When private equity enters the picture, it typically means rethinking the way things are done and a renewed focus on growth. Such is the case with Lovell Minnick acquisition of Troy, Michigan-based Billhighway.
While financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Billhighway president Tom Bomberski has signaled that the new relationship will trigger a period of growth for his company. "It's exciting because the PE firm's going to be investing in the business, and we're expecting to expand in terms of headcount and moving our products into adjacent industries," he said. Bomberski is expected to stay in his position with no staffing changes planned.
Billhighway has made itself a ripe acquisition target as a leader in membership-based organization (MBO) software since its founding 20 years ago. The company has built its business around three major MBO segments: professional associations, labor unions, and fraternities and sororities. The latter became a major business for Billhighway in May 2018, after the company grew its operations through a merger with Greekbill.
Following the merger, Billhighway saw an opportunity and quickly ramped up its activities. In November 2018, it grew its Fraternal Industry business with the hiring of former international fraternity president for Delta Gamma Fraternity Stacia Skoog as an advisor. As a result, Billhighway recently announced the formation of a Fraternal Solutions Team, which grew out of and spun off from its company-wide Customer Relations Team.
Through its software suite, Billhighway provides payment management services to membership organizations, many of which have a number of chapters that operate under the aegis of a national body. Part of the company’s appeal to clients is its consolidated banking offering, which streamlines financial management throughout the MBO. Using Billhighway’s solution, national organizations can avoid the need for chapter-level bank accounts, allowing the umbrella groups to handle finances on behalf of its sub-units.
MBOs have also found success using Billhighway’s software, because of its seamless integration with a number of popular membership and financial management packages. It’s that focus on MBOs that has led the company to success not only for itself, but also internally developed projects that ultimately fell outside the core mission. In 2015, Billhighway spun off accounts payable and receivable company Autobooks to remain focused on its primary business.