The nucleus of Mr. Toulany’s M&A methodology is aggressive growth through acquisitions and thorough integration supported by strategic team and board building. The combination of his passion for deal-making and international mindset, being ever prepared to “go where the deals are,” has led him around the world to identify and leverage the most rewarding opportunities in emerging sectors and challenging markets apt for rejuvenation. With his extensive background in the food industry, Mr. Toulany has lately focused MurexCo on consolidating, standardising and professionalising European ethnic food manufacturing—traditionally a patchwork of fragmented, family-owned businesses—to exploit economies of scale. MurexCo currently operates in Germany, Europe’s biggest ethnic food market, with an ongoing strategy of expansion across the Continent.
Mr. Toulany grew up in an entrepreneurial immigrant family who taught him the fundamentals of good business: grit, integrity, and making clients and customers feel valued. In the 1990s his father began supplying ground beef to restaurants to make döner (a.k.a. gyros or donair, a spicy grilled meat with sweet sauce). Leo’s Donair, where Mr. Toulany cut his teeth as operations manager for almost 20 years, grew to become Nova Scotia’s leading supplier of döner and related products—no mean feat, given that the provincial capital, Halifax, recently declared döner its official dish.
Having completed project work within the energy and healthcare sectors, Mr. Toulany is once again focused on döner manufacturing. Using the same skills he honed in developing the family business—from codifying procedures and creating systems, to bringing in new hires and eliminating poor performers—he is focused on buying, professionalising, streamlining and expanding companies within a fragmented European market.
Mr. Toulany’s background, his abilities to spot potential and create value, and his international business experience allow him to bridge the gap between the corporate world and predominantly family-run döner manufacturers. He has the ideal blend of cross-cultural sensitivities—Halifax being rich with immigrants of Lebanese, Greek, Chinese, Irish, Iranian and African descent—foreign investment knowhow, and willingness to lead from the front to realise the huge nascent potential of this underdeveloped industry.
M&A Excellence and Adventure
Mr. Toulany’s board-led acquisition and consolidation methodology, which he acquired through long and careful study of proven success stories, enables new ventures to be established and deployed to leverage fragmented industries in a fraction of the time that more traditional firms would need. Added to that, he is wholly committed to pursuing opportunities wherever they may be. In 2016, as sanctions on Iran were eased, he packed his bags and bought a one-way ticket to Tehran. Although he’d never before visited the country and didn’t have a local network, he quickly got to work and brought together a truly international team of healthcare and energy specialists and high-level government officials to explore post-sanctions opportunities.
Going The Distance and Beating The Odds
Mr. Toulany’s determination was demonstrated during his first major real estate development, which required unprecedented planning permission. Since the 1970s, numerous high-density residential rezoning applications had been lodged and rejected for the site at Herring Cove Road, located in a working-class area of Halifax that Raymond could see was ripe for revitalisation. He was told that he should consider approval for a dozen new townhouses a major success, the sort of outcome many developers would dream of. His immediate response was, “They should dream bigger!” He eventually obtained approval for a much larger, higher density, mixed-use residential development—but only after several years of grit, due diligence, building community support, going through multiple public hearings (ultimately involving the Mayor and City Hall), and staking everything on a project he believed in, not just financially but for the benefit of the community.