BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. and HUDSON, Mass. — Vertically Integrated Products (VIP), a provider of interior design, procurement, and project management services for hospitality, and Blackford Capital completed a transaction with the owners of Boston Trade International (BTI) to merge the two companies. The newly established nationwide entity, Boston Trade Interior Solutions, brings more than 80 years of experience to the North American market.
Boston Trade Interior Solutions will be jointly owned by Blackford Capital and the management teams at VIP and BTI, including Pravin and Sudhir Patel, pioneers in fixtures, furnishings, and equipment (FF&E) for the hospitality industry. Leadership teams at both companies—including VIP CEO Greg Kadens, COO Charles Tichelbaut, and Vice President of Project Services Jill Kowalski—will continue to lead the merged company, which will maintain its staff and operations and will have design showrooms in the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco areas.
BTI has grown its business through proprietary sourcing and relationships with manufacturers as the hospitality industry demanded a more holistic procurement program and integrated design and delivery. VIP followed a parallel path serving all major national hotel brands and independents with solutions ranging from interior design to full FF&E sourcing programs, project management, and logistics for hotels across all chain scale segments.
“The combination of these two companies, both known for industry-leading quality and service, provides operators and hoteliers with best-in-class expertise and product sourcing, as well as cutting-edge design and value engineering that meets the needs of guests at all stages and lifestyles,” said Pravin Patel, CEO of BTI. “This increase in size allows us to offer more purchasing power and flexibility to our customers while continuing to ensure scale and capabilities at the cutting edge of the industry.”
With the completion of the transaction, Boston Trade Interior Solutions creates a national footprint for turnkey solutions, including interior design, procurement, project management, and logistics services. The company’s services in design and sourcing provide a variety of custom solutions that promote post-COVID health and safety measures, which are especially important as the industry emerges from pandemic-related challenges.
“The past year has been a time of unprecedented challenges for the hotel and hospitality industry,” said Greg Kadens, CEO of VIP. “As the industry successfully moves into the next phase of recovery, we want to be the partner they look to for the best values, guest pleasing and creative interior design solutions, and the most attentive service. Merging with BTI gives us the scale, technology, and team to provide those mission-critical solutions that our clients will require to serve the needs of their guests.”
“This is a bold investment in a compelling industry at a challenging time. With this transaction, we have combined two of the top companies into an industry-leader that is poised to offer even more value, more services, and more capabilities to our customers,” said Martin Stein, chairman of the board of directors for the newly formed Boston Trade Interior Solutions. “We believe that the combination of Boston Trade and VIP will create a highly innovative company that is at the forefront of sourcing, design, and service while being the most cost-competitive option available. We have the utmost confidence in our leadership team, in our industry partners, in our business model, and in the long-term viability and prospects of the hospitality FF&E industry. We expect to be sharing additional exciting news in the coming months as we have aggressive plans for the future.”
Dickinson Wright PLLC, Polsinelli PC, Honigman LLP, and King & Spaulding LLP served as legal advisors. Midland State Bank and Assurance Mezzanine Fund provided financing. Rush Street Capital provided capital market advisory services and Plante Moran provided deal structure and accounting services.