William Tuorto, founder and chair of Global Eco-Logical Services Inc. in Atlanta, accomplished more during the first six months of this year than many entrepreneurs achieve in a lifetime. While most 29-year-olds are building Internet firms by cobbling together bits, bytes and strategic partnerships, he has staked his claim in the gritty business of solid-waste management.
Global Eco-Logical's genesis was actually industry consolidation among the big boys. "Because of the mergers," says Tuorto, "they got in what some could argue was a monopoly situation. They had to divest, and that opened the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions for us."
In rapid fire, Tuorto went on a little acquisition binge of his own. Starting in December 1998, he lined up seven waste management companies located primarily in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania and bought them all in a single transaction, allowing him to provide near complete vertical integration from hauling to landfill operations to waste treatment. Six months later, he bought two more, giving him a company that, from a standing start, had grown to $10 million in annualized revenues. But Tuorto isn't done. "The end game," he says, "is to build a $200 million company that is 100 percent vertically integrated by 2001."
Tuorto's financing plan wasn't any easier. The aggregate purchase price of the initial companies was $7 million, which was financed with cash, plus notes that were convertible into shares of Global Eco-Logical. To make those shares the kind of currency sellers would accept, he had to get cash into the company and get it public, which he did with the help of New York City financing consultant Source Capital Partners. "The transaction was complex, with lots of moving parts," says Tuorto. "To get it done, I knew I needed help."
David R. Evanson's newest book about raising capital is called Where to Go When the Bank Says No: Alternatives for Financing Your Business(Bloomberg Press). Call (800)233-4830 for ordering information. Art Beroff, a principal of Beroff Associates in Howard Beach, New York, helps companies raise capital and go public.