ARD, Inc. is one of the world’s leaders in providing consulting services to developing countries in the fields of governance, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, environment, and natural resources. Through over 730 employees in 20 countries, ARD manages large, complex international development projects for clients such as U.S. Agency for International Development (“USAID”), the United Nations, and other government agencies.
ARD’s founder and CEO had made a deliberate decision to move on to the next chapter, and transition from the day-to-day responsibility of leading ARD. Bigelow was challenged with finding the best new majority shareholder who could provide full shareholder liquidity while simultaneously caring for all ARD consultants and employees including a commitment to maintaining Vermont as its headquarters.
ARD has significant customer concentration as the majority of its work is performed under multi-year contracts with USAID. Spending priorities and decision making was being impacted by the U.S. State Department mandates. This landscape created significant uncertainty for many investors.
“I chose Bigelow to represent ARD for their personal chemistry, straightforwardness, and the sense that I would get what they promised. They ‘got’ the nature of my business and I could see their sense of personal commitment and honesty.” George Burrill, Founder & CEO ARD, Inc.
“Bigelow not only had the functional capability, they had the track record and demonstrated capability to execute. Looking back at the transaction, Bigelow always put the client first. They displayed honesty, great integrity, and a set of exceptionally intertwined professional skill sets.” Edward W. Cronin Jr., President & Chief Investment Officer Manchester Capital Management, LLC
Bigelow canvassed the market for those investors that were extremely well educated about USAID and coveted ARD’s unique offering and niche leadership position. Bigelow’s short list of prospective investors included both financial and strategic investors, each of whom was comfortable with a retiring CEO and would provide great industry insights as well as investable capital.
Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ – TTEK), a $1 billion revenue provider of professional and technical services, was chosen as the preferred partner. Tetra Tech brought a decentralized operating philosophy with great understanding of USAID and federal contracting.