pumped liquidity into the financial markets. Now that cases are spiking once more, people and businesses in the U.S. hope that our government will provide another economic package in the coming weeks. Given the enormous economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus, it is natural that individuals and organizations look to government to provide a fiscal cure.

But governments can’t do it alone. Over the long-term, the most consistent and effective source of “finance for good” – the essential capital to support innovation, job creation and economic progress – will continue to be private investment. And the private equity sector will provide a major portion of that investment, especially to small and mid-sized companies that were founded and run by families and entrepreneurs. In many cases, the government’s stimulus programs for those businesses have fallen short. Already, the majority of private equity activity involves middle market companies, with annual revenues between US$10 million and US$1 billion. There are approximately 200,000 of these companies in the U.S., employing almost 50 million people.

Partnering with private equity is a good way for these companies to get the consistent capital they need. Consider the fact that private equity transaction activity has grown by 11% per annum over the last decade and now amounts to nearly $1.5 trillion every year. Furthermore, with dry powder estimated at US$1.7 trillion in July 2020, PE firms have ample capital readily available to invest, without having to wait for allocations from a reluctant political system. During this challenging time, we and many of our peers are ready and able to deploy capital, both to help current portfolio companies and enter into new partnerships. Across the industry, deal activity is rising after an initial slowdown due to Covid-19.

The positive impact of private equity – and its potential to do even more in the future – should not be underestimated. Investments by PE firms have empowered many great companies to grow and thrive, across international markets. Businesses owned by PE firms represent about 5% of GDP in the US and 1.5% of GDP in the UK, for example.

As we’ve done at Brightstar Capital Partners since Covid-19 hit, PE firms will continue to provide their portfolio companies with much needed capital infusions and strategic guidance. Good PE owners provide expertise across space and time – transferring best practices from a portfolio company in one region to that in another, and offering the seasoned expertise of operating partners that have seen similar crunch times at other companies before. PE funds with a long-term outlook to value creation enable investments that would not be made under quarterly earnings pressure, like cutting-edge data analytics and systems to enable timely, accurate, and predictive financial and operational reporting. This enables portfolio company leaders to make faster and more informed decision-making in the face of pandemic challenges.

Good PE firms are facilitators of growth. At Brightstar Capital Partners, we speak every day to the families, founders and entrepreneurs who run these companies. Their future is often intertwined with their customers, employees, suppliers and communities. They have learned to adjust and adapt through many crises, and are highly agile. But many of them do not just need the government stimulus to supplant lost earnings in this pandemic, they need investment capital to prepare themselves for rapid growth after the crisis is over.

Ultimately, the much-needed immediate stimulus that is (rightly) funded with government debt will have to be repaid. This can only happen when the economy grows again at rapid pace. Private capital, and in particular private equity, has proven through time that it is most efficient at allocating funds to those opportunities that provide the highest growth. And this is why ultimately private capital is the best economic stimulus in the long-term.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Brightstar Capital Partners Completes Acquisition of Brightstar Corp., a Leading Global Provider of Mobile Device Lifecycle Management Services

SoftBank Group Corp. Retains Minority Stake in Brightstar Corp.

New York, NY and Miami, FL, October 22, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams, announced today the completion of the previously announced acquisition of a majority stake in Brightstar Corp. (“Brightstar” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s senior management team. An affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”), the Company’s prior owner, will retain a minority stake in the Company.

“This is an exciting day for BCP and Brightstar Corp.,” said Andrew Weinberg, BCP Founder and CEO. “The wireless industry is growing and becoming more vital with each passing day, and we are confident our industry experience will help Brightstar continue to provide innovative services and solutions to global customers.”

“We are thrilled to start this next phase for Brightstar along with our partners at BCP,” said Rod Millar, CEO of Brightstar. “BCP brings a knowledge of Brightstar and the industry that will allow us to accelerate our strategy of growing device protection, warranty, trade-in, and supply chain solutions. Our customers, partners and employees are excited about the possibilities with our new owners.”

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Brightstar is a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions for carriers, retailers, and enterprise, managing mobile devices and accessories across the wireless ecosystem and providing services with a particular emphasis on device protection. The company operates in approximately 50 countries.

Pursuant to the terms of the transaction, BCP will own a 75% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in a newly formed subsidiary of BCP, which will hold all shares of Brightstar’s parent company, Brightstar Global Group Inc. SoftBank will receive cash proceeds and a 25% stake in the newly formed subsidiary.

About Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar simplifies the wireless world, making mobile technology accessible to everyone. We are a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions. We work with carrier, retail and enterprise customers in approximately 50 countries, touching every stage of a device’s lifecycle, from when it’s manufactured to the moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. To learn more about Brightstar, please visit Brightstar.com or contact media@brightstar.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcp.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For BCP:
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Brightstar Corp:
Matt Holland
matt.holland@brightstar.com
305-921-1150

Brightstar Capital Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Brightstar Corp., a Leading Global Provider of Mobile Device Lifecycle Management Services

SoftBank Group Corp. Retains Minority Stake in Brightstar Corp.

New York, NY and Miami, FL, September 17, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Brightstar Corp. (“Brightstar” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s senior management team.

Brightstar, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”), is the global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions for carriers, retailers, and enterprise, managing mobile devices and accessories across the wireless ecosystem and providing services with a particular emphasis on device protection. Following the completion of the transaction, SoftBank will retain a minority stake in the Company.

“We are thrilled to renew our relationship with Brightstar as it continues to build on the increasing importance of mobile technology around the world,” said Andrew Weinberg, BCP Founder and CEO. “Having served as investors and operators in this industry for nearly two decades, including valuable time spent on the Company’s board, we’re confident that our experience and commitment will help Brightstar continue to provide innovative services to the global wireless industry.”

