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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Dealtop Limited and The Go-Ahead Group plc

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the acquisition of Exeter-based Dealtop T/A Dartline Coaches by Newcastle upon Tyne-based Go-Ahead.

Beginning with eight vehicles in 1987, Dartline has grown its operations over its 25 years of trading and now possesses 84 vehicles, employs 118 people, and provides a comprehensive range of transport services. In addition to coaches and buses, Dartline runs special education needs taxis.

Established in 1987, Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s leading public transport companies with operations in the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Norway, and Germany. Formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange, in 2022 it was purchased by Kinetic Group and Globalvia.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

In the West Country, Go-Ahead has grown rapidly. From its origins as Plymouth Citybus, the group expanded into East Cornwall in 2014, and again in 2020 through an eight-year contract to deliver rural bus routes from Lands End to the Tamar for the county council, creating Go Cornwall Bus. The combined operation was given a new corporate identity as Go South West.

Following the acquisition, Go South West will operate 380 vehicles and employ 90 people under four customer-facing brands: Dartline, Go Cornwall Bus, Go Devon Bus and Plymouth Citybus.

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The Public-To-Private Trend For New Paths To Growth

Many individuals at large institutions that trade in the public markets are turning to private ownership and pursuing majority equity positions in lower middle-market companies and even creating their own funds. This public-to-private trend is partially being driven by current and expected public market volatility over the next few years, combined with individual business circumstances, all with the expectation for a brighter future. The recent stock market instability is presenting attractive opportunities for companies that may perform better in the private market. Private equity and private investors have ample capital available to them at a time when public market valuations are sinking. The interest is coming from both private equity funds and strategies, as private markets are gaining ground on public markets. Take-privates are on pace for the second year in a row at $100 billion or more in deal value. That is a first for the industry in more than a decade.

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Benchmark International Awarded Corporate / Strategic Deal Of The Year ($10MM - $25MM)

Benchmark International was awarded Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year ($10MM - $25MM) for the transaction of Performance Equipment to Mid State Restoration in The M&A Advisor's 21st Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

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Benchmark International Awarded Cross-Border Deal Of The Year ($10MM - $25MM)

Benchmark International was awarded Cross-Border Deal of the Year ($10MM - $25MM) for the sale of Summus Group to Sia Partners at The M&A Advisor’s 21st Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

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Benchmark International Named Leading Specialist M&A Advisory Firm Of The Year 2023

Benchmark International has been named Leading Specialist M&A Advisory Firm of the Year 2023 in the United Kingdom by Acquisition International's Leading Adviser Awards.

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­­Benchmark International Is Pleased To Announce The Transaction Of Chustz Surveying, L.L.C. And GIS Engineering

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Chustz Surveying, a Louisiana-Based Surveying Company, and GIS Engineering, a professional service firm across five locations in Louisiana.

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Benchmark International Facilitated the Transaction of NMC Exteriors and Remodeling to Gauge Capital / Apple Roofing

The seller, NMC Exteriors, is a Minneapolis, MN based residential and commercial roofing and siding provider with 20+ years serving homeowners and businesses in the greater Minneapolis area. NMC’s commitment to quality has propelled them to be a market leader in their community.  They have achieved an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau and have been awarded the Platinum Preferred Contractor by Owens Corning.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated a Transaction Between Paramount Urgent Care, Inc. and HCA Healthcare.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Florida-based Paramount Urgent Care, Inc. (“Paramount”) and HCA Healthcare, headquartered in Nashville, TN. Paramount operates six urgent care clinics in Central Florida, with locations in Clermont, The Villages, Oviedo, Orlando, Casselberry, and Windemere Villages. 

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Shift Left Group Limited and Planit Software Testing Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Yorkshire-headquartered Shift Left by Sydney-headquartered Planit, for an undisclosed sum.

Shift Left provides specialist business and technology consultancy services, improving quality and reducing risk for clients by providing the strategies, solutions and advice needed to move quality earlier and throughout IT lifecycles of change. Working with clients throughout the UK and Europe, the company has a strong reputation in a niche industry with renowned blue-chip clients.

Planit is the leading provider of quality engineering solutions, consultancy, services, and training in the Asia Pacific region. The company enables businesses to deliver better software by providing the skills and solutions needed to improve the quality of their software and the way they deliver it.

Under the acquisition, Shift Left will continue to operate under its brand, with its co-founders David Rigler and Alan Upton leading Shift Left operations.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

According to Managing Director, Mr. Rigler, the company’s partnership with Planit will enable Shift Left to continue its focus on providing a quality service to its customers by leveraging the scale and capability that Planit has within its existing operations.

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Why Competition Matters

How will running a competitive bid process help me?

