February 2017 | Business View Magazine

56 57 customers,” Koziel adds. “By 2006, the industry started to change and evolve,” he continues. “We were moving away from greenfield site development –building new towers, put- ting up new antenna installations around the country - into modifying and upgrad- ing the existing structures.What we’d done in the mid to late ‘90s - building and expanding these networks across the country - by the early 2000s, and definite- ly by the mid-2000s, we started seeing the shift from greenfield into modifica- tion or upgrades into existing towers. The type of work was similar but the scope of services was different. And so the compa- ny needed to evolve.” That year, SAC acquired Alcoa Wireless, a division of the Alcoa Aluminum Compa- ny. “The purpose of that acquisition was not only to further expand our customer base and our geographic reach, but to move into more of an engineering, con- struction, and technical services compa- ny,” says Koziel. “That was necessary to complete our services and to allow us to take on projects more from a turnkey standpoint, versus one part or piece of the overall deployment plan. “By 2008, we had grown the company substantially and the original founders made a decision that it was time to look for a strategic exit. So, we went out to the market to see what was available SACWireless AT A GLANCE SACWIRELESS WHAT: One of the nation’s premier self-performing providers of network deployment and project management services WHERE: Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois WEBSITE: www.sacw.com and what those opportunities would look like, and we decided to sell to a private equity firm to inject new capital that would allow us to pursue our growth plan, expand our capabilities and service offerings, and extend our geographic reach.” The timing of the buyout proved to be fortuitous for the company, because with a new ownership structure and increased resources behind it, SAC was better able to withstand the shock of the 2008 eco- nomic downturn better than some of the competition. “We were actually able to continue with the original investment plan which allowed us to expand into some new significant areas, re-fortify some of our training capabilities, and invest in our people,” Koziel states. “As the overall economy improved, it posi- tioned us for growth, and once the recovery started,