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Sam Simon: VESTA Modular – Patience Led to Purposeful Growth

Many would-be investors and entrepreneurs have misguided expectations that success and revenue will both come quickly. Conversely, it’s hard work, long hours and a relentless drive to succeed that lead to growth. Patience also is an important trait.

We’re patient buyers at Simon Group Holdings (SGH). We spend time researching companies we are interested in acquiring. We do our due diligence. We don’t get caught up in the “shiny” stuff, rather, we carefully review a company’s potential and every aspect of their business.

We can do that because we’re more than a private equity office, we’re an operations team. Every SGH leader, as well as the CEOS who lead each company, has extensive operational experience. VESTA Modular CEO Dan McMurtrie is a fine leadership example. Through his vision and persistence he and his business partner Billy Hall closed on a tremendous deal, with my backing and that of Simon Group Holdings.

VESTA acquired a far larger company, MSpace Holdings, LLC, which was in bankruptcy. This brought the number of modular units it owns, for lease or sale, for workforce housing, offices and classrooms, to about 2,000 units up from 300. Dan and Billy worked 18 months on this deal. Going into this deal, VESTA was debt free, so even with the $15.3 million purchase price, this positions them as a formidable player in the modular housing market.

I met Dan three years ago when I interviewed him for a strategic role at SGH. During our meeting he told me that what he really wanted was to own and run his own business. Dan is an attorney and worked several years at a Chicago law firm and then as vice president and general manager at Champion Home Builders, in the Detroit area. He helped them through bankruptcy and led one of their business units after the turnaround.

When Dan described his vision, I told him I was in. I bet on people. I invest in people – not a specific industry. It was clear that Dan had the industry knowledge, talent, passion and fortitude to successfully launch and grow a national modular unit company, which he is doing. I’m confident that under Dan and Billy’s leadership, that VESTA’s market position and customer loyalty will continue to grow. I’m betting on them!


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