Case studies are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be used for investment purposes.


“Summer Street worked side-by-side with me to negotiate and close a critical strategic acquisition, resulting in tremendous growth for our company.”

John Burgess, Summer Street Operating Partner, Former CEO of Reichert, Inc

Case Studies

Reichert, Inc
Industry: Ophthalmic instrument manufacturing
Transaction type: Management buyout, corporate divestiture


As President of the Buffalo-based division of Leica Microsystems, John Burgess knew that the German parent company would consider a reasonable divestiture offer. With help from the right equity partner, he might finally own part of the business that he ran.

Why Summer Street?

As a successful CEO in Buffalo, John had known Summer Street's Mike McQueeney for several years. When the opportunity arose to participate in buying the company, there was only one group John trusted to help him get the deal done.

How have we helped?

Summer Street negotiated with Leica and with senior lenders to structure a divestiture that would work for all involved, while John and his team continued to run the business. The complex separation was effected smoothly and quickly, resulting in a profitable freestanding company only 45 days later.

With a new equity partner supporting the business, John and his team set to work implementing lean manufacturing and other efficiency improvement initiatives, and investing in product innovation. Summer Street worked closely with John and the team to design and implement new incentive and stock plans, ensuring that the entire team would benefit from the creation of value at Reichert.

Thanks to the effective implementation of operational improvements and development of 13 innovative new products, Reichert's earnings increased eight-fold in four years. The acquisition of a new product line in 2006 significantly expanded the size of the company, positioning Reichert as a leader in its industry. The management team's equity ownership enabled them to participate in the benefits of achieving their value creation plan when Summer Street sold the company to a middle-market private equity fund in early 2007. While many members of management elected to stay on board with the new owners, John Burgess joined Summer Street as an Operating Partner.

Read John's bio to learn more about his background and passion for working with growing companies.

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