WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO

Liberty Ridge is the most difficult and treacherous trek on the Pacific Northwest’s iconic Mt. Rainier. As founders, with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, we consider Liberty Ridge the perfect metaphor to represent the challenging yet rewarding endeavor that a merger or acquisition can be for business owners.

The final summit, for any private business owner, is to achieve hard earned liquidity and successfully exit the business on one’s own terms. Even the most experienced climbers understand that it’s a team effort and would never dare to summit Liberty Ridge without the aid of an experienced, results-focused guide. Likewise, we believe that when the stakes are high and the potential rewards are grand, no business owner, regardless of how experienced or savvy, should attempt the difficult and challenging journey of exiting his or her business without partnering with experienced advisors.


Core Principles

We operate with integrity in everything we do

We work diligently to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality, and we always work to put your goals and desires first, through transparent, open communication. We’re passionate about establishing trust with clients who are facing the largest financial decision of their lives. We always fight for our clients, the goals they aim for, and the results they expect.


We believe in teamwork

There are numerous moving parts in any transaction and it takes team-based processes to ensure success. At Liberty Ridge, we operate with clear, straightforward communications, accountability, and transparency, which builds trust that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that we are always working toward your goals. You've worked for years, perhaps decades, to establish and grow a company; we can play a significant role in your M&A strategy and we’ll work to ensure that this last summit is your pinnacle moment, leaving your legacy and culture intact.


We take a results-driven approach to M&A

Our various disciplines and proprietary processes deliver multiple buyers, providing you with maximum options and the right amount of leverage to increase valuations. At Liberty Ridge, we provide measured, thoughtful guidance through every step of our disciplined M&A process. We operate in a results-driven environment by design and our ultimate goal is to deliver you the absolute best outcome.

 

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Services

Sell-Side Advisory Services

Liberty Ridge identifies and negotiates with prospective strategic or financial partners so clients achieve maximum value in the sale or merger of their businesses. We target, meet, and work with potential buyers to create a market of viable partners that align with our clients’ culture and legacy. Our intimate knowledge of buyer landscapes, including substantial exposure to private equity and international organizations, and analytical expertise, give us unique insight to these conversations. We utilize proprietary processes built to ensure confidentiality every step of the way.

Recapitalization

The restructuring of capital interests within an organization is no small feat; however, Liberty Ridge Advisors will secure the right funding sources to assist clients in meeting their recapitalization goals. We operate within a far-reaching network of private equity, family offices, and other financial groups, allowing us to pinpoint the ideal financial partner that is both qualified and well-aligned with the business’s management philosophies and culture.

Buy-Side Advisory Services

Liberty Ridge represents business owners and stakeholders who are seeking to acquire another firm or operating division. Whether the goal is acquiring market share, broadening product offerings, geographic and distribution channel expansion, or diversifying revenue, the team at Liberty Ridge has the experience and insight to meet those strategic goals for buy-side engagements.

Corporate Divestitures

When it comes to corporate divestiture, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We help our clients evaluate many options for divesting either under-performing or non-core business units. This includes sourcing potential financial or strategic acquisition partners. We understand that time, certainty of close, and value are all crucial to a successful divestiture. As a strategic partner, Liberty Ridge Advisors will help you find the optimal divestiture strategy in a timely, efficient manner.

Valuation and Discovery

Liberty Ridge Advisors assists our clients in developing an in-depth understanding of their business from an investor's perspective. Through detailed research, analysis, and reporting, we provide clients with a market-based valuation and strategic assessment of their business. Additionally, we provide a roadmap to identify key strategies for maximizing value while expanding the pool of buyers. Our process involves evaluating the optimal timing for a transaction based on the company performance, market factors, and availability of capital.


Leadership

LEIF JOHNSON


Prior to co-founding Liberty Ridge Advisors, Leif served 9 years as the Managing Director at Exvere Inc., focused on M&A advisory services for middle-market Northwest closely-held businesses. During that time he was involved with many notable transactions in a number of different industry verticals which created shareholder value in the hundreds of millions of dollars. A few of those notable transactions included deals in the building materials, Aerospace, Manufacturing, and Specialty Contractors spaces, to name a few.

Prior to his time at Exvere, Leif spent 15 years as the Executive Director for Enterprise Solutions with The Pacific Institute, a Global Consulting Company. There he lead strategic projects for many Fortune 500 companies and notable middle-market companies in the implementation of business strategies, leadership alignment coaching, employment engagement, and company-wide culture change engagements. He brought proprietary measurement tools to guide these growth strategies, which led to improved client earnings in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Leif is a graduate of the University of Washington. While at the University of Washington, he participated in both football and baseball and played in three Rose Bowls and on the National Championship football team. Leif holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses. Leif, his wife Stacie, and their daughter Madeline live in Mercer Island and enjoy snow skiing, cycling, triathlons, tennis, and boating.

 

MICHAEL BENNETT


Prior to co-founding Liberty Ridge Advisors, Michael worked at Exvere Inc., amassing nearly 20 years of investment banking experience and advising many successful family and middle-market companies across all of Exvere’s industry concentrations, including Aerospace, Food / Beverage Production & Distribution, Manufacturing, and Building Products and Services. Michael’s merger and acquisition work includes sell side, buy side, divestiture, and management buyout, as well as recapitalization mandates. His prior business experience includes ThinkView, Inc., and Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., a New York based investment bank. Michael received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington, with concentrations in Finance and Business Economics. Michael holds FINRA Series 7, 63, 65 and 79 licenses.

Michael is responsible for M&A execution as well as leading valuation, research, and financial analysis functions, and holds an Accredited Valuation Analyst (AVA) designation from the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA). A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Mike lives in Burien and enjoys golf, traveling, running and spending time with his wife Kristina, their son and two dogs.