John M Hess Auction Service

Client Profile

Hess Auction Service’s professional auctioneers and knowledgeable staff market a wide variety of residential, agricultural and commercial real estate, antiques and collectibles, farm equipment, commercial liquidations, and specialty auction items such as jewelry, firearms and coins. They also provide support services in advance of and following an auction, including print and internet marketing, on-site signs, tents and other equipment, pick-up and hauling, estate liquidations and full house cleanouts. They also provide real estate auction market analysis and personal property and antiques appraisals.


The Challenge

JMH partners, John Hess and Phil Nissley, were interested in acquiring or partnering with Conestoga Auction Company. As a reputable and successful auction company with a central location and online catalog auctions, Conestoga was very attractive to the client. Together, the two companies would be able to provide comprehensive services.

The client wanted to approach the opportunity respectfully and believed an experienced intermediary could both build trust in the initial conversations and help with the transaction process.

The client needed help to determine an appropriate offer that would be fair and reasonable to both parties and also wanted us to help them understand and act on keys to a successful partnership. They also sought advice on developing a communication plan to introduce the merger to employees of both companies and other stakeholders.


Our Approach

We represented the client by initiating conversations with Conestoga to determine interest in the merger of the two companies and develop a path to it. Then we served as facilitators between the two to prepare a viable offer, crystallize terms of a deal, and schedule an acquisition plan. We acted as an advisor to the client in all aspects of the acquisition, eventually developing a communication plan that set the stage for healthy integration of both employee groups. We had regular and ongoing conversations, in person and on the phone, each step of the way and developed a strong relationship of trust with the client.



The transaction closed and early indications are that all the goals of the transaction, for buyer, employees and customers of both companies, will be met. Rolling out the plan went well, as we looked to maintain and use best practices from both companies.