Banking & Finance

Cyprium Makes Mezzanine Investment in B.J. Alan

CLEVELAND — Cyprium Partners, a non-control private equity firm, announced Wednesday its “new sponsorless mezzanine investment” in B.J. Alan Co.,  the Warren-based operator of more than 70 Phantom Fireworks showrooms in 17 states.

The capital was used to refinance existing indebtedness and to fund continued growth, Cyprium said. Terms were not disclosed.

Bruce Zoldan, CEO of B.J. Alan, thanked Cyprium “for having the faith and vision in the business model of Phantom Fireworks.”

Said Zoldan in an email to The Business Journal, “With the economy getting stronger and more and more states liberalizing their fireworks laws – allowing their citizens to use Consumer Product Safety Commission approved consumer fireworks – Phantom Fireworks is experiencing strong growth. The Cyprium financial partnership helps us to achieve our expansion goals.”

Zoldan founded the company in 1972. Today it is the nation’s largest retailer of consumer fireworks. In addition to the company’s showrooms, Phantom Fireworks’ products are sold in 1,200 seasonal locations across the country.

Last year B.J. Alan completed a $12 million investment to transform 750,000 square feet in the former Delphi Packard complex on Larchmont Ave. in Warren into a warehouse and distribution facility and corporate offices (READ STORY). The company employs 400 year-round, and as many as 2,500 during its peak season — the weeks preceding the July 4th holiday.

In announcing its investment in B.J. Alan, Cyprium Partners said it uses a combination of subordinated debt, preferred and common stock to enable privately-held businesses, entrepreneurs, and management teams to achieve their financial and strategic objectives. With offices in Cleveland, New York and Chicago, the firm invests $10 million to $60 million per transaction in the United States and Canada.

“We at Cyprium are excited to invest alongside the owners and management team at Phantom Fireworks,” said Cindy Babitt, a Cyprium managing partner, in a prepared statement. “Over the last 43 years, Bruce Zoldan and the B.J. Alan team have built the company into one of the largest consumer fireworks retailers in the U.S. by delivering quality, value, and selection to Phantom Fireworks customers. We look forward to a long relationship with B.J. Alan, its management, and employees.”

The B.J. Alan investment was Cyprium’s fourth transaction from its Cyprium Investors IV fund, which closed in December 2014, the company said.

Pictured: Bruce Zoldan, CEO of B.J. Alan Co.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.