Central Interconnect of Grand Rapids Acquired by Local Entrepreneurs!

35+ Year Established Commercial / Institutional Audio-Video Design and Installation Business Purchased by Neil Brown and Wade Thompson!

Grand Rapids, MI — Calder Capital, LLC is pleased to announce the acquisition of Central Interconnect, Inc. by local investors Neil Brown and Wade Thompson.

The journey for Mr. Brown and Mr. Thompson started when they met in 2010 at a Cub Scouts meeting for their sons. They started talking and quickly became friends. Brown, owner of an established insurance agency, was seeking a new challenge and Thompson, an ER doctor, was also seeking a change of pace, something new and challenging. They decided that they would find a business and partner to acquire it.

When asked “Why Central Interconnect?”, Neil Brown stated: “We looked at about 10 other businesses and really felt that CI had great bones and we liked the industry. It was very well-respected and Arlen (previous owner) cared deeply about the quality of service and product that was delivered. At the same time, we saw a lot of opportunity to add services and take advantage of the economic/construction boom happening in West Michigan. We felt strongly that Central Interconnect was a business that we could improve and grow.”

Regarding the acquisition process, Wade Thompson stated: “It was one of the more challenging experiences of my life. There was a lot of give and take and ended up taking longer than we expected. But on the flip side this was good because we had the time to learn about the business and industry and become more comfortable with the acquisition.”

Central Interconnect Acquired!

Buyers, Wade Thompson and Neil Brown (left) seal the deal with Central Interconnect founder, Arlen Smith (right).

Brown and Thompson are already implementing changes in the business and are excited about the future.  Said Brown: “Presently, we have hired a data group manager and are adding data and surveillance services to our repertoire.  Although a huge challenge for Wade and I, who are not data technicians, this is a needed and natural extension of our existing services. Data and surveillance are in high demand by our customers and can readily be implemented alongside our existing service offering.”

Brown and Thompson purchased the company from founder and long-time President, Arlen Smith. Mr. Smith said the following about the acquisition, “Selling my business was like selling one of my children. It was who I was for 35 years. It was a very difficult decision to make, especially when things were going so well and new jobs were coming in! But I’m glad that I sold my business to Neil and Wade. They are working ‘on’ the business, doing things that need to be done to position it for success and growth for the next 35 years.”

The transaction closed in 2016. Max Friar, Calder Capital Managing Partner, stated, “Central Interconnect was a great transaction and part of a record year. We continue to see boomers reach retirement age and at present they are being met with a strong buyer market, which makes it a great time to sell. Arlen, Neil and Wade were all great to work with. I also want to give a special thanks to Matt Uhl of Huntington Bank and Andrew Longcore of The Business Law Group for helping us get this deal to the closing table!”

Calder Capital, LLC served as the Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor to Central Interconnect, Inc.

Central Interconnect Grand Rapids MI

Celebrating the closing! From left to right: Andrew Longcore (Business Law Group), Max Friar (Calder Capital), Arlen Smith (Seller), Neil Brown (Buyer).

About Central Interconnect, Inc.

Founded in 1981, Central Interconnect provides professional A/V, sound, business telephone system design and installation, data and surveillance services to school districts, churches, performance venues and private businesses throughout Michigan. Notable projects / clients include the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, The City of East Grand Rapids audio/visual system, Kentwood City Hall, Frederick Meijer Gardens, Spectrum Health, Siemens Dematic and many more!

“Max, selling my business was one of the hardest decisions of my life and I truly appreciate your persistence. I’m fully confident than Neil and Wade can take Central Interconnect to the next level. You did an excellent job at bringing me a qualified buyer. Thank you!”

– Arlen H. Smith, Founder, Central Interconnect, Inc. (Seller)

“Max, we want to thank you for your patience and persistence. Although you represented the Seller, your help and guidance through the long and rigorous process of buying a business was invaluable and we couldn’t have done it without you!”

– Neil Brown & Wade Thompson, Owners, Central Interconnect, Inc. (Buyer)

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