When you are about to sell a business, you have a few options regarding how to do it, and whose expertise to enlist. Many people confuse M&A advisors with business brokers. While there are some similarities, they are not one and the same. There is actually more than one significant difference between an M&A advisor and a business broker. It is important for any business owner to understand these differences, so that it can be determined which is the best way to go about the sale of a company.READ MORE >>
At the 20th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, Benchmark International was awarded M&A Deal of the Year (100M-250M) for the acquisition of PBK Architects by DC Capital Partners.
As the 23rd largest US-based architecture firm, PBK, based in Houston, Texas, and its subsidiaries in California, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong, employ more than 500 architects, engineers, and related professionals.
In addition to its Top 25 status, in 2019, PBK was ranked as the “#1 Education Design Firm” by Engineering News-Record (“ENR”), widely regarded as the engineering and design industry’s premier publication. Specializing in K-12 projects and, in particular, large public high schools, PBK has long been the go-to firm for sustainable design and next-gen integrations in particular. The company also focuses on two related building types—higher education and sports facilities.
This transaction followed closely on the heels of 11 other deals that Benchmark International closed in the architecture, engineering & construction (AEC) space in the first half of 2020.
At the 20th Annual M&A Advisor Awards—known as the Oscars of the M&A world— Benchmark International was awarded Investment Banking Firm of the Year. The awards are presented by The M&A Advisor, and the winners were announced at the Gala Ceremony live event held in New York City on November 17, 2021.
Benchmark International beat out the other nominees, which included Capstone Partners, Clearsight Advisors, DC Advisory, Drake Star Partners, Generational Group, Leonis Partners, and Raymond James.
These awards serve as the industry benchmark for dealmaking excellence, recognizing the leading M&A transactions, restructurings, deal financings, products/services, firms, and professionals.
Benchmark International won three prestigious awards at the 20th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, presented by The M&A Advisor. The winners were announced at the Gala Ceremony live event held in New York City on November 17, 2021. The awards won by Benchmark International included:
Investment Banking Firm of the Year
M&A Deal of the Year ($100MM to $250MM)
Professional Services (B2B) Deal of the Year
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These awards are known as the Oscars of the M&A world, serving as the industry benchmark for dealmaking excellence, recognizing the leading M&A transactions, restructurings, deal financings, products/services, firms, and professionals. Benchmark International took top billing over other well-known firms such as Raymond James, Goldman Sachs, and KPMG.
Gregory Jackson, CEO of Benchmark International, stated, "We are immensely proud of our team for such honorable achievements. We will continue to pursue only the highest of standards for our clients and to maintain our role as a leader in the world of mergers and acquisitions."
"These awards speak volumes about how much Benchmark International has become game-changers in the middle market. Congratulations to every member of the Benchmark International family who works tirelessly to make sure we shine every day," said Steven Keane, Chairman.
Also weighing in is Dara Shareef, Managing Partner, who said, "This fantastic news is a true testament to the vision, talent, and commitment of everyone at Benchmark International who always goes above and beyond to look out for the best interests of our clients."
Clinton Johnston, Managing Director, also expressed his pride in a statement: "We are delighted with this recognition that demonstrates how highly regarded we are in the M&A space. Our team's hard work and impressive accomplishments deserve to be celebrated."
The M&A Advisor was founded in 1998 with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, and today is the leading organization that recognizes excellence and achievement among the world's leading dealmakers.
Selling your business is a paramount moment in your life. It’s something you absolutely want to get right so that you can extract the most value out of the deal—and so that you are protected from being swindled by a savvy buyer. It also takes a great deal of time and energy to sell a company, which can be rather difficult to spare when you are trying to focus on running a business. Most people simply do not have this time, energy, connections, or expertise that is required to put their company on the market. This is where the importance of an experienced M&A advisor comes in. By partnering with an M&A expert, they handle all the details of a deal, including due diligence, negotiations, marketing, vetting, and ensuring that you get the most value for your business. They also know how to navigate bumps in the process, and manage the expectations of all parties involved.READ MORE >>
In the GAMECHANGERS (ACQ5) 2021 GLOBAL AWARDS, Benchmark International has been named the International Mid-Market Corporate Finance Advisory of The Year.
The ACQ is a leading corporate news publication serving the sector since 2003, with a global audience of more than 261,000 subscribers. The GAMECHANGERS (ACQ5) GLOBAL AWARDS celebrate achievement, innovation and brilliance, recognizing the most outstanding organizations and professionals in the world.READ MORE >>
You’re selling your business and thinking about hiring an M&A adviser, but you’re unsure of the best way to get the most out of them, and what exactly they can do for you.
