Success Stories

Focus Equity Partners / C&M Pharmacy

Believing in Possibility

For Focus Equity Partners, the new owners of C&M Pharmacy, turning this struggling business into a thriving enterprise required a little optimism - from all side.

The principals in the Oak Brook-based private-equity firm saw potential in getting involved in the business, if an aggressive financial and management plan could be executed quickly. They purchased controlling interest in C&M Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy serving people with HIV and AIDS, in September 2004 with the idea of building a valuable company. This group of seasoned entrepreneurs, each with an impressive history of investing in, managing and selling successful companies, knew it needed a proven accounting firm to help with its financial planning and management.

“We saw this business as a necessity in the HIV/AIDS community – a place where people could turn for specialty pharmaceuticals and one-on-one help – and an exciting challenge for us,” David Duerr, a principal with Focus, said. “Our first step was to find the best resources to make it happen."

The accounting portion of Focus Equity Partners’ action plan called for realignment of all financial controls, new reporting measures and tax management. They turned to Mowery & Schoenfeld to create a well-rounded, systematic approach.

“Every financial element of this company needed examination and a plan to turn it around,” Mowery & Schoenfeld partner Keith Schoenfeld said. “C&M Pharmacy was an opportunity for us to show our adaptability and flexibility, even in the most challenging business scenarios."

Focus Equity Partners hired the team as an outsourced chief financial officer. Along the way, it developed new financial controls, revised budgets, tax plans and financial reporting. Within 22 months, the result was unmistakable: C&M Pharmacy was a fine-tuned business machine, functioning as a value-added specialty pharmacy and a profitable investment. In June of 2006, Focus Equity Partners successfully sold the business to Walgreens Heath Services, a division of Walgreens Co.

Seeing the potential in this dynamic underdog story makes us admire Focus Equity Partners’ vision and optimism. It was a great pleasure to hear Focus Principal and acting CEO Michael Cahr say: “Without the hard work and perseverance of everyone at Mowery & Schoenfeld, we could not have realized the success we did. They played a critical role in rebuilding its success."

We look forward to participating in Focus Equity Partners’ next business opportunity!

MSLLC assisted Focus Equity, a PE firm and owners of C&M Pharmacy, with realigning all financial controls, implementing new reporting measures and improving tax management at the pharmacy. Using MSLLC as an outsourced CFO, C&M was successfully sold to a division of Walgreens Co.