An interesting article: “Who’s Betting Big on Healthcare IT”

in Healthcare IT is booming. The sector
is growing each year with 2016 showing a promising start to what could be the highest funded year
to date.” Read the article »


Franklin Partners
advises Merrill Corporation
in sale of business unit.

Merrill Corporation, a global provider of secure content sharing, regulated communications and disclosure services, has announced it has sold its Real Estate and Franchise business to Xpressdocs Holdings, Inc. More »


Franklin Partners advises Zepol Corp. in sale to Datamyne.

Datamyne, a leader in global business intelligence based on multinational trade data, has completed the acquisition of Minneapolis-based Zepol Corporation. More »

“Franklin Partners was invaluable to our search for a strategic partner. Their thoughtful and patient approach to understanding our business and industry uncovered new opportunities and enabled us to evaluate our business from a new perspective.”

—Tom McDougall, President, 
The Weidt Group, Inc.


PowerObjects acquired by a global IT services provider

PowerObjects, a professional services firm focused on providing service, support, education and add-ons for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, has been acquired by HCL Technologies. More »

Franklin Partners achieves exceptional outcomes for clients.

We advise established and growth-oriented companies in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations and management buyouts.
Franklin Partners consistently discovers unexpected value. We identify and engage capable and qualified buyers, promote competition to gain negotiating leverage and alternative offers, and help our clients choose the suitable buyer and transaction. As trusted advisors, we guide our clients and their management through all phases of the transaction to ensure successful outcomes.

Our expertise by sector:

Business services, especially technology-enabled business services Healthcare services, devices, and information technology Niche manufacturing and distribution


Strength defined by shared values and diverse experience.

Franklin Partners is a team of senior executives from prestigious investment and commercial banks, and private and public companies. We've led technology, healthcare and energy practices; worked in multi-national corporate development departments; and led industrial companies.

We share an appreciation for entrepreneurs and private companies, where traditional business values abide and innovation flourishes. 

Get to know us:



Michael Kessler »




We’ve sat on all sides of the deal table.

Various hats around the deal table

We have been buyers, sellers, investors, lenders, business executives and board directors—as well as advisors. Our array of leadership experiences is uncommon in a firm of our size. These perspectives enable us to forsee problems, analyze situations from multiple points of view and find practical solutions to satisfy all parties.


A firm of partners. A history of partnership.

We are a firm of equals. We work as a team on each engagement, sharing information and insights. The team includes our client, the client's management and directors, and other advisors.

Our relationships extend to our many contacts, which include former clients and their advisors, as well as buyers who view us as a resource. Client relationships continue well beyond the transaction.



We focus on three attractive business sectors.


Our expertise has developed alongside the evolution of the Upper Midwest, from a natural resource- and manufacturing-based economy to a thriving, innovative healthcare and information technology services community. 

Technology-Enabled Business services

Business services, particularly B2B services, are evolving to combine best-in-class services to provide new services, data and analytics, or to improve or scale existing business processes. Demand for these services is driven by expectations for businesses to continually reduce costs and enhance their service model.

We have been engaged by firms in vertical markets including healthcare, financial services, education, industrial maintenance, commodity trading, energy and logistics.

These businesses serve niche markets where competition is frequently limited. Although the mature revenue opportunity may be limited in size, high operating margins and predictable revenue make these businesses prized by financial buyers and attractive to strategic buyers agglomerating smaller firms to achieve a scale that will provide access to public capital markets.

View representative transactions

Healthcare services, devices and information technology

As the fastest growing sector of our economy, healthcare's environment of innovation attracts investors and strategic buyers competing for the opportunity to scale these innovations and achieve promising high returns.

All aspects of healthcare, from hospitals to iPhone apps, are changing dramatically, driven by a belief that the current trajectory of healthcare spending cannot persist indefinitely, despite the needs of the aging population.

Smaller innovative firms can realize high valuations without taking the execution risk, time and ownership dilution from building a full business model. Franklin Partners understands the regulatory hurdles and qualifications, as well as industry contacts and insights. We've obtained excellent outcomes with buyers who have the resources to scale the business.

View representative transactions

niche manufacturing and distribution

Traditional businesses continue to be acquired by corporations seeking growth, and by private equity firms seeking new platform and add-on acquisitions to round out existing platforms. More recently, long-term financial investors are making direct acquisitions of operating companies.

These buyers will pay premiums for firms with buoyant market fundamentals, high quality earnings and strong management teams. 

Franklin Partners continues to successfully represent numerous manufacturing, distribution, and industrial contracting firms.

View representative transactions


Each assignment is a special situation—an opportunity to create exceptional value for our client, and for the buyer.

Our approach is different

We take a fresh approach to each assignment—finding what makes the business most attractive as well as the best way to present the business to buyers. We roll-up our shirtsleeves to get the right information and to coach management through the complexities of the sale process.

refined business acumen

From years of experience, we are able to anticipate and resolve the numerous issues that arise in complex transactions. Our senior people personally handle all aspects of engagements and we have no junior people between us and the client, and between us and the buyers. Furthermore, we promise a personal commitment to the outcome of each project, and will remain engaged through closing of the transaction.



In many industries, active acquirers know their targets and have established valuation metrics based on pre-determined norms. We refer to these companies as “the usual suspects”. In our experience they are less willing to prize attributes outside of their norms. To achieve better outcomes, we seek out growth-oriented buyers and investors who have a fresh perspective and a willingness to pay premiums for exceptional opportunities.

Compelling presentations

approach_paper02.jpgWe uncover and present the business's attributes that will be most valuable to strategic buyers and investors. The result is an engaging investment thesis rather than a dull business description, and possibly repositioning the business in a more attractive industry segment. Investors consistently give us accolades for the content and quality of our presentations.

“Without Franklin Partners’ creativity and persistence, we would not have been able to articulate the strategy and engage buyers who would look at the business in different ways. Franklin had the insight to find a pathway through the obstacles that got this deal done.”

—James A. Balogh and Gary M. Becker, Founders, DCM Services LLC


Franklin Partners advises Pride Engineering and its shareholders in sale and recapitalization. 

Pride.jpgAPRIL 3, 2014 — May River Capital, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm has purchased and recapitalized Pride Engineering, LLC in partnership with management and other co-investors.

Pride Engineering, based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, designs and manufactures highly engineered, mission critical machine tools and equipment used globally in the production of two-piece metal cans for the beverage and food industries. Read more »

Cirus Controls acquired by Certified Power, Inc.

MARCH 1, 2016—Cirus Controls, LLC announced that is has been acquired by Certified Power, Inc., a leading value-added distributor and provider of engineered fluid power and machined solutions.

Based in Minneapolis, MN, Cirus Controls designs, engineers and manufactures electronic spreader controls, central hydraulic systems, advanced plow controls and innovative telematics-based performance management systems for the winter road maintenance industry. Read more »


Think Franklin Partners might be a good fit? We'd like to meet you and learn about your business. 

Franklin Partners Inc.
222 South Ninth Street, #3050
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Chip Myers

Joe Caruso

Michael Kessler

Joel Fischer

Larry Gamst