You will only sell your advice firm or client bank once. Therefore, it is important you work with an M&A team that understands you and your firm implicitly.
With decades of experience in business ownership and successfully selling advice firms, we are the trusted choice of the sector, and understand that a business sale is not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. In fact, there are a number of different components that need to be factored into any successful union.
Quite often, a smaller firm could be better suited to a middle-market ‘regional player’, rather than a ‘consolidator’, as this often provides a level of cultural alignment and a synergy in advice delivery.
If you are a larger business, your options may appear limited unless you work with a broker who has built relationships across many different levels. We pride ourselves on having a substantial range of acquirer options, from private equity-backed outfits hoping to extrapolate your DNA and build a national presence, to larger, renowned organisations with the appetite for growth.
Our M&A Partner Process
1. Understanding YouHere we complete a comprehensive fact find to understand your past, present and future, to ensure we can effectively represent you.
2. Preparing Your BusinessDue diligence is coming. It’s just a matter of when. This is why we include this extra step, allowing you to take a look at your business through the eyes of an acquirer. We understand the information an acquirer will request later in the process, therefore we will create a bespoke due diligence inventory, prior to listing. Not only will this instil confidence for the process ahead, it will also highlight any areas for improvement in advance of listing your business. All information gathered can be stored in our secure data room, ready for the acquirer’s due diligence request later in the process.
3. Preparing to ListWe will consolidate the information gathered into a high-level Confidential Profile and a comprehensive Information Memorandum.
We will also map out your target market based on your acquirer preferences, before obtaining your ultimate sign-off.
4. Market SearchWe will approach the acquirers most suited to your requirements with absolute discretion using your Confidential Profile. We will interview the acquirers making sure there is alignment and ensuring they have the funds to purchase.
We represent you, and only you in our Vendor M&A Partner Service. This unlocks the hidden acquisitions market, providing us with significantly more acquirers and vastly increasingly the likelihood of a successful union with your perfectly suited acquirer.
5. Full DisclosureWe will share any interested acquirers details with you so you can research them. You then have the control to discount acquirers or move to full disclosure, where you provide us with the authority to disclose your identity and carry out an introduction. Naturally we will first ensure appropriate NDA’s are in place.
6. Heads of Terms and Due DiligenceAfter a number of meetings and the sharing of information, you will proceed to Heads of Terms with your chosen acquirer. Then follows the due-diligence process which takes place under an exclusivity period. We will provide the acquirer with access to your secure data room, and will be on hand to assist throughout.
7. Purchase AgreementWe will work with your professional advisers to manage the process through to exchange and completion.
We have a wide panel of compliance, taxation, and legal experts with proven experience in these transactions should you require referrals.
8. Post Acquisition IntegrationSo, the transaction has now completed and you have received your initial consideration. Congratulations. It is now imperative that a robust integration plan is adhered to by the acquiring firm. Our work does not stop at completion. We are always on hand to support you in your new world and love to hear from you regarding your experience. That’s what it means to be your M&A Partner.
How do we pay for your services?
We have structured our fee proposal along conventional lines, i.e. to comprise an M&A Partner Fee to reflect the additional work we carry out whilst both preparing your business for sale and managing the entire acquisition process. We then charge a separate ‘success fee’ (introduction fee) upon completion.
This structure limits the cost to you should a transaction not proceed for whatever reason, whilst incentivising us to achieve a successful outcome for you, in line with your expectations.
Most other brokers are free. Why do you charge?
The reality is no brokers are free. Typically, they will receive payment from the acquirers and on average such fees vary between 4% and 5% of the total consideration at completion. This is a ‘cost of purchase’ for the acquiring firm and accounted for in any financial offer made to you.
This method of charging limits the introductions a broker can make to purely those firms who have signed their commercial terms. Where vendors sign our terms, they know we are working for them and as such we can reach out to the wider market about the opportunity.
We also carry out projects for acquirers too. And, where we represent them, they pay our fees and we source appropriate acquisitions on their behalf. Our rationale remains consistent. We charge the party we are representing.
What if we sell to an acquirer who has signed terms with you earlier? Do you receive a fee from the acquirer as well as us?
We will never take fees from both parties. Our fee is always paid by the party we are representing. Where an acquirer has previously signed terms with us, and they are the appropriate acquirer for you, we will request that any broker fees previously agreed, are included in your financial offer.
How can you guarantee wider market coverage?
The traditional broker model means brokers can only introduce you to those firms who have agreed terms. Via our M&A Partner route you are paying our fees, meaning we can approach anyone in the market with an appetite for acquisitions, aligned to your objectives.
It’s hard to find the time to think about my exit strategy when I’m trying to run a business. How can you help?
This is one of the main reasons we have created this service. Vendors want to feel represented as they embark on what could be the biggest decision of their professional lives.
Our M&A Partner service goes beyond just making introductions. It extends to us acting as an extension of your team, and we make sure to take the time to truly understand your business while absorbing as much of the time and effort as possible.
We only present you with appropriate potential acquirers, and take pride in successfully managing the end-to-end acquisition project.
What if I’m not sure if I want to sell, but I’m keen to know of options out there?
You are not obliged to sign up to our M&A Partner service. We can take down some basic details and let you know when we are working with acquirers who potentially fit your remit. If you want to switch to the vendor-paying partner service, you can do so at any time, perhaps when selling and exiting becomes a leading priority and you require more comprehensive representation and support.