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AN ABLE SCOUT, BOOTSTRAP FINANCIER ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NEW ACQUISITIONS BY LISA McGURRIN
About five years ago, when a friend asked William H. Binnie how the LBO business was doing, Binnie was a bit puzzled. He had no idea what LBO meant.
Today, he laughs at the irony of the conversation. Even though leveraged buyouts are his specialty. Binnie didn't know the common acronym used to describe them. "I always called it bootstrap financing," says the 30-year-old chief executive of Carlisle Capital Corp. in Boston And bootstrap financing has been responsible for the creation of a stable of companies that collectiely generated more than $320 million in sales last year.
Binnie is too busy engineering LBOs to worry or care about what to call the deals, as long as they work. In 1983, a year after he graduated from Harvard Business School, he bought his first company. This was quickly followed by two more buyouts, in July and December. Since then, Carlisle has completed 10 more LBOs of companies that vary in size from approximately $10 million to $250 million in annual volume. The purchase prices ranged from $4 million to $50 million.
When Binnie first started buying companies, he was sensitive to the fact that he was still in his early 20s, much younger than the …