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South Africa Team Expands Operations into Johannesburg

The Benchmark South African Office has experienced extraordinary growth in the ten months following the company’s investment in Cape Town in response to demand to grow the African operations. The team is therefore proud to announce the opening of its Johannesburg office, the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas globally.

Strategically, this expansion positions the company’s additional operations near the heart of the country’s wealthiest province, a full three months ahead of schedule. The early establishment of an office in this node was a decision necessitated by the level of activity Benchmark is engaged in with clients and buyers alike, and demonstrates the company’s continued
commitment and growing presence on the continent.

As a country, and in the context of Emerging Markets, South Africa has unparalleled potential as a destination for direct investment and features as one of the most dynamic and rewarding emerging market economies across the globe. As an M&A target region South Africa was recently ranked as the 28th most attractive destination for inbound M&A transactions globally. (According to Zephyr, a product of Bureau van Dijk).

Benchmark International’s Johannesburg office is headed up by Johann Haasbroek who, having worked with many of the current Benchmark team in the past, has extensive M&A, Corporate Finance and Banking experience.

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Keeping Up: Benchmark International Conferences

Staying on top of industry trends and gaining practical knowledge is a top priority for Benchmark International. As such, gaining more industry knowledge requires commitment to professional development and creating more connections with potential clients and buyers. Throughout the mergers and acquisitions industry, there is a myriad of events and conferences specific to this field that Benchmark International has the opportunity to attend.

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New GDPR Regulations in Europe: What Does This Mean for M&A?

Posted on May 18, 2018 By in Business Tips + UK Government + UK M&A

On the 25th May 2018, a new data protection regulation (the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive with the aim of protecting the personal data and privacy of EU citizens. It must be adhered to by all companies conducting business in the EU, regardless of the location in which they operate.

So, in the context of M&A activity, how will this affect you? One of the changes places a heavier emphasis on the privacy of a company’s customers; therefore, companies will be scrutinised on how they collect, store, use and transfer personal data. The knock-on effect this then has is that during a transaction, an acquirer will carry out even more comprehensive checks on the target, examining internal data protection systems and processes and undertaking checks on contracts with suppliers and subcontractors, which must comply with the new regulation.

This is in an acquirer’s best interest, as they inherit any existing data protection liabilities from the seller post-sale and the penalties for a breach are steep, attracting a maximum fine of either €20m, or 4% of global turnover, depending on whichever figure is highest.

It also will have an effect on the communicating of personal data during the due diligence process between an acquirer and seller. Personal data can now only be disclosed if the acquirer can show a legitimate interest. While in the M&A process, an acquirer can prove that they do have a legitimate interest in the data this is unlikely to extend to every individual involved in the business, instead just encompassing members of the organisation such a managers. Care then has to still be taken to not personally identify any individual outside of this remit, so a seller must make sure they are cautious not to identify individual customers or employees and suitably anonymise this data.

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Sale of Day 2 Interiors Limited to Lynx Equity Limited

Posted on May 18, 2018 By in UK Deals + UK M&A

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the successful acquisition of Day 2 to Lynx.

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Tags: UK Deals, UK M&A

Benchmark International's US Teams Hire New Team Members

Benchmark International is off to a strong start in 2018 with the first quarter at an end, many acquisitions completed and more in the final stages. 2018 has been a year of growth, which is highlighted by Benchmark International’s expansion into Tennessee and the addition of 16 new team members.

Benchmark International expanded the central support team, bringing in additional resources for all locations. Dylan Fraleigh and Oshane Hutchinson have joined central as the new IT Systems Administrator and Graphic Designer, respectively. They work closely with all teams and provide assistance to the IT and marketing departments specifically.

Hutchinson expressed that he is excited about his new role as a graphic designer. “The need for an artist to constantly evolve and grow is crucial, and Benchmark [International] fosters this need, and allows me to be creative in my work. This has been a big driver for me in my career, and I hope to support the Benchmark International brand accordingly,” he said.

