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Turning Tech sold; will stay in Valley



Published: Tue, August 31, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By GRACE WYLER

gwyler@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Turning Technologies, the largest software company on downtown’s growing high-tech block, has been sold to a Florida-based private equity firm.

The company announced Monday that its management team has entered a partnership with Brockway Moran & Partners to acquire the Youngstown-based company.

Brockway takes over the agreement from Talisman Capital Partners, a Columbus-based private equity firm that has partnered with Turning since 2006.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Brockway’s acquisition is part of a recapitalization plan that will facilitate Turning’s continued growth, said Turning chief executive Mike Broderick.

Brockway “has committed the capital to implement our plans to accelerate our growth,” Broderick said. “They have the resources available that we would need for potential acquisitions.”

Broderick has signed on to lead Turning for the next five years as part of the Brockway agreement. The company’s headquarters will remain in Youngstown for at least the duration of that contract, Broderick said.

“They agree with our commitment to Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley,” he said. “They are committed to our management team.”

The firm, which manages more than $1.3 billion of capital, acquires growth-oriented middle-market companies, focusing on “businesses with significant growth opportunities,” according to its website.

Turning, a global leader in audience-response systems and polling software, has experienced exponential growth since its inception as one of the Youngstown Business Incubator’s portfolio companies in 2002.

Under its partnership with Talisman, Turning’s revenues quadrupled and its staff grew from 50 employees to about 150.

The company also expanded globally, extending its software distribution to more than 80 countries. Turning opened its first international office in Amsterdam earlier this month.

Although the company’s growth has slowed in recent years — Turning was listed as number 3,114 on Inc. magazine’s 2010 list of the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies, down from 18 in 2007 — the Brockway acquisition will help the company pursue its “aggressive growth plans,” Broderick said.

The infusion of private equity capital from the Brockway acquisition will likely help the company ramp up new product development and continue to pursue its international growth strategy, said Jim Cossler, the incubator’s chief executive.

“This is a great move on their part,” Cossler said.

“This has a very good chance of getting Turning back to an exponential growth rate.”


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