MonitorForHire.com's recently completed management buyout was just the next logical step in growth for the online clinical research staffing company, said co-founder and president Scott Freedman.
Freedman and an unnamed executive purchased MonitorForHire's outstanding ownership from the company's outside investors (which included a global contract research organization) in June for an undisclosed sum.
"We still had friends and family [as investors] from when we had initially launched the business nine years ago," Freedman said. "This was a great opportunity to get them liquidity, as well as for us to continue growing the business."
Senior debt financing for the buyout was provided by Susquehanna Bank, with Fairmount Partners serving as the financial advisor for the deal. Although MonitorForHire talked to many lenders before going with Susquehanna, the deal took less than a year--no small feat in this economy, Freedman said.
"The fact that we were able to go out and get financing at such a challenging time really says a lot about the business and what we've done over the past nine years," Freedman said.
The management buyout won't change MonitorForHire's day-to-day operations but it does leave the board of directors as a board of two, with just Freedman and another key executive serving as board members. This provides the company's management with increased flexibility to meet clients' changing demands, Freedman said.
"This is a labor of love for me. I've been working and helping to build the company for the past nine years, and there are things and areas that I'd like to explore," he said. "We've been really very conservative in growing the business, and this just gives me a little more leeway in exploring other areas."
MonitorForHire's management team is talking to a number of advisors to the company and may one day develop an advisory board of experts in certain key areas, Freedman said.
Based in Philadelphia, MonitorForHire was launched in 2000 with the help of 19 investors. Today, the company has nine employees and is one of the few "mature Internet companies" out there, Freedman said.
"We started at the height of the Internet bust ... What a time to start an Internet company," he said. "But we were doing it in the pharma industry, which was a little late to adopt the Internet technology, and it was really for us the right time."
One of the first areas of business that MonitorForHire plans to grow is international, where the company currently does about 25% of its total business.
"Our book of business outside of the U.S. has grown dramatically and continues to grow," Freedman said. "We have over 3,000 monitors in 42 countries that are registered with us. We've started developing relationships with clients outside the U.S. and we're growing our sales and marketing capacity."