ONCAP acquired WIS International (“WIS”) in March 2003 from its two private shareholders.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, WIS was the largest inventory service provider in Canada at the time of ONCAP’s investment, with a small but growing presence in the U.S. The core business was to provide inventory counting assistance to retail customers. The data collected was critical to management decision-making as it offered a comparison of physical on-hand inventory with the inventory levels provided by a company’s inventory system. WIS also provided its customers with independent verification of inventory levels, an increasingly important service given the enhanced corporate governance at many of WIS’ retail clients.
Accomplishment and Outcome
WIS had a number of attractive attributes, including: (i) its leading market share in Canada; (ii) an experienced management team; (iii) the opportunity for further growth through increased outsourcing of inventory counting functions, continued U.S. expansion and expansion into complementary services; (iv) attractive cash-flow characteristics (high EBITDA margins with low maintenance capital expenditure requirements); (v) strong customer relationships; and (vi) proprietary technology.
WIS was sold to a financial buyer in January 2007 and the investment generated total realized proceeds of $243 million.