Chartwell Advises Nelson Worldwide Holdings, Inc. on Capital Raise to Fund Acquisitions of FRCH and Wakefield Beasley



CHICAGO - January 26, 2018 - Chartwell is pleased to announce that Nelson Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (“Nelson” or the “Company”) has raised senior and junior committed capital to fund the acquisitions of FRCH Design Worldwide (“FRCH”) and Wakefield Beasley & Associates (“WBA”), and to refinance existing indebtedness.  Chartwell acted as Nelson’s exclusive financial advisor throughout the transaction, providing experienced, objective counsel to management in order to effectively facilitate the funding and assist with negotiations in connection with the acquisitions.  HIG Whitehorse and Prudential Capital provided funding to effect the transaction.  The lenders’ belief in the strength of the combined organization is evidenced by their significant capital commitments; Nelson looks forward to partnering with both lenders to support the continued growth of the Company.

Established in 1977 as an interior design firm, Nelson has diversified and evolved into a comprehensive, vertically integrated architecture, engineering, and interior design (“A/E/I”) firm, providing its customers with unparallelled quality, service, and innovation.  The Company has grown to become one of America’s largest A/E/I firms, with an unmatched reputation and brand recognition built on over 40 years of ensuring customer satisfaction.  The Company has a suite of unrivaled, superior service offerings bolstered by exceptional depth and breadth of expertise.

The merging of Nelson, FRCH, and WBA will bring a new level of diversity to the combined organization, spanning industries from traditional strongholds in corporate interiors, retail, and hospitality to growing healthcare, industrial, mixed-use, government, and multi-family residential practices.  Leveraging proprietary processes and over 90 years of design and architecture experience, the combined organization will continue to create innovative brand experiences for both corporate and consumer-facing environments that express brand values and communicate to each audience in a meaningful and relevant manner.



“Throughout the entire process I had the utmost confidence in Chartwell, who offered skilled advice and a straightforward approach and perspective during the financing and M&A transaction.  Nelson hired Chartwell as our financial advisor because of their excellent reputation, relevant expertise, sound advice, and steadfast work ethic, all of which combined to create an end result that far exceeded our expectations.  Even though the transaction was highly complex, Chartwell’s expertise and impressive experience allowed them perform much of the heavy lifting, affording our management team the ability to focus on running the business and the integration process free of distractions, while simultaneously ensuring our input was valued and reflected in the final agreements.  Chartwell provided in-depth guidance on all alternatives available to Nelson, from negotiating with capital providers to properly structuring the transaction, while also assisting with negotiations related to the acquisitions.  The success of the Company’s capital raising efforts would not have been nearly as positive as they were without Chartwell’s expertise and professionalism.”

Ozzie Nelson, Chief Executive Officer and President


“In a condensed time frame Chartwell was able to successfully negotiate and complete a complex, multiple-step transaction that exceeded all of our expectations.  We were impressed by Chartwell’s keen knowledge and unrivaled perspective in all aspects of the transaction – especially as it related to the structuring of the financing as we evaluated the various options that were available to us.  Going forward, we take pride in knowing that this transaction enabled Nelson to effectuate the purchase of both FRCH and WBA, allowing our business to become one of the premier architecture and design firms in the country in terms of size and level and breadth of expertise offered.  We could not be more grateful for the hard work and personal commitment Chartwell invested into ensuring the transaction was a success and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Tony Manuelli, Chief Financial Officer



Nelson is part of a global architecture, design, engineering, and consulting services organization with nearly 1,100 teammates in over 25 locations around the world and strong experience in a broad range of industries.  Nelson is ranked in the top 10 of Interior Design Magazine’s “100 Design Giants” list.  Nelson is also ranked in the top 3 firms specializing in workplace interior design, and in the top 20 for office architecture and design.  For more information, visit



Chartwell provides comprehensive financial advisory solutions and investment banking services to the middle market.  With substantial corporate finance and capital markets expertise, the Chartwell team works with clients and their advisors to deliver independent, solutions-based advisory services that are unbiased to outcome, free from conflicts, and focused on optimizing client objectives.  For additional information on this Transaction, please contact Will Bloom at 312-638-5651 or