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Vorys attorney shares his mergers and acquisitions experience in a new book

Legal News Reporter

Published: October 5, 2015

He’s spent much of his career advising public and private companies in corporate and transactional matters, now J. Bret Treier, a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, shares his expertise handling the mergers and acquisitions of distribution companies as a co-author of a new book.

“Mergers and Acquisitions for Distributors: Expert Advice for Buyers and Sellers” became available for purchase in late September. Published by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Institute for Distribution Excellence, the book includes some key ‘must-dos’ for both buyers and sellers of distribution businesses, along with summaries of the latest trends in mergers and acquisitions in their industry.

“The book is a soup-to-nuts guide on what a business owner should expect if the owner wants to buy a distribution company, as well as how to proceed if you own a distribution company and want to sell it,” said Treier, one of three experts recruited by primary author Brent R. Grover.

“I have been a research fellow for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Institute for Distribution Excellence for a number of years,” said Grover, managing partner at Evergreen Consulting in Cleveland. “I have written a handful of books. In 2004, I wrote a book for the acquisitive distributor. This book is an update of that book written from the vantage point of both buyers and sellers.”

Grover recruited Treier to provide the legal perspectives. The other co-authors are Jay K. Greyson, a co-founder and partner at Supply Chain Equity Partners, and certified public accountant Joseph V. Pease Jr., a co-founder of Cleveland-based Pease & Associates.

Each author was responsible for two chapters.

“The book uses a question and answer format and is divided into two sections—one that deals with the purchase of a distribution company and another that involves the sale of a company,” said Grover.

Part one opens with the story of the fictitious company, Mahoning Distributors, which is about to launch an acquisition strategy. In the second half of the book, the same company is looking to sell its distribution business. In each scenario, the deal is broken down from the perspectives of the three co-authors.

“I wrote the fables and the wrap-ups, which follow after the expert chapters,” said Grover.

“Distribution companies are unique from traditional manufacturers,” said Treier. “They operate their businesses primarily under distribution agreements or licenses with the manufacturers they represent specific to their industry,” said Treier. “It’s important to understand how those agreements typically work and to be aware of their unique issues concerning assignability and termination.”

Grover said he first met Treier while serving on the board of directors of B.W. Rogers in Akron.

“Bret was representing the company and I felt he demonstrated a great deal of expertise,” said Grover. “When I decided to look for co-authors he was at the top of my list.”

Born in Cambridge, Ohio, Treier received his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and his juris doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He first located to Akron to serve as a federal judicial clerk for the late United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Leroy J. Contie Jr.

In 1987 he joined a northeast Ohio law firm, working his way up to partner. He left that firm in 2004 to help open the Akron office at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

Treier said he was happy to contribute to the book.

“I was very excited to share my experiences,” said Treier, who lives in Akron with his wife Diane. “You don’t often get the chance to do that. But I was a little surprised at the time that it took. I spent over 100 hours drafting, editing and proofing my chapters.

“The book provides some key insights about getting the most from your advisers when buying a distribution business,” said Treier. “It also discusses how to evaluate the pros and cons of selling your business and how best to choose outside advisers.”

Those interested in purchasing a copy of the book can send an email to, log on to or go to Prices range from $95 for National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors members to $150 for nonmembers.