The lower middle market remains very active, and we anticipate that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. If you are a business owner, you have probably received unsolicited interest and perhaps even offers for your business. There is a lot of money chasing few deals, so buyers are looking to find off-market deals to build their pipeline and purchase a business below market value to boost their investors’ returns. Having additional buyers at the table tends only to benefit the seller.

When a buyer uncovers an off-market deal, they are often in a better position to buy the business at a discounted price than what they would pay in a formal auction or open bid process. Buyers seek acquisitions to help solve a problem or hit an ROI benchmark. If the buyer can purchase a business below market, then the buyer ends up winning both in the current transaction and future transactions. The business owner is the one who tends to have seller’s remorse. Our team commonly speaks with buyers who will not participate in auction processes because they do not want to pay top dollar, and those buyers know that they are not willing to do what it takes to win the bid.

If you have ever watched an episode of Shark Tank when all the sharks are bidding on an opportunity, you have seen how a competitive bid process can benefit the company pitching to the sharks. When Lori Greiner, Barbara Coroan, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, or Mark Cuban share an interest in an opportunity, it often piques the interest of another shark who wants to jump in and try to win the bid. Sometimes, the sharks even go into the deal together. This process also happens for deals within the lower middle market. When two buyers go into a deal together, they are called co-investments. In this case, two can be better than one. However, you will not know if co-investments are an option until you go to market and run a process.

When a seller receives an offer from an unsolicited party, the offer only reflects one party’s view of the value of the business. Businesses are comprised of both tangible and intangible assets. That is, the value of the business lies not only in its tangible assets like machines and inventory but, perhaps more importantly, in the quality of its people, process, customer base, and intellectual property. Acquirers buy businesses for many reasons, including for geographic expansion, product line development, talent acquisition, and competitive advantages, to name a few. Why is a business worth 5x to one buyer but 7x to another? A business's real value is the opportunities an acquirer has post-closing. Ultimately, the only way to know if the offer in hand is a representation of the market or even the best option for the business owner is to explore multiple views of the value of the business.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

If you move forward with the one offer available, what will you do if the deal falls apart during due diligence? Due diligence can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process. If you go through the due diligence process and the deal is unsuccessful, what? You will not have a second or third option. The sale process can be very emotional. Often, when a deal closing is not successful, a firm that ran a bid process will typically have a handful of bidders that they are able to re-engage to work toward a successful closing. The deal team can utilize the initial data request and due diligence process to make the workload lighter the second time around. An experienced M&A deal team will be able to craft a strategy to target active buyers from previous efforts and bring them back to the table. However, if you only have one option, you must start over from the beginning. By the time you start over, you are at risk of missing the market, which might cost you tens of millions of dollars.

The other great aspect of running a bid process is that you have leverage during due diligence. Typically, when a letter of intent is signed, the negotiation power shifts from the seller to the buyer. If you have other suitors waiting in the background, an experienced M&A deal team can use that competitive tension to help a seller secure the best deal on the market and keep the buyer in check. The buyer who ultimately wins a formal auction process knows that there were other suitors competing for the bid.

It is crucial for any seller considering a sale to hire a capable sell-side M&A firm to take them to market. A dedicated sell-side team virtually assures you that you will have multiple suitors and bids. You will be able to see several different views on the value of your business and be able to determine the optimal deal structure. The process will allow you to explore other partnerships and understand what competitive advantage various firms can bring to the table. If you compare the company sale process to dating, it is good to know what other suitors offer so you can pick the best one for you! Having an experienced M&A team take you to market to uncover your best options will give you the peace of mind that you have the information you need to make the best decision for you and your business.

  Author
  Kendall Stafford
  Managing Partner
  Benchmark International

  T: +1 512 347 2000
  E: STAFFORD@BENCHMARKINTL.COM

 

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Impact Communications And Imagination Works, Inc.

The seller, Impact Communications, is a Cleveland, OH-based full-service production company specializing in in-person and virtual event experiences, video production, museum and exhibits, and interactive applications. With over 40 years of providing services to some of the largest brands in the country, Impact Communications has established a stellar reputation for delivering quality projects.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between We Are Hyrdogen Ltd and PA Media Group

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the acquisition of Glasgow-based Hydrogen by London-based PA Media.

Established in 2016, award-winning Hydrogen is the largest social media agency in Scotland, specialising in social media management, B2B and B2C content creation, community management, paid advertising, research, and insights.

The company has delivered significant year-on-year growth since its formation and has worked with clients across the publishing, utilities, FMCG and hospitality sectors, including The Economist, Highland Park, SSE and Magners.

PA Media is the UK's leading provider of multimedia content and services. The group comprises a diverse portfolio of specialist media companies, spanning news and information, technology, and communications services.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

PA Media Group has 20 shareholders, who are mainly UK news and media businesses. The largest shareholders include DMGT plc, Informa plc, News UK plc and Reach plc.

