Acquired by a Private Equity Firm? Here’s How to Delever More Efficiently and Fund Strategic Investments

If your company has been acquired by a private equity firm, the mandate is clear: create a fast path to increased enterprise value and efficiently and effectively fund strategic investments. But the challenges to accomplish this objective are significant given the intensity of the current investment market.

The last few years have seen a surge in private equity buyouts – reaching 5,100 in 2018 (a 10-year high). In 2019, global fund managers are ready to deploy a record US$2.1 trillion in private capital. Competition for deals is also at record levels, and that’s driving up acquisition costs.

All of this makes for high stakes and high pressure in the post-buyout environment and acquired companies are feeling the pressure as they face twin imperatives: (1) to generate more cash, faster, without taking on additional debt, and (2) to respond effectively to the innovation, transformation and changing consumer preferences happening across their industry.

Supply chain finance helps companies navigate these post-buyout challenges and achieve their cash and growth objectives. Here are a few examples:

Pay down debt.

Buoyed by low interest rates, companies have been on a debt binge for the last few years. At the end of 2018, corporate debt reached $9 trillion while cash-to-debt ratios for corporate borrowers were the lowest in over in a decade. Rising interest rates (despite the current stagnation) and global economic uncertainty are putting pressure on freshly acquired companies to deleverage quickly and effectively.

Unlike other debt reduction approaches like workforce cuts or the leaning of operational infrastructure, supply chain finance enables companies to pay down debt quickly and substantially. This, in turn, hastens the journey to positive returns by allowing them to invest in growth. That leads us to my next example…

Fund strategic acquisitions and R&D.

Acquisition is one of the fastest ways to achieve post-buyout growth objectives – including increased market share and profitability. Commercial lending is one way to fund acquisition activity, but it’s not always the best option. In many cases, companies are fully leveraged (see the section above) or don’t have an investment grade credit rating.

Supply chain finance is an attractive alternative. It allows companies to free up working capital previously trapped in their supply chain so they can invest it in strategic growth-oriented initiatives like acquisition, innovation and R&D. Furthermore, it addresses the issues of scale and speed. These initiatives require substantial funding (tens of millions at a minimum and often in the billion-dollar ballpark) and need to be executed quickly.

Meet value creation targets regardless of economic climate.

From the moment of acquisition, value creation is priority number one. Private equity firms set the strategy and targets and they differ based on leadership and the acquired company’s unique situation. But they all have one thing in common: they require financial agility.

That’s a tall order given today’s economic volatility. The Fed raised interest rates four times in 2018 (the ninth since December 2015). While U.S. rates aren’t expected to rise again in the near term, companies are still feeling the impact of those increases as they’ve been relying on lower interest rates for some time. There’s also the issue of domestic trade policy tariffs, weakening economies in Europe and Asia, and geopolitical uncertainty around Brexit. Meanwhile, private equity groups still have a mission that portfolio companies must execute. They must meet or exceed the value creation targets put in place regardless of market volatility and risk.

This is one more reason why companies use supply chain finance. Regardless of business climate, it provides companies a financing alternative that reduces interest expense, generates cash and improves overall financial performance.

By Dominic Capolongo
Published April 5, 2019

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Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.