If you’ve held an outside sales position, you know the grind that Wil Massengill faced. He had to tackle traveling extensively and spending too many nights away from home.
Wil never shied away from hard work. He grew up on a farm and learned the value of contributing at an early age. After school and during the summer, you’d find him feeding livestock and actively helping with the planting and harvesting of crops.
After a successful career that led him to senior management roles in the construction and heavy machinery industries, Wil’s priorities shifted. Selling large John Deere and Caterpillar equipment was invigorating, but watching his daughter grow up was his greatest joy.
“After being away from home a good bit, I decided to start looking for a business to purchase to keep me home every night with my family.”
Wil and his wife love Wilmington, North Carolina so he always hoped to run a company there. He wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the community, that soon would become his own. Wil recalled their approach to finding the right opportunity,
“We desired to have something with a good history and a legacy, but where competition was fairly limited.”
In 2016, Wil’s CPA helped develop an owner-financing deal that allowed him to buy the Five Oaks Nursery and Tree Farm, consisting of two properties. One property serves as the wholesale and retail plant nursery. The other is used to grow tree and shrub inventory. Wil commented,
“Our product mix consists of field and container-grown trees and container plants of all sizes. We try to have a broad spectrum to offer landscape contractors, developers, and homeowners.”
Following a successful consolidation of the operations and hand-off from the previous owners, Wil knew it was time to restructure his financing. The USDA program offered a compelling avenue to refinance.
“Our acquisition approach prevented us from using an SBA loan and made it a challenge to find the right lending source. Our CPA talked with several lenders and a tree farm and nursery simply didn’t fit into their portfolios.”
North Avenue Capital’s Commercial Lender, Ben Mathewson, added,
“NAC saw a lot of promise in the business, in Wil, and in his ability to successfully operate the nursery.”
With the loan behind him and his future in clear view, Wil is optimistic about the future.
“We now have stability and no longer have to worry about big changes in the years ahead. Our hope is to have a long-term business and give back to our community. Perhaps one day my daughter will carry things forward to even greater success.”