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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between StatKing Consulting, Inc and Genesis Biotechnology Group

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between StatKing Consulting, Inc and Genesis Biotechnology Group.

The seller, StatKing Consulting, has been providing data related clinical services to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over 30 years. StatKing has evolved to become an industry-respected, full-service Contract Research Organization led by two distinguished individuals, Dennis King and Rod Lashley. Both Dennis and Rod have assembled a world-class team of experts to navigate regulatory approval studies.

“Finding the right buyer for the business we had built over the last 30+ years was very important to us. Besides having the expertise to guide us through the steps in selling our business, Benchmark had the resources to connect us with several companies that fit our requirements. Benchmark also provided invaluable guidance as we successfully negotiated a particularly difficult situation enabling us to complete our sale.” – Rod Lashley, EVP StatKing Consulting, Inc.

 

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The buyer, Genesis Biotechnology Group, is a New Jersey based healthcare company providing clinical diagnostics, drug discovery solutions, and manufacturing/distribution of essential laboratory products.

"The way pharma companies work with CROs is changing. CROs are taking more of a strategic planning role and execution in the drug discovery and development process. This engagement model results in sponsors and CROs becoming end-to-end partners, and M&A is helping CRO's extend their service portfolio to partner with their customers in providing greater efficiency in service and delivery across the R&D continuum. The acquisition of STATKING would bring GD3 one more step closer to becoming a full-service CRO," said Ben Bandaru, Ph.D., Director of Corporate Development for GBG.

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director Matthew Kekelis at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark was thrilled to bring StatKing on board as a client. We enjoy working in all industries, but it’s always special working with healthcare companies given our office location in the heart of Nashville’s healthcare hub. Dennis and Rod have built a great company, and I know Genesis will carry on their legacy.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between CCAC, Inc and an Affiliate of Southern Air Heating & Cooling

CCAC is a Texas-based full-service heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company.  They focus on servicing and installing residential and light commercial markets: the company services Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas.

Founded in 1994, Southern Air Heating & Cooling is a BBB Accredited and NATE Certified HVAC and plumbing services business serving residents across Louisiana and Mississippi.  It proudly employs technicians who have met the highest standards of training in the industry and backs its work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

President David Mathews of CCAC, Inc commented regarding the deal, “I have enjoyed working with Benchmark for the sale of our business.  They were professional and brought us several potential buyers to choose from.  We had several offers and chose the buyers that we thought would be the best to take care of our employees and the business going forward. Thank you.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Benchmark International proved value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  Also, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional, and national associations.  As a result, Benchmark International presented the client with multiple buyers and offers for the client to have the most vital options and make the best decision for themselves, their business, and their employees.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso commented, “We are excited to see that our client’s legacy will remain and prosper through this transaction. We understood that our client was seeking a company that would provide a succession plan for the future of the company while also providing a great work environment for their employees. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success in the future.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Arcus Consultancy Services Limited and ERM-Europe Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Arcus Consultancy Services (“Arcus Consultancy”) to ERM-Europe (“ERM”).

Arcus Consultancy is an award-winning, multidisciplinary environmental, planning and engineering consultancy, specialising in the renewable energy sector. Clients include five of the ‘big six’ UK energy suppliers and projects include some of the most significant renewable energy schemes in Europe and Africa. 70 staff work from the company’s offices in Glasgow, York, Durham, Maidstone, and Cape Town, providing a range of connected services.

ERM is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, social consulting, and sustainability related services. The company works with the world’s leading organisations, helping them to understand their sustainability challenges. ERM employs more than 5,500 people who work in more than over 160 offices in over 40 countries and territories.

This acquisition will enable the continued growth journey of Arcus Consultancy, while providing an exciting opportunity for ERM to acquire Arcus Consultancy's specialism in renewable energy consulting.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Greg Shillabeer, Founder and CEO of Arcus Consultancy commented: “We have created a fantastic business in Arcus over the past 14 years and are keen to further develop and diversify geographically, in different market sectors and with new clients. By joining a market leader like ERM, with such a strong global platform and market presence, these aspirations will be immediately possible, whilst ensuring our clients continue to have access to the very best technical expertise. We also aspire to help organisations who are yet to fully realise the potential renewables can bring to their businesses and have ambitious plans to achieve this through our union with ERM, ultimately contributing toward the global transition to a lower carbon economy."

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Leading Positive Change After an Acquisition

Though every business will go through changes as it evolves, being acquired by a business is perhaps the one that can be the most stressful for its employees. There can be much uncertainty for a company that is acquired. If not handled properly, the buyer can lose some of their people (along with their customer relationships, institutional knowledge, etc.) that made the company successful. Managing the change positively during this tumultuous time can reduce a mass exodus after a sale is completed.

Key employees may be worried about whether their jobs will be intact after an acquisition. Perhaps they feel their role won't be needed, or the buyer will want to use their people to perform their functions. At the same time, the buyer may be worried that these key employees will leave. Leaders and other influencers within organizations set the tone for a company's culture, innovation, and strategic initiatives. Losing them reduces the value of the company they are acquiring.

