Charlie McNamara founded Flow Measurement Company (FMC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1993 with two partners, Steve McNamara and George Sly, Jr.. The business would provide natural gas flow measurement products and services to natural gas producers, gatherers and transporters. It became the leading provider of these services in central and eastern Oklahoma, and served customers in states adjacent to Oklahoma as well.
Over the years, Charlie bought out his partners to become sole owner. He split his time between raising his kids, managing FMC, participating in oil and gas exploration projects, and the occasional golf game and sailing trip (a longtime hobby). In 2008, however, with his children now “all raised up” and having children of their own, Charlie decided to give retirement a test drive.
He and his lifelong love and spouse, Jennifer, bought a sea worthy sailboat and took to the Caribbean. He turned over daily management to his talented and tenured FMC employees. “I wanted to give it a try before selling my business and going for it full time,” he explained.
It took. The seagoing life was indeed for him. He would return to Tulsa only during hurricane season. And when he was back in town, check on the business.
All was well for four full years, but he grew to feel that it was not all fair for the employees. They deserved an owner that was there to provide guidance, mentoring, and strategic support. So he talked to his close friends and advisors and selected Acquisition Advisors to represent him. Hurricane season 2012 was the time to get it done.
To be sure, Charlie could have done it himself. He’s well educated, and experienced in business, finance, investment and negotiations. In his 40s he led the takeover of a publicly company. He succeeded, turned it around, served as its CEO, and then sold it to another public company.
But Charlie knew he wanted someone to carry the mail on this deal. To coordinate the process and act as salesman. After all, he was “busy.”
Charlie was an ideal seller client. He trusted his advisors to do their job, and required little in the way of reporting, but was there to help whenever he was needed (but not necessarily in person!).
We signed NDAs with 37 buyer candidates. As always, when done right, it’s a grueling process. We narrowed it down to the top three candidates, and when we felt we had the “highest and best” from each, Charlie picked one of the lower ones. He picked the company he felt would be best for his employees and customers.
And now he sails with a free conscience.