The below discusses how to get the most out of your M&A adviser, ensuring the most successful exit strategy for you.
Communicate your goals.
Sellers each have their own goals of what they want to get out of their exit strategy, whether that be achieving maximum value, ensuring staff remain, or ensuring they remain with the company post-sale. Make sure that these are communicated with your M&A adviser to get the most out of them, as they can tailor the process to your needs.READ MORE >>
For even the most experienced business people, selling a business can be a new phenomenon as it is something that most people do just once. From this, myths about the M&A process are created, which come to be believed as facts.
The below discusses the most common myths when selling a business, and the truth behind them.
The asking price is what I will receive.
As with buying a home it’s unlikely the price that you put it on the market for is what you will get, whether that be when you receive the initial offer, or when the surveys have been undertaken. When selling a business, the same can happen – buyers will view the asking price as subject to negotiation. After this, the buyer may then try to negotiate again once they have performed their due diligence on the company.
At Benchmark International, offers are on a ‘Bids Invited’ basis. This prevents a buyer viewing the asking price as something that can be negotiated. When it comes to due diligence, the buyer may try to renegotiate the initial price agreed, but Benchmark International will negotiate with the buyer on your behalf with your best interests in mind.READ MORE >>
That’s an easy answer. YES! You absolutely should hire an M&A advisor to sell your business. Here’s why.
It’s Not Easy
The process of selling a company is guaranteed to be complicated. While an accomplished attorney or accountant can help, you are going to need a true expert intermediary to handle the entire venture if you are serious about selling and getting the best possible deal.
Consider the seemingly endless amount of work that needs to be done.
• Data and documentation must be produced and organized, stretching back several years to a decade. This is going to include financials, vendors, contracts, and so much more. Do not underestimate how overwhelming the paperwork will be.
• Potential buyers will need to be identified and vetted. A good M&A advisor has access to connections and a knowledge base that you would otherwise never have, opening up an entirely new realm of potential buyers. This process will include a fair share of phone calls, emails, and face-to-face meetings, all of which add up to be very time-consuming.
• You are going to need an experienced negotiator that knows how to maximize your business value and lay the groundwork for getting you what you want. This means knowing how to push a deal forward while providing you with peace of mind that things are on the right track. This also means creating a competitive bidding landscape.
Get Peace of Mind
Selling your business is not a process that should be taken lightly. Countless decisions will need to be made. Consider the reality of what is going to be required and embrace the fact that you cannot shoulder the burden and run your company. Make sure you can sleep at night. Find an M&A advisor that will find you the right buyer, deal with the minutiae, and get the job done—all while sharing your vision for the company, as well as your exit strategy.
They Can Get You More Money
It is also important to note that an M&A advisor is more likely to get you more money. Research shows that private sellers receive significantly higher acquisition premiums when they retain advisors, in the range of six to 25%. Additional research shows that 84% of mid-market business owners who hired an M&A advisor reported that the final sale price for their business was equal to or higher than the initial sale price estimate provided. After all, they know how to value a company properly.
Another benefit of having an M&A advisor is that it shows buyers that you are a serious seller. As a result, hiring an M&A advisor can help drive up your company valuation and get you more favorable terms.
Enlisting the guidance of the wrong advisor can be disastrous. The last thing you want is to end up in negotiations with someone who does not have your wants and needs in mind at all times. Even worse, they can slow down the process and cost you a fortune. When making this decision, know what to look for:
• You want an advisor that understands you, your company, and what you expect to achieve from the sale.
• Consider their experience in your sector, as well as their geographic connections, and how that can work for your business. Global connections are especially helpful. And do they usually work with businesses that are around the same size as yours?
• They will adequately prepare you and manage your expectations.
• They will work diligently to find the RIGHT buyer, not just the easiest or the richest.
• They should be honest, and you should trust them because they have demonstrated that they are worthy of it.
• Their track record will speak for itself. A quality business acquisition advisor is going to have a proven reputation, client testimonials, credentials, and accolades.
• Also, ask if they use any proprietary technologies or databases and how it helps them gain insight into specific industries.
Take your time in evaluating potential advisors. A good firm will patiently accommodate your process. You are going to be working closely with them through a grueling journey, so you will want to feel comfortable with their team and confident that they will work around the clock to get you the most favorable results possible.