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Central Hydraulics And Sbp Holdings.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Florida-based Central Hydraulics, Inc. (“Central”) and SBP Holdings of Houston, Texas. Founded in 1983, Central is a distributor of hoses and other products that also operates full-service hydraulic sales and repair shops. Central maintains five locations in Daytona Beach, Cocoa, Leesburg, Ocala, and Tampa. SBP Holdings, the country’s no. 2 hose and accessories distributor, maintains a footprint of approximately 85 locations and 1,000 employees.

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2022 Global Digital Advertising Industry Report

The digital advertising sector is also often referred to as online marketing, Internet advertising, and web advertising. The market includes revenues gained by advertising activities conducted by organizations targeting consumers via Internet-enabled mobile devices and personal computers.

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Benchmark International Awarded International Gamechanger™ Progress Champion For Race And Culture Equality

Benchmark International was named International Gamechanger™ Progress Champion for Race and Culture Equality in the 2022 ACQ5 Global Awards.

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Don’t Miss Benchmark International’s Newest Edition of The Mark

Benchmark International is excited to release our latest in-house publication of The Mark, Vol. XXI.
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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Of A Janitor’s Closet And Envoy Solutions

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the successful transaction between A Janitor's Closet and Envoy Solutions.

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Big Data & Cloud Storage Security Industry Report

Global Big Data Security Market

The global big data security market was valued at $24 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $115 billion by 2030. That is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% over the forecast period of 2022 to 2030. North America led the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitates The Transaction Between Mellasat Wine & Fruit And A Consortium Of Private Investors

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Mellasat Wine & Fruit and a consortium of private investors.

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Benchmark International’s Ireland Office Ranked 7th In Emea Advisory League Tables

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that it has been ranked 7th in the top 10 by Mergermarket for the number of deals it has conducted in Ireland. KPMG, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and PwC are amongst the companies to also rank in the top 10. An Acuris company, Mergermarket delivers M&A intelligence, data, and research. 

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The Green Economy Update And Outlook

The global green industry is forecast to grow at a significant rate between 2022 and 2026. Over the past decade, the green economy’s market capitalization grew from $2 trillion in 2009 to more than $7 trillion in 2021. It also nearly doubled its share of the global investable market from 4% to more than 7%. Last year, the market grew at a steady rate and is expected to continue to do so with the growing adoption of strategies by key players.

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Ernst and Young Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd (“ey South Africa”) And Parity Software (Pty) Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to congratulate Ernst and Young Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd (“EY”) on their acquisition of Parity Software (Pty) Ltd (“Parity”).

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Bone Daddy’s, Inc. And The Island Spot

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Bone Daddy’s, a Texas barbeque joint, and The Island Spot, a Jamaican restaurant with multiple locations.

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Neil Dornbusch And Associates And Anderson Process

The seller, Neil Dornbusch and Associates, located in New Prague, Minnesota, has been providing pumping and fluid handling solutions since 1988. They fabricate and custom-build food processing plants, specializing in sanitary and stainless-steel applications. They also assist with the design of fluid handling systems.

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2022 Global Business Analytics Industry Report

The global business analytics market was valued at $76.5 billion in 2021 and is forecast to reach $122.5 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1%.

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2022 Industrial Robotics Industry Report

Industrial robotics is now critical across many sectors for the automation and manufacturing of many tasks, including loading, packaging, labeling, and inspection. They are commonly used in the automobile and heavy engineering sectors and are becoming more common in many other sectors. In the past, robots were mostly only used in the automotive and manufacturing industries, but more sectors are adopting them today. These sectors include defense, healthcare, aerospace, food & beverage, education, and electronics. There is also an increase in demand for telesurgery and elder care, as well as bomb dispersal, monitoring, and mine detection. There are currently around 2.7 million industrial robots in use worldwide, a number that is quickly rising. 

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Benchmark International Facilitated the Transaction Between Access Truck Parts and Summit Hydraulics

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between Access Truck Parts with Summit Hydraulics, backed by North Branch Capital.

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Benchmark International Facilitated The Transaction Between Dover Foods, Inc. and Transylvania Vocational Services, Inc.

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Mills River, NC-based Dover Foods, Inc. and Translyvania Vocational Services, Inc. (TVS) of Brevard, North Carolina. Dover is a manufacturer of high-quality dry mix consumer packaged goods (CPGs), including a high-growth private label business. TVS is a mission-oriented manufacturer of dry packaged goods, selling its products largely through USDA and USAID hunger assistance, food bank, and other programs.

