Chartwell is pleased to announce Blackstone has successfully completed a minority equity investment in Salas O’Brien, a leading employee-owned engineering and technical services firm.

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Chartwell Advises Top Private Equity Firm on Acquisition of ESOP-Owned Company

July 2023

A Top 50 private equity firm engaged Chartwell to provide M&A buy-side transaction advisory services on its platform acquisition of a company that is 100% owned by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”).

Given the unique complexities of an ESOP ownership structure, Chartwell was selected to serve as the exclusive buy-side advisor for all ESOP-focused financial advisory and investment banking services with respect to the acquisition. Chartwell helped navigate the ESOP complexities throughout the entire process, educating both the private equity firm and target company’s board of directors and management team in developing an optimal transaction structure that sets the company up for continued success in its next chapter of ownership and growth.

Chartwell utilized its distinctive M&A and ESOP expertise to develop creative solutions for ensuring employee engagement and retention post-closing. The resulting structure is one that continues to provide the benefits of broad-based employee ownership, as well as a retention program that will help to motivate employees through the ownership transition.


“Chartwell’s strategic guidance and knowledge were instrumental in developing a superior outcome in our acquisition of the target platform. Chartwell differentiated themselves with their deep knowledge of ESOPs, which enabled their team to advise us on how to best structure the acquisition. The ultimate structure, terms, and conditions exceeded our expectations, owing to their advice and overall commitment to the deal. We rely on Chartwell for its expertise as we further explore acquisitions of employee-owned companies.”

– Principal of Private Equity Firm

“We have been continuously impressed by Chartwell throughout the transaction process. While Chartwell was officially an advisor to the buy-side team, they were a remarkable asset to the entire transaction and provided valuable insights to all parties involved. Their contributions led to the best possible outcome for our employee owners and positioned our company for success.”

– President of Acquired Target


Chartwell Contact

For additional information on this transaction or to learn more about Chartwell’s corporate finance capabilities, please contact Greg Fresh or Matt Dennison.


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