In relation to his role, Fraleigh commented “What drew me to Benchmark International was its belief that the best teams should be enabled with the best tools. This embrace of emerging technologies is a thrilling prospect for anyone on the tech side of a business. I look forward to growing my own skillset while working to expand the suite of systems that help make Benchmark [International] a leader in the mergers and acquisitions industry.”

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Sale of Secure Care UK Limited to BrightStar Capital (London) Ltd

Posted on May 15, 2018 By in UK Deals + UK M&A

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Secure Care to BrightStar Capital.

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Tags: UK Deals, UK M&A

Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of McPhee Bros (Blantyre) Limited to Elaghmore Partners LLP

Posted on May 14, 2018 By in UK Deals + UK M&A

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between McPhee Bros (Blantyre) (trading as McPhee Mixers) to Elaghmore for an undisclosed multi-million pound sum.

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Tags: UK Deals, UK M&A

I’ve Been Approached by a Buyer, What Do I Do?

You’re sitting at your desk eating your lunch and reviewing the emails in your inbox when your phone rings. You pick up, on the other end of the phone is an inquirer looking to purchase your company. You haven’t given much thought to whether or not you’re open to selling your business, and here is someone who is ready to purchase it right now. What do you do?

Engage the Right Support Team

First things first, congrats! You might not be thinking to sell right now, and that’s okay, but now you know there is interest in your enterprise. If this inquiry has sparked curiosity in you to explore the possibilities of a sale, you need to be prepared. How do you approach an offer for your business out of the blue? Well, you don’t go into it alone, that’s for sure. You need to have the appropriate team in place to assist you should you decide to explore your options. You will need a sell-side mergers and acquisitions specialist to help you navigate the waters of a sale and break down your options for you.

When it comes to selling your business, it’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know. Having a mergers and acquisitions firm on your side can help you determine what the approximate value of your business is against others in the same market. Furthermore, you can discuss what your aspirations are for your business and what you hope to achieve from a sale.

What Do You Want?

A call that catches you off guard might have you thinking what the buyer’s intentions are, but you need to think about your intentions. If you consider selling your business seriously, what do you want from a sale?

 Read the Full Article Now
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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Intuition Communication Limited to LaingBuisson Limited

Posted on May 10, 2018 By in UK Deals + UK M&A

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Intuition to LaingBuisson.

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Tags: UK Deals, UK M&A

Webinar: Deal Structures – How to Get What You Want... Register Now!

Register now: http://bit.ly/2FWWS0O

Details:
Join Benchmark International, the creative deal structure experts to learn more about using various M&A deal structures to help achieve your goals in a Transaction. Based on our vast experience, we have completed transactions with creative deal structures to help maximum seller’s Transaction Value and address concerns during the M&A process. You will have peace of mind knowing that your concerns are common concerns that our deal teams deal with on a daily basis.

 
We will discuss various deal structures as we work through real-life case studies of actual Transactions to help give you an idea of various structures that might help you achieve your goals if you are considering selling.
 
We will discuss how to use structure to accomplish the following:
• Rewarding your employees for their hard work and service
• Growing your business with someone else’s capital
• Multiple shareholders with different goals
• How debt affects ownership post-close

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Benchmark Wins North American Deal of the Year and Financials Deal of the Year!

The M&A Advisor has named Benchmark International the winner of the North American Deal of the Year and the Financials Deal of the Year for their 10th Annual International M&A Awards.

NORTH AMERICAN DEAL OF THE YEAR
Acquisition of Gasco Afilliates, LLC by Tech Air

The sale of Gasco Afilliates, LLC to Tech Air was chosen at the North American Deal of the Year. Managing Director, Tyrus O’Neill headed the team that closed this transaction. He said it took a lot of tenacity and determination to get the client the best possible value for the company. 