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated The Transaction Between Fastway Couriers (Pty) Ltd And City Logistics (Pty) Ltd, And Clearwater Capital (Pty) Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Fastway Couriers’ National Master (Fastway South Africa), Fastway Johannesburg, and Fastpost businesses by City Logistics (Pty) Ltd in partnership with Clearwater Capital (Pty) Ltd.

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Benchmark International Facilitated the Transaction Between Dallas Plumbing Company and Air Pros USA

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction between Dallas Plumbing Company and Air Pros USA.

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Benchmark International is Pleased to Announce the Proposed Acquisition of The Mayo News by Iconic Media Group

Iconic Media Group and The Mayo News today announce that an agreement in principle, subject to normal regulatory approvals and clearance, has been reached to purchase the Westport-based local newspaper.

The Mayo News is one of the longest established newspapers in the country, having been established in 1892. The paper has a proud history of serving the local community with its efforts being recognised by a host of awards including the prestigious European Local Newspaper of The Year prize twice, in 2007 and 2014.

The Mayo News has been in the ownership of the Berry family for a number of decades.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Iconic Media Group is Ireland's largest independently owned regional newspaper and media group. Should the sale be approved, it would increase the footprint of the company, which already owns over 15 local weekly titles. These include The Donegal Democrat, The Limerick Leader and The Leinster Express.

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2022 Global Space Industry Report

In 2021, the global space market was valued at $388.50 billion and is expected to reach $540.75 billion by 2026. The sector has expanded by an impressive 70% between 2010 and 2020. The space economy is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.84% between 2022 and 2026. Analysts also predict that the space industry will reach $1 trillion in annual revenue by the year 2040, with launch costs lowered by 95%. As the cost of accessing space falls, opportunities for expansion and innovation will increase. The fastest growth is predicted to stem from new space applications and industries.

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The Surge Of Cryptocurrency M&A

Deal activity continues to heat up in the cryptocurrency space as the adoption of crypto becomes more mainstream. Last year was a huge year for cryptocurrencies. In 2021, the price of bitcoin was up 49%, Ether was up 390%, and Dogecoin was up a whopping 1,600%. The M&A market for cryptocurrency soared by nearly 5,000% last year. But this is nothing compared to the activity for M&A of crypto companies.

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Types of Financial Buyers

There are two types of buyers: strategic buyers and financial buyers. Commercial lenders, family offices, private equity funds, mezzanine funds, independent investors, and other capital providers are all financial buyers. Strategic buyers include everything else. It can be beneficial to entertain both financial and strategic buyers when you are selling your business. Still, it is important to understand how financial buyers think and what you’re dealing with as you work through conversations and negotiations.

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Metaphase Design Group, Inc. and Aptar Pharma

Metaphase Design Group, Inc. is a leader in applying the science of human factors engineering and ergonomics to product design. Metaphase incorporates various areas of specialization in their User-Centered Design Innovation Process, combining them with extensive expertise in Industrial Design and Human Factors research and support.

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Why Does Ebitda Get Adjusted?

In the world of small to mid-market mergers and acquisitions, a number that is very important is a company’s adjusted EBITDA. The adjusted EBITDA is meant to find a company’s true normalized earnings by taking away any outside influences or ownership influences on the company’s bottom line. Some companies do not have to make many adjustments in order to find adjusted EBITDA, while some companies may need many adjustments to arrive at adjusted EBITDA.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between A to Z Insurance and Acrisure

Benchmark International represented A to Z Insurance in the company’s sale to Acrisure. A to Z Insurance, headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas, is an independent insurance agency specializing in commercial trucking policies. The agency also offers a variety of personal and commercial insurance policies and represents many of the nation’s leading insurance providers. A to Z Insurance has four locations throughout Texas.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated The Transaction Between Hexagon Electrical (Pty) Ltd And Montsi Investments

Hexagon Electrical (Pty) Ltd (Hexagon Electrical) designs, manufactures and re-conditions a large range of flameproof and non-flameproof motors, switchgear, transformers, flameproof and non-flameproof enclosures, flameproof auxiliary equipment, and standard and flameproof motors for ventilation fans and dust control systems.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated The Transaction Between Arora Engineers And Jacmel Growth Partners

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Pennsylvania-based Arora Engineers and Jacmel Growth Partners, a New York-based private investment firm. Arora is a leading professional services firm that provides infrastructure-focused planning, design, program/construction management, facilities management, asset management and technology services primarily to state, local, and federal government customers.

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Family Business Succession Planning And Success Rates

A family business is technically defined as an organization that is owned and operated by at least two members of the same family. Family businesses actually account for around two-thirds of all companies worldwide, and 90% of companies in the U.S. The largest 500 family-owned companies generate annual revenues of $6.5 trillion. Global research has also demonstrated that well-run family companies are more profitable and stay in business longer than other companies, even with the many challenges they face. 

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