Services

The best deals. The ones you let go

M&A

In mature markets and low growth environments, our clients are increasingly turning to transactions as a means of accelerating growth. Regulatory considerations and cost pressures are contributors to why scale matters.

Growth through acquisition is complex, requiring careful planning and execution. We work with firms to manage the transition, whether a sale or acquisition. 

Merger and acquisition

We assess the merger and acquisition opportunity in the overall context of business strategy. Having verified the approach, we define the acquisition criteria and identify suitable targets. We approach targets and undertake initial high level due diligence to establish degree of fit.

If the target is suitable, we conduct detailed diligence to identify key risks, and assess to what degree the transaction will enhance enterprise value. From there we help structure the deal terms (with specialists when required) and importantly, help plan for integration prior to contracts being signed.

The integration plan includes a 100 day plan and a view of the key tasks to be undertaken during the following nine months. When required, we provide project management resource to assist. Throughout the process, the aim is to protect and enhance the value of the acquired entity.

We see interest from firms seeking to merge, or to become part of a larger entity that can provide the resources and infrastructure required to create a more scalable platform, or to help achieve specific growth objectives requiring a step change in the level of resource available. We work with businesses to support this. 

Exit and succession planning

For most business owners, selling a business is a unique event. Preparation raises difficult questions. Why do I want to sell, who to and when? What attributes am I looking for in a buyer? How much is my business worth? What deal terms am I willing to accept?

We work with sellers to understand what matters most. We define key objectives relating to what will happen between making the decision to sell, and what happens once the business has been acquired.

We encourage sellers to prepare. If the seller wants to maximise the value of the business ahead of an exit, this process needs to start well in advance. Optimising the outcome requires a carefully planned and considered exit strategy.

Where the process is unplanned, unanticipated risks arise. Before a change of ownership we help clients plan for this key event – be it selling the business, or grooming an internal successor. 

Business sale

Maximising the value of a business is about understanding what makes it different, and why a buyer should pay a premium. We work with sellers to identify key selling points and consider how the business will be positioned with buyers. This involves collating management information, presenting it professionally and clearly articulating where the value lies.

We recognise that selling a business is disruptive and time consuming. Our approach is designed to minimise this by managing the sale process in a considered way. If you would like to know more about why our approach is beneficial, please contact us. 

Due diligence

We work with buyers to undertake operational diligence assessing business and operating model design, client proposition, governance and risk and compliance management. Drawing on our knowledge of advisory and wealth management firms, we evaluate the attractiveness of potential targets.

Working in conjunction with commercial due diligence teams, the output is assessed against transaction objectives to determine the financial value of the target. We use the findings to establish the integration plan and a future view of the business, in particular where risks and opportunities lie.

Business valuation

The value of a business is determined by a multitude of factors. Identifying where value lies requires a deep understanding of the business, its operating model and environment. It requires analysis of financial and non-financial factors.

Drawing on our experience and understanding of current market conditions, we provide valuations for different situations - mergers, acquisitions, succession and fund raising. We look at how different buyers will value a business, depending on their own business model and where they may see opportunity to unlock additional value that can be reflected in a higher sale price.

For more information on our business valuation service, please contact us. 

Post merger integration

The value of an acquisition can start to unwind on completion.  During negotiation, the primary focus is often on agreeing value and terms. Little thought is given to what will happen Day 1 and beyond.

We work with buyers to mitigate post integration risk. Prior to the sale and purchase agreement being signed, we assist both sides to plan and agree key events post acquisition for the first 12 months. A more detailed plan is produced for the first 100 days.

Managing expectations combined with clear and open communications on what will change can deliver accelerated returns. Recognising this, we work with both parties to agree on what will be communicated, who to and how. During integration, periods of uncertainty arise, leading to productivity and staff retention issues. To minimise risk, we agree the following:

  • to what extent the acquired entity will be integrated and the implications
  • the timescale within which the integration will occur
  • the integration objectives
  • the approach to be taken
  • who will manage the integration
  • the key decisions to be made and who will be responsible for making them

Integrations fail due to the acquired entity not being a suitable fit, due diligence not identifying key risks, but most of all due to poor communication and planning. We help to mitigate these.

For sellers we provide:

  • sale readiness audit
  • exit planning
  • business valuation
  • preparation of information memorandum 
  • identification of potential buyers
  • pitch preparation
  • post sale integration planning
  • support with the sale process

For buyers we provide:

  • acquisition strategy and planning 
  • identification of potential targets 
  • pitch preparation 
  • due diligence 
  • post acquisition integration planning 

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