• It takes vision to accurately assess
    the business environment


  • It takes industry knowledge
    to set up the right approach


Madeira Partners is a middle market investment banking firm that specializes in merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory services for family owned, closely held and private equity backed companies.

From the earliest stages of strategic planning all the way through the successful closing of a transaction, the experienced professionals at Madeira Partners have the knowledge and skill to execute a successful landing in even the most challenging M&A transactions.

About Us

The professionals at Madeira Partners have decades of experience providing merger and acquisition advisory services to business owners. Madeira Partners applies deep expertise in marketing, negotiations, deal structuring, financial analysis and valuation to shape tailored processes that meet the unique needs of our clients.

About our name

The remote island of Madeira is located in a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic. The Madeira airport is notoriously famous for having one of the most extreme landings in the world. The runway is abutted by water on one side and steep hills on the other.  To land on Madeira, a pilot needs to successfully navigate the multiple challenges of low visibility, buffeting crosswinds, a low approach and a very short runway. In 2000, in an innovative and remarkable feat of engineering, the runway was extended on pillars more than a half mile into the Atlantic Ocean to more safely accommodate jet liners.

At Madeira Partners, we have experience navigating the multiple challenges of intricate mergers and acquisitions – changing economic conditions, volatile financial markets, comprehensive due diligence, strong personalities, and intense negotiations.

And, like the improvements made to the airport on Madeira, we find innovative and remarkable strategies to navigate all obstacles – ensuring a smooth close to complex M&A transactions.


Justin Besikof

Justin Besikof is the founder and president of Madeira Partners. Justin has spent his entire career successfully executing middle market M&A transactions, including sales to strategic and private equity groups, recapitalizations and buyouts.

Prior to forming Madeira Partners in 1998, Justin was an investment banker with a large Chicago investment bank and a consultant with one of the “big four” accounting firms.

Justin is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, Master of Science in Finance, and Master of Accountancy in Taxation. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 66 and 79 licenses and a CPA.

Justin lives in Wayzata, Minnesota with his wife and three daughters.  Away from the office, he spends his time helping with homework, driving to swim team and planning family vacations.


Jake Fishman

Jake Fishman is a managing director at Madeira Partners.  He has experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, corporate finance, special situations advisory and financial restructuring.  Jake specializes in representing the sellers of closely-held, family owned and private equity sponsored companies.

Prior to joining Madeira, Jake was an investment banker at Houlihan Lokey. Previously, he was in the Technology / Business Services Investment Banking group at Piper Jaffray & Co.

Jake earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds FINRA Series 63 and 79 licenses and a CPA.

Jake lives near the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis.  When he is not in the office he can be found running, biking, sailing, cross-country skiing, SCUBA diving, or on an overseas adventure.

What We Do

Our primary focus is representing business owners that wish to sell all or a portion of their company, a division or subsidiary. Our involvement begins in the early stages of strategic planning and ends with the successful closing of a transaction. When planning the sale of a company we take the time to discuss and fully understand all of our client’s goals – both financial and non-financial – and we understand that every transaction is different.

Clients appreciate our boutique approach – we provide the professional expertise of a large investment bank with the senior-level attention and entrepreneurial creativity of a smaller firm. We work with our clients on a highly personalized basis. Our intent is not to be everything to everybody. Instead, we measure our success by the depth of our relationships with clients and the outstanding results we achieve for them.

We bring the ability to identify a broad range of qualified buyers to the sale process, and by leveraging our extensive network of relationships, we are able to achieve an optimal mix of private equity, strategic and international buyers.

Whether we are representing a family-owned, closely held or private equity-backed business, we apply deep industry knowledge, diligent preparation and authoritative valuation expertise to attract competing offers at premium prices.

With a combination of good strategy and exceptional leadership, we employ a better approach for a better landing.

Case Studies


Arctic Fox is a leading supplier of high quality, proprietary components to the heavy-duty trucking and off-highway equipment markets.  To take the business to the next level, the owner required more resources and expert guidance.  Madeira Partners ran a full process of strategic and private equity acquirers and, ultimately identified Spell Capital Partners.

Spell was prepared to provide the necessary capital and strategic leadership to fuel aggressive growth at Arctic Fox.  The transaction was a complete success – Arctic Fox experienced tremendous growth over the following five years before Spell Capital exited the investment.


MindWare is an award-winning creator and manufacturer of educational toys, games, brain teasers, building sets, coloring books and other creative play activities.  With the Company in a unique position at the crossroads of product development, catalog retailing, and wholesale distribution to big box and specialty retailers, the owner wanted to retire and retained Madeira to help sell the company.

After meeting with many interested private equity groups, it became clear that a strategic buyer would be better able to handle the complexities of the business while still meeting the seller’s objectives.

Madeira Partners identified Oriental Trading, a Berkshire Hathaway company and the nation’s largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, and novelties as a potential buyer.  The overlap of product lines and the potential catalog retailing synergies made Oriental Trading an ideal fit, and the acquisition was accomplished without delay.


Helgeson Enterprises is a leading provider of outsourced data validation and fulfillment services for rebates and other programs.  To facilitate the retirement of the Company’s owner and put the business on a trajectory for long-term growth, it was decided to sell the business to a direct competitor.  This kind of situation presents a unique challenge and requires walking a fine line between risk and reward.

Madeira Partners carefully managed a process whereby sensitive information was distributed as key milestones were met. This ensured that Parago, the acquirer, would see the deal through to its conclusion without inappropriate use of the competitive data it received.

The transaction was a complete success for the seller who accomplished all of his goals and for the buyer who was able to realize many synergies and remove a major competitor from the market.


Don Stevens, Inc. is an HVAC and foodservice equipment distributor previously owned by two equal partners – one of whom wished to retire, while the other desired to continue managing the business.  In order to affect a partial liquidity event while ensuring continuity of leadership, Madeira Partners ran a national search of private equity groups interested in doing a recapitalization.  As opposed to an outright sale, recapitalizations involve the existing owners maintaining a meaningful minority stake and remaining in day-to-day control of the business after closing.

After meeting with many interested private equity groups, Ironwood Partners of New York was selected.  Ironwood was interested in acquiring a majority stake in Don Stevens while allowing the existing management team to continue in their roles.  Ironwood proposed a conservative capital structure and expressed a desire not to interfere with an already-successful business.


Premier Precision Group, a Minneapolis-based precision manufacturing company, wanted to divest its non-core Stewart aerospace manufacturing and processing division in Phoenix.  The sale of a division can pose a complex set of challenges including customer concentration, a lack of executive leadership, and separation from the parent company.

Madeira Partners found a perfect acquirer in Toronto-based Noranco, a private equity-backed aerospace/defense manufacturer.  Noranco was able to absorb Stewart’s customer concentration, provide the needed leadership, and realize strong operational and cross-selling synergies.

Centrally located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, we are positioned to serve our clients in any geography.

Contact Us

Justin Besikof  /  612.381.8879

Jake Fishman  /  612.381.8835

Madeira Partners
2501 S. Wayzata Blvd. Suite 200
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405

Member FINRA  /  Business Continuity Plan Disclosure