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Jim Quesenberry sold his $15 million company for undisclosed terms.
Jim Quesenberry sold his $15 million company for undisclosed terms.

Corporate Business Systems sells to St. Louis firm

Posted online

Last edited 11:46 a.m., March 30, 2017

Springfield’s largest office equipment dealer has sold to a St. Louis-based company.

Effective April 1, Corporate Business Systems of Missouri Inc. will come under the umbrella of SumnerOne Inc. The St. Louis-based $61 million, family-owned company comprises eight offices across Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. SumnerOne soon will add Corporate Business Systems’ $15 million in annual revenues and four locations in Springfield, Joplin, St. Robert and Rogers, Arkansas.

“They approached me,” said Corporate Business Systems owner Jim Quesenberry. “They were operating all across Missouri – everywhere except southwest Missouri.”

In the sale for undisclosed terms, Corporate Business Systems will retain its name and all 80 employees have the option to stay, Quesenberry said. Current President and CEO Tyson Johns will transition into the role of local president.

“Tyson will still run the local operations; he’ll just report to St. Louis now instead of me,” said Quesenberry, who retired from the company’s day-to-day operations in 2014.

The deal has been in the works for years – sort of. About five years ago, Quesenberry and his wife Carrie met Edmund Sumner and his wife on vacation, and they hit it off. Both companies sell the Kyocera brand and when hitting annual sales goals, Kyocera sends executives on exotic trips.

“We started a friendship on those trips,” he said. “About three years ago, he asked me about selling. About six months ago, we really started to dance, as they say, then 90 days ago an agreement was met.”

Quesenberry said Corporate Business Systems serves roughly 8,000 clients across its footprint.

“They bought the company, yes, but they really bought market share,” he said. “When we started northwest Arkansas five years ago, frankly, it was a drain on the company until we got it established.

“The office equipment sector is stagnant. For SumnerOne, anytime you can add (24 percent) in revenue to your company with a signature is a good day.”

Ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s list of the Area’s Largest Office Equipment Dealers, Corporate Business Systems also ranked No. 7 on SBJ’s 2015 list of Dynamic Dozen fastest growing companies. At the time, the 1993-founded Corporate Business Systems posted 40 percent revenue growth 2012-14 to $14.2 million.

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