CW Thomas has been an industry leader in pressure- and vacuum-thermoforming technology and manufacturing since 1946, and when George V. Lynett, Jr. was looking for a high-quality business to acquire, the company checked all the boxes. Here’s why George chose the SBA 504 loan program as the best option for the commercial real estate portion of the business acquisition, positioning this Philadelphia-based legacy business for many more decades of success.
A lifetime of leadership experience evolves into business-acquisition opportunities
George learned about the challenges of business ownership and management from a young age: For four generations, his family has owned and run the Scranton, PA-based Times-Shamrock Communications – a leading media company serving communities throughout Pennsylvania since 1895. Over time, the conglomerate expanded to include radio, billboards, commercial printing, distribution, and more.
George earned a bachelor’s degree at the College of the Holy Cross, a Diploma in Business Studies at the London School of Economics, and an MBA at Georgetown University and served 10 years in the U.S. Navy before returning to lead the family business as its CEO. His lifelong passion for business is fueled by the challenge of leveraging unrealized potential, and with that as his motivation, he researched businesses to find an acquisition that met his criteria:
- A solid product/service line, a strong reputation in its field, and leverageable opportunities for growth.
- An experienced, loyal, and valued management team and staff that would stay on during and beyond an ownership transition.
- A location that would enable his immediate family to stay close to their relatives and the family business.
George spent about three years looking for the right opportunity, working with a business broker to find candidates that met the criteria. When CW Thomas was presented, it ticked all the boxes and more.
Researching the right financing for the acquisition
Based on his extensive business-ownership and management experience, George offers this insight, “Always check with at least three lending institutions when looking for financing. This ensures that you get the best terms for your deal – and you may even be able to leverage your position to your advantage.”
He followed that advice while exploring financing options for the acquisition of CW Thomas, which ultimately involved two separate transactions: One for the business assets and another for the commercial real estate.
One lender, Truist, offered optimal terms for the business acquisition via an SBA 7(a) loan. His representative at Truist also recommended another SBA product – the SBA 504 loan with Pursuit as the partner – for the commercial real estate facet of the deal.
When George compared the terms of the SBA 504 loan to other financing options, the choice was clear.
“When you compare the benefits of the SBA 504 loan program to other commercial loans, the benefits are undeniable. The low fixed-interest rate and longer repayment terms mean that your monthly payments will be lower. That, along with the low down-payment, leaves you with more money in hand to reinvest early on, when you need that cash the most,” George explains. “That’s a critical difference – and benefit – of the SBA 504 loan.”
SBA 504 loans are complex; working through them with Pursuit is easy
George explains that although there are some additional steps involved in securing an SBA 504 loan, the program’s benefits make it worthwhile – and partnering with the right lender is essential.
“Even for someone that has a lot of experience with lenders and business financing, the SBA 504 loan process is thorough. It’s hard to imagine going through it without the help of Pursuit and my loan officer, Ashley Heaton,” he admits.
“Ashley was fantastic,” he continues. “She made it easier and more efficient for me and for our partnering bank. Throughout the process, she encouraged me to keep my eye on the end goal because the benefits outweigh any momentary frustration, and she was absolutely right. The SBA 504 is a great option for business owners – and the game-changer was working with Pursuit.”
George’s deal closed in September 2022. Today, as CEO and owner, he’s working with the CW Thomas team of about 50 employees to continue the company’s legacy of industry leadership and further strengthen its commitment to their Philadelphia community.
Contact Pursuit today to learn more about SBA 504 loans and other options
For other business owners, George offers some advice. “Many entrepreneurs are debt-averse, but you can’t be competitive and grow if you don’t have the funds you need. You know your business and the level of debt that you can support, so leverage the opportunity to take on beneficial debt with great terms. Understand, too, that you don’t have to know everything about loans and applications and terms – find a team that you trust and lean on them,” he says. “That’s where Pursuit makes all the difference.”