“It’s an honor to learn that Tech Air and CI Capital’s acquisition of Gasco won North American Deal of the Year. This achievement is a testament to the entire Benchmark International team and the diligent effort that went into guiding the sell-side process from start to finish,” O’Neill said. ”I truly enjoyed being a part of a deal that delivered specific results for several members of a multigenerational business. It’s a double-win when the deal allows certain members of the business to exit early, while the younger generation remains to take advantage of a robust growth strategy and new capital partners. This is a great example of how Benchmark International’s unique fingerprint strategy generates amazing results in finding the ideal acquisition target and deal structure for our clients. We hope to continue strengthening the market by aligning our clients with the right buyers and creating value for both sides just like in the Gasco deal.”

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Why 2018 is the Year to Conduct an M&A Deal

Posted on May 8, 2018 By in UK M&A

A business confidence survey conducted by accountancy firm EY has shown that nearly two thirds of UK companies are planning M&A deals over the next 12 months, which is the highest level since 2010.

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Tags: UK M&A

Benchmark International Facilitates the Acquisition of UBEO Business Services to Sentinel Capital Partners

Benchmark International is pleased to announce it has successfully facilitated the acquisition of UBEO Business Services to Sentinel Capital Partners.

UBEO, Benchmark International's client, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a provider of best-in-class document management equipment and related services. UBEO facilitates business technology integration by offering the newest, best, and most innovative ideas in hardware and software solutions to its customer base of approximately 6,000 mid-sized businesses, schools, and municipalities. With a team of more than 225 salespeople, technicians, and support staff, UBEO sells and services globally-recognized copier and printer equipment in major Texas metropolitan markets and operates seven sales sites serving the San Antonio, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston metropolitan areas.

Jim Sheffield,President and CEO of UBEO, said "We are very proud of the reputation we have built. UBEO outperforms its competition in the service categories that our customers value most – technical capability, service quality, and on-time delivery. Partnering with Sentinel well positions us for our next phase of profitable growth."

Sentinel Capital Partners is a private equity firm that targets investments in middle-market companies with strong management and attractive growth prospects. Sentinel looks to invest up to $175 million of equity in companies generating EBITDA of up to $65 million. Sectors of interest include business services/outsourcing, consumer products and services, food and restaurants, franchising, and manufacturing. Prospective transaction situations include management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, take-privates, and growth financings. Their motto is to provide "private equity to talented executives and helping them to build great businesses and realize their boldest dreams."

Scott Perry, a partner at Sentinel, explained "We are very excited about the acquisition of UBEO and partnering with a regional market leader with a stable, highly recurring business model, high margins and strong free cash flow characteristics. As the largest independent dealer in Texas, UBEO is a scalable platform and ideal for consolidating its highly fragmented industry. We are very pleased to partner with a highly experienced, talented, and strongly committed management team that has a proven record of profitable growth."

Sentinel Capital Partners has made several notable acquisitions in the last 12 months. Besides acquiring UBEO, Sentinel has made four other platform investments – Altima Dental, a leading dental services organization in Canada; Captain D’s, the leading franchisor and operator of seafood quick service restaurants; MB2 Dental Solutions, a rapidly-growing regional dental service organization with a unique physician-centric ownership model; and Nekoosa, a leading manufacturer of specialty paper and film products used in the graphics and commercial print markets. During this same period, Sentinel sold Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain; Huddle House, a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast; National Spine & Pain Centers, a leader in interventional pain management; Playcore, the leading North American designer, supplier of play, park, and recreation products; and WellSpring Consumer Healthcare, a portfolio of high-performing OTC healthcare brands.

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Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins to RTM Engineering Consultants

Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins, Inc. is a leading mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering firm specializing in commercial construction. The company has extensive experience in several different industries and has completed numerous projects for national retailers and hospitality companies throughout the US. Located in Springfield, MO, and Overland Park, KS, the company is licensed to perform work in all forty-eight contiguous states. Over its thirty-five years in operation, Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins, Inc. has successfully completed hundreds of large-scale retail and hospitality projects.

Rod Finkle, President of Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins, Inc. commented, “We are excited about the acquisition and RTM’s future capabilities with the firm. Benchmark International’s transaction team provided a great buyer that fits perfectly with the culture of our company. Tyrus, and the team quickly sourced a motivated buyer which eventually turned into our exit strategy. We would like to extend a special thanks to the team that quickly brought us results in finding the right buyer.”

Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent Rod and the firm in this transaction, and on behalf of Benchmark International, we are extremely pleased with the outcome. The acquirer and seller have numerous strategic synergies which has led to a great process and result. Overall, this has been a thoroughly satisfying experience and we wish both parties the best of luck moving forward”

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I’m Thinking of Selling My Company, How do I Value My Business

So, you are entertaining the thought of possibly selling your business. How do you know what it’s worth? There are a lot of factors that go into deciding an asking price for your company. The market, the industry, and the level of risk can all affect the final value. The following guide will walk you through a quick rundown of the valuation process for middle-market businesses and help you gain a basic understanding of what your company might be worth.

Step One: Have Your Finances in Check

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Benchmark International facilitates the acquisition of builder security group

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the acquisition of Builder Security Group is complete. Benchmark International, as the sell-side representative, was able to bring an ideal buyer to the table to close this sale.

The closing of the Builder Security Group acquisition marks the tenth US deal completion for Benchmark International in 2018. Benchmark International's Global CEO, Gregory Jackson, stated "This record-setting quarter looks to end on a high note, and quarter two is moving with great momentum as well."

Builder Security Group is a security installation and monitoring company located in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. It is an all-in-one resource for all finishing touches that go along with a new home, from security products and monitoring to home theater systems and networking. Its experience and reputation, along with the vast selection of products and services it offers, has helped Builder Security Group form a reputation in San Antonio and the surrounding areas as a premiere outlet for homeowner and homebuilder needs.

Builder Security Group was acquired by a buyer seeking to spread its national footprint, specifically its expansion in to the state of Texas. Builder Security Group will continue its business in security products and monitoring.

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BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL FACILITATES THE SALE OF CHALLENGER POOLS OF TAMPA TO CODY POOLS OF FLORIDA.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Challenger Pools of Tampa,Inc., and Cody Pools of Florida, LLC, a portfolio company of Prospect Partners, a Private Equity fund.

Benchmark International Managing Director Dara Shareef stated, “We would like to congratulate our clients, Bruce & Carolyn Esquinaldo, on the sale of Challenger Pools. The proceeds will allow them to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Challenger was the largest pool builder in the Tampa Bay area. Benchmark International has a relationship with Prospect Partners, which owns one of the largest pool builders in the country, Cody Pools. Benchmark ran a full marketing process that attracted both financial and strategic buyers, but ultimately utilized its relationship with Prospect to help secure a good exit price for the sellers.

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First Quarter Shows Promising Uplift for UK Deal Making

The first quarter of 2018 has seen a strong start in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) worldwide, with the volume of deals increasing by 67% in the USA, 11% in Asia and doubling in Europe.

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Why You Need an M&A Firm to Grow Your Business

You have worked hard to build your business from infancy and bring it to the success it has achieved thus far. Taking your business to the next level feels like the right thing to do, but your personal load is getting larger and larger, so how can you do that? You are nearly maxed out as it is. You knew starting a business would be hard and growing it would be even harder.

Should you sellout completely? Should you find a partner? You are probably beginning to explore your options. One option, that will make your job easier and help you find a partner who can take your company to its full potential, is using a mergers and acquisitions firm to help you find a buyer that will fulfill your vision for your business, through a strategic acquisition.

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Benchmark International Attends Texas ACG Capital Connection

Benchmark International sponsored and attended the 2018 Texas ACG Capital Connection event in Houston, Texas from March 28 to March 29. Texas ACG Capital Connection is known as the most significant private equity and debt capital event in Texas and the Southern United States. It is also one of the largest ACG Capital Connections in the United States.

Benchmark International’s Managing Director, Kendall Stafford, feels that these types of events are essential to the team’s professional development and growth, and offer Benchmark International the opportunity to present their clients’ opportunities to many buyers. “These events allow us to connect with financial buyers across several industries, states, and countries at the same time,” she said. “Additionally, members of our team can attend keynote speaker sessions and they can share what they learn with the rest of the team, so we can focus on trends in today’s M&A market.”

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