Prairie Represents Stansfield Vending in its Transition into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – April 24, 2023 – Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc. (“Prairie”), a leading middle-market investment bank, acted as financial advisor to Stansfield Vending (“Stansfield” or “Company”) in the transition of the company into an employee stock ownership plan.

In 1942 in Winona, MN, Stansfield Vending began with a lone juke box in a single restaurant. Seeing its drawing power, nearby bar and restaurant owners wanted a juke box too; so, Jim Stansfield Sr., owner of the restaurant, bought more and operated them for his fellow owners. This began the growth of what Stansfield Vending is today. Relocated to La Crosse, WI in the 1950’s, the company has grown and been managed by three Stansfield generations. Currently led by Janet Stansfield the company now owns, operates and services a range of vending equipment including juke boxes, pool tables and dart machines in taverns and restaurants throughout southwestern Wisconsin. Stansfield is perhaps best known for its widely recognized pool and dart leagues. The company’s ownership is now passing to its newly formed ESOP.

Prairie worked closely with the management team and sellers, providing ESOP advisory expertise and managing the preparatory, due diligence and negotiation phases of the ESOP transaction, as well as structuring the financing for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “Transitioning to a 100% employee-owned company is really just a modern-day reflection of the values that were handed down to my sister and I by our grandparents and parents. It is a complicated process that I couldn’t imagine trying to complete on my own, but Prairie Capital Advisors made it enjoyable! I hope more
family-owned organizations consider taking advantage of the ESOP concept to assure their employee focused mindset is preserved in perpetuity. The ESOP will help us take our rock solid culture to a whole new level that I can’t wait to see,” says Janet Stansfield, Owner of Stansfield Vending.

“The ESOP transaction was the best exit-strategy for Stansfield because of their company values and history. We are confident that their work ethic and commitment to service, value and reliability, will lead to continued success in the future,” commented Richard Shuma, Managing Director at Prairie. Darrell Smith, Vice President at Prairie added, “It was a pleasure working with the entire team on this transaction and the company has all of the essential characteristics to be a very successful ESOP company in the future.”

About Prairie Capital Advisors

Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, Prairie is a leading financial advisory firm specializing in creating and executing ownership transition strategies for middle-market companies nationwide. In 2022, Prairie was named ESOP Investment Bank of the Year by M&A Atlas. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Wendy Gugora, Director of Marketing
Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Connect With
Prairie Capital Advisors

Subscribe to Our
Resources & Insights