High-Impact Entrepreneurship

After selling his company for $220M, Wilson Poit reflects on the power of Endeavor (with video)

Recently, Endeavor Entrepreneur Wilson Poit visited Endeavor Global’s New York headquarters to speak about the impact of Endeavor on his Brazilian energy company, Poit Energia. Recently, Poit sold the company to the Scottish temporary power group Aggreko for US$220 million.

The following is a video interview with him about the evolution of his company, followed by a transcript of his separate presentation to Endeavor staff.

I wanted to come here today to personally thank all of you at Endeavor. Endeavor truly helped to transform my life and my business these last 10 years.

Poit Energia was my fifth company. Previously, I started four small companies that were good but didn’t scale. When I was 40 years old, I had the idea to rent silent energy generators to events in Brazil. I sold everything I had at the moment in order to buy generators to rent. Soon, I expanded my customer base beyond events, renting to markets like oil, gas, and mining companies. I also introduced add-on services.

In my fifth year, in 2002, I met Marília Rocca and Linda Rottenberg. Endeavor arrived in my life in that moment. From the first moment I was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, I felt like all the doors were open. Endeavor mentors helped me to scale, and soon I traveled to Atlanta to sign an agreement with GE to sell the company for US$8 million. However, due to some internal changes at GE, the deal never officially closed.

The next year, another company, Aggreko, offered to buy the company. But at that point I realized I was sitting on a gold mine. With the help of Endeavor, I started a board in 2005 and received ongoing support, mentorship, advice, and introductions. I also learned how to build a team and delegate, putting people smarter than me in each area of the business. In fact, one of my Endeavor Brazil’s first employees is now the CEO of my company.

In 2002, as I mentioned, GE offered me $8 million for the business. In 2012, I sold the company to Aggreko for $220 million. Over nine years, Aggreko had offered to buy the business four times; the fifth time was the charm.

I really believe in the power of your services at Endeavor. I believe a lot that Endeavor can transform, can change entrepreneurs, and help people think big. These days, many entrepreneurs and investors are arriving in Brazil, and I think Endeavor had something to do with that.

I’m planning to start another business next year, but in a way, Endeavor is now my life cause and I want to help other people believe in it like I do. My give back to Endeavor will be not only money but also my time and my story. Thank you, Linda Rottenberg, and thank you to everyone at Endeavor.

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