“Brightstar has always been committed to delivering innovative products and services and exceptional customer value – a tradition we’ve continued through recent significant investments in our operations, technology, and people,” said Rod Millar, CEO of Brightstar. “Our partnership with BCP provides us with additional resources and relationships to foster our continued growth and capitalize on the vast market opportunities in mobility and handset protection. We are excited to join forces with such a proven team to further enhance our service offerings and expand our market leadership.”

“Since I founded Brightstar over 20 years ago, the Company has grown tremendously and become a leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions,” said Marcelo Claure, Founder of Brightstar and COO of SoftBank Group. “I am incredibly proud of what Brightstar has accomplished over the years and am excited for an even brighter future. SoftBank looks forward to partnering with BCP as Brightstar enters into its next phase of growth.”

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Brightstar is at the heart of the wireless ecosystem, serving carrier, retail, and enterprise customers across approximately 50 countries. The Company operates at every stage of the device lifecycle, providing integrated services, including device protection insurance, supply chain management, and trade in services.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of SoftBank’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. In connection with the transaction, BCP will own a 75% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in a newly formed subsidiary of BCP, which will hold all shares of Brightstar’s parent company, Brightstar Global Group Inc. SoftBank will receive cash proceeds and a 25% stake in the newly formed subsidiary.

About Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar simplifies the wireless world, making mobile technology accessible to everyone. We are a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions. We work with carrier, retail and enterprise customers approximately 50 countries, touching every stage of a device’s lifecycle, from when it’s manufactured to the moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. To learn more about Brightstar, please visit Brightstar.com or contact media@brightstar.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcp.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Brightstar Corp:
Rafael de Guzman
Rafael.deGuzman@brightstar.com
305-987-5121

How Family Businesses Can Navigate The Greatest Wealth Transfer In Human History

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

You know something’s a big deal when it gets a formal name. So it is with what’s now generally referred to as the “Great Wealth Transfer.”

This unprecedented economic phenomenon will impact some of us directly, but its far-reaching effects on our economy will touch every one of us. At the epicenter of change will be family business owners. It is critical for different generations in those families to understand the phenomenon’s implications and position themselves to benefit from them.

Let’s start with the mind-boggling numbers. According to a 2018 report by Cerulli Associates, 45 million U.S. households will transfer $68 trillion in wealth over the next 25 years, with the vast majority going to their heirs – equivalent to 80% of 2018 global GDP. Nearly $9 trillion, or almost half of U.S. GDP, will be transferred in the next 7 years alone. While Gen X is forecast initially to be the biggest beneficiaries, millennials will not be far behind.

This vast flow of capital will be complemented by two mega-trends: digitization, which is being accelerated by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. Millennials are the first generation of “digital natives” and the first to see climate change for the existential threat it is. They’re already shaping the debate on both and influencing older generations, as evidenced by the recent growth of ESG tools and offerings.

As millennials’ wealth quintuples by 2030 and they rise to leadership positions, they will want to build the companies and infrastructure to capitalize on digitization and find economically profitable solutions to climate change.

This will cause tensions with the “old ways of doing things,” especially at family-owned businesses. At Brightstar Capital Partners, we consistently work with families and see this inter-generational debate play out. According to a recent Deloitte Family Business Survey, just over 1/3 of families agree that business objectives align with family goals, less than 1/3 fully agree about the future development of the business, and exactly 1/3 would already be willing to give up control of the family business. This is a complex dynamic, but it leaves families with three fundamental options.

  1. Retain full business ownership, create internal processes to drive alignment with family goals. This is the hardest option, as the new leadership will have to overcome significant inertia and anchoring to “the old ways.” Both academic and anecdotal research are full of examples where leadership was passed on, only to be reclaimed by the older generation when change became too radical.
  2. Retain (full or partial) ownership, bring in outside help to drive alignment with family goals. This has the advantage of outside management sending a clear message of change, particularly when it comes with additional capital. But even in this option, many examples exist where “the old ways” eventually reassert themselves.
  3. Sell the business (fully or partially), and realize the family goals outside of the business (e.g., via a family foundation or a family office that makes active investments). This has the advantage of separating family goals from the business, treating it as a purely economic endeavor. However, it is not an automatic winner, as many family businesses derive economic and competitive advantage from being run with a long-term mindset that embodies the family’s values. Many businesses suffered when the new owners unintentionally destroyed the ‘secret sauce’ that family ownership brought.

Looking at those options, two conclusions come readily to mind. First, the historic transfer of wealth will be complemented by an equally historic number of family businesses that will invite outside owners and managers to help move the business forward. This explains why middle market private equity continues to thrive, and deal volumes grew by nearly 70% in the last five years.

Second, any new owners must maintain a close collaborative relationship with the family to ensure the future success of the business. The new leadership must study and adapt that ‘secret sauce’ to understand the interaction and synergy between family values and business operations that made the business thrive in the first place.

This is not a space for cookie cutter solutions learned in the latest business school classes. Family businesses operate in a complex web of interactions with a wide ecosystem, including their local communities. New owners who fail to understand this, will destroy more than just EBITDA.

There are no easy answers, and each family will rightfully choose its own path – but I am optimistic. The innovation and new thinking brought by new generations, complemented by a supportive ecosystem of new managers and capital providers, will result in an even stronger set of companies over the next decade. By incorporating the ESG principles that millennials have already brought to the forefront, those companies will undoubtedly improve the world in addition to delivering returns. And that is a silver lining indeed!

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385