“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.”
1983 — RAF acquires Joseph Lieberman & Sons, a Philadelphia-based regional manufacturer of paintbrushes and rollers, along with Bestt Rollr, its roller plant in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (together known as “Bestt Liebco”). We introduce improved inventory control and financial reporting systems, supply capital resources and develop a strategic vision for expansion. Over the next four years, Bestt Liebco evolves from a regional manufacturer into a national brand with strong market penetration nationwide. Bestt Liebco becomes recognized as one of the top three U.S. producers of quality paint sundries for professional painters.
1987 — RAF acquires Hanlon & Goodman to supply Bestt Liebco’s core customers with another well-known, quality line of branded paint applicators.
1990-1993 — With additional RAF capital, Bestt Rollr develops and implements new in-line technology for roller manufacturing, creating a state-of-the-art facility.
1994 — Entering our second decade of ownership of Bestt Liebco, RAF acquires Purdy Corporation of Portland, Oregon, universally recognized as the manufacturer of the finest professional brushes and rollers available. It is essential to Purdy’s family ownership that the company maintain its dedication to quality and that it remain in Portland. Because our operating philosophy satisfies both objectives, we prevail over Purdy’s other suitors, two large public companies making comparable financial offers.
1994-1998 — Working closely with management, RAF re-engineers Purdy’s manufacturing process to improve productivity while maintaining quality levels and implements an aggressive marketing plan focused on the mass merchant channel. Sales grow dramatically as Purdy products are introduced to the consumer market.We choose not to integrate Bestt Liebco and Purdy, recognizing the companies’ distinct cultures and market positions. The two continue to operate independently, assisting each other with specific expertise but otherwise remaining friendly competitors.
1998 — RAF’s paint sundry business becomes the nation’s number one supplier to professional painters and the number two paint sundries manufacturer. Shortly after the fifteenth anniversary of the purchase of Joseph Lieberman & Sons, we partner with another private investment group that shares our sense of values and its long-term perspective in a leveraged recapitalization of the businesses. RAF continues as an active equity partner.
2004 — In the twenty-first year of RAF’s participation, the business is sold to Sherwin Williams, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers and retailers of paint and related products.