BY TOM ANDERSON
Originally published December 2000, St. Louis Business Journal.
Mike McNeil, longtime vice president of Sonacom IT Partners, has purchased a majority interest in the information technology engineering firm.
The company’s founder, Rick Oertli, sold his 70 percent interest in the 16-year-old firm to McNeil and three other investors.
McNeil, now president, owns 90 percent of Sonacom. The deal closed Dec. 14. Terms were not disclosed.
Oertli sold his interest after accepting the job of executive vice president at Guarantee Electric Co., which is owned by his family. Guarantee Electric announced Oertli will be named chief executive in 2002.
Listed on Deloitte & Touche’s Fast 50, Sonacom had 2000 revenue of $7.2 million, up from $5.4 million in 1999. It has more than 50 employees.
Sonacom targets midsize businesses for its voice, data and video services.
Sonacom is part of the IT infrastructure design team for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The company also has a contract to connect more than 500 classrooms in the East St. Louis Public School District to the internet.
Sonacom has two subsidiaries, Sonacom IS and Sonacom AV Interactive. McNeil owns a third of each subsidiary, both of which have turned a profit. Sonacom IS offers Web design services. Sonacom AV Interactive targets Fortune 100 companies. Its clients include Boeing Co. and Unity Health Systems.
McNeil, 32, joined Sonacom in 1992 from his own Columbia, Mo.-based company, Sone Audio. The company did work similar to Sonacom’s line of business. “I came to Sonacom for the opportunity to be an owner in the company,” he said.
McNeil estimates Sonacom will have revenue of $9 million next year.
The company, currently located at 5555 West Park, plans to move into new offices at 500 S. Ewing in February.
The 14,000-square-foot space was formerly occupied by WorkNet Communications Inc. WorkNet no longer needs the space because it is consolidating its sales force at its main office in Clayton and its operations staff at an office near Interstate 170 and Page Avenue, said spokesman Jeff Roberts.