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St. Louis contractor sells business to focus on 'Shark Tank'-spinoff firm

"Running a geographically spread-out company was getting more difficult, (and) the company had grown to the point where it could run without me"
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Fourteen years after launching his storm restoration contracting company, 123 Exteriors, serial entrepreneur Mike Braun has sold the business to focus on growing its spinoff company, Elite Claims Solutions.

Braun sold St. Louis-based 123 Exteriors in late April to Fred Grove, the company's longtime COO, who had been with 123 Exteriors since its second year of business. Braun, who declined to share financial terms of the deal, described the sale as an asset purchase.

Over the past 14 years, Braun grew 123 Exteriors from a 900-square-foot office to a company with eight offices across the Midwest and more than 60 employees and independent contractors.

"I started 123 Exteriors when I was 24 and single and now I'm 38 and have three small kids. Running a geographically spread-out company was getting more difficult, (and) the company had grown to the point where it could run without me," he said.

He decided to sell and spin-off the company's claims department into an independent company.

Elite Claims Solutions, a full-service supplementing and estimating firm for companies like 123 Exteriors, first formed in 2018 as the winning idea of 123 Exteriors' own internal version of ABC's "Shark Tank" TV show, where employees were asked to pitch ideas for an ancillary business to 123 Exteriors. The winner received a bonus and money to start the business.

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