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Charleston firm that targets overhead costs acquires NY business

Publication: Charleston Post & Courier Published: October 28, 2020 Full Article

By John McDermott
Oct 28, 2020

A Charleston company that helps employers analyze and cut their overhead expenses has made its first acquisition since its sale to a Midwest investor earlier this year.

SIB Fixed Cost Reduction said Tuesday that it finalized its tie-up with a New York company in a deal designed to strengthen its market position.

The financial terms of the purchase of Cost Control Associates were not disclosed.

Kevin Flounders, CEO of SIB, said the companies have collaborated for several years to provide their customers with a broader base of service options and more competitive rates.

“Bringing CCA into the SIB family was a natural next step in our growth strategy as we expand both organically and through mergers and acquisitions,” Flounders said in a written statement.

Both companies said their “mission is to lower overhead expenses and boost profitability” by scouring and monitoring monthly invoices for cost-saving opportunities in dozens of billing categories, such as utilities, waste removal, telecommunications, bank fees, property taxes, maintenance contracts and insurance. Customers include businesses, schools and government agencies.

The combined firms have about 100 employees and will operate independently for now, with Flounders as the chief executive officer. Keith Laake, who founded Queensbury, N.Y.-based Cost Control Associates in 1991, will take on a business development position and then retire.

“Merging with SIB allows us to do even more for our clients while also expanding SIB’s client offerings,” Laake said.

SIB was started in 2008 by Dan Schneider, the former CEO who’s now listed as board member on the company’s website. The company estimates that it has reviewed operating expenses totaling $3 billion at 70,000 locations.

Gold Ridge Asset Management of Johns Island bought an undisclosed position in the business in 2014, and SIB has completed at least two other acquisitions over the past five years — one in Kentucky and the other in Florida.

The upper Meeting Street company is now owed by O2 Investment Partners, a private equity firm that buys majority stakes in middle-market service, technology and industrial businesses. The value of the sale, which was announced in late May, was not disclosed.

O2 partner Pat Corden said this week that the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based firm plans to “continue to scale” SIB.