One key to reducing uncertainty for the acquired company’s employees is first to create readiness for change. People will resist change unless they are ready for it. On the other hand, when they are open to change, employees are more likely to accept everything that comes with it. These employees will be an essential part of the transitional period after the acquisition. Getting their buy-in will pave the way for creating a stronger company in the future.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

In their book Developing Management Skills, Whetten and Cameron suggest four ways to create readiness when leading positive change:

Benchmark best practice and compare current performance to the highest performance

Within the context of an acquisition, it's possible (likely even) that each of the involved organizations can perform certain functions better than the other. This may be one of the catalysts behind the acquisition. In that respect, synergies can be experienced when buyers and sellers learn each other’s best practices and implement improvements. Improvements can mean doing things better, faster and/or cheaper.

Institute symbolic events to signal the positive change

Symbolism can have a significant impact. The authors indicate that to be "successful in leading positive change, you must signal the end of the old way of doing things and the beginning of a new way of doing things." This can be accomplished in a variety of ways and can be elaborate or more reserved.

Create a new language that illustrates the positive change

Changing the way people talk about the change that is occurring is vital. If negativity abounds, positivity must replace that language. Taking the time to reframe things with a positive outlook can impact how employees view change.

Overcome resistance

People are typically against change because of the unknown. Finding common ground and having people participate in the change helps. Converting resistors is especially important because they have a way of influencing the rest of the team. Proactively identify the employees most likely to undermine the change and help them get on board first. They will, in turn, help persuade other employees.

Helping people understand the importance/urgency of the change that is happening through the acquisition will increase the likelihood they will stay and help ensure a smoother transition of ownership. The key is conveying that the company's employees are an essential part of the company's success going forward and preparing them for the change they will experience.

 Benchmark International Buyer Profiles

Want to be the first to know when new opportunities come to market that fit your acquisition criteria? Create a buyer profile today. While you're there, be sure to check out all the resources we've created specifically for buyers, including opportunities, on-demand webinars, buyer events, and our latest edition of The Mark magazine.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Alliance Dx, LLC and Tesis Laboratory

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition between Alliance Dx LLC and Tesis Laboratory, doing business as Claro labs.

Alliance Dx is a clinical pathology laboratory that provides diagnostic testing services for physician-referred patients in the healthcare sector. The company examines and analyzes DNA, body tissue, and other bodily samples for testing specific to cancer diagnostics. The company provides laboratory testing services for end-user patient clients who have been referred by physician clients in hematology and oncology for the Greater Houston, Texas area.

Claro Labs provides physicians, physician groups, and hospitals with full-service complex clinical diagnostic testing in an accurate and timely manner. Claro Labs prides itself on maintaining state-of-the-art technologies and equipment, meeting the highest industry standards.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Sam Ruta, former owner and CEO of Alliance Dx, commented, “The Benchmark Team did an excellent job of facilitating a transaction quickly and went above and beyond to keep all parties on track and on schedule until the very end.”

Anthony Hernandez, Benchmark International Transaction Director, shared, “the Benchmark Team is delighted to announce the successful sale of Alliance Dx to Tesis Laboratory, resulting in a swift exit for the seller despite the negative macroeconomic headwinds resulting from the current pandemic. The team at Benchmark International is excited about the future of Alliance Dx under the strategic ownership of the Tesis Laboratory group and wish each of the parties every success in their future endeavors.”

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2021 M&A Outlook

The Beginning of the End

The turbulent year of 2020 is finally in our rearview mirror. While so many lives have been lost and everyday life is still far from normal, effective vaccines for COVID-19 are being distributed, offering hope for a near-term end to the disruption we’ve endured for the past year.

Markets have begun to respond with optimism for the highly anticipated return to normal, but we’re not at the finish line quite yet. Mass distribution of the vaccine will take time, and people and businesses are still suffering as the virus is spreading at record-high levels and restrictions are being reinforced. This means that, yes, our world remains suspended in a state of uncertainty, but we have good reason to believe that the global economy will continue to recover, and mergers and acquisitions will lead the recovery. Research indicates that 53 percent of US executives plan to increase M&A investment in 2021. Some sectors have fared rather well during the pandemic. But how well—and how quickly—the overall economy recovers will depend on factors such as virus containment, fiscal and monetary policy, and inflation.

Virus containment remains the main priority for economic recovery to succeed. However, there are other possible risks to market performance. A lack of adequate policy support could occur due to concerns about mounting government debt. The technology conflict between the US and China is likely to continue even under a more traditional Biden administration, and the impacts are expected to take years to manifest. The decisions made by the two countries will affect regional economies and the businesses that operate within them. Other geopolitical factors could also shift investor attention away from recovery, but they are considered rather unlikely at this time.

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Why Choose An M&A Firm Over An Industry Expert?

Many business owners believe that enlisting an expert in their industry is the right way to go when selling their companies. But if you want to rake in the most value for your business, there’s a better way.

There is no question that mergers and acquisitions are complicated and subject to constantly changing market conditions and industry trends. An industry expert might know plenty about a particular industry, but they are not experts on selling and buying businesses. A mergers and acquisitions firm is.

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M&A As A Strategic Opportunity For Business Owners

It is not uncommon for a company acquisition to be viewed as a simple transaction that means transferring the business from one owner to another. But rather than just allowing the business to simply carry on as is under new leadership, a merger or acquisition should be viewed as a solid strategy to boost the company’s overall health, productivity, and bottom line. While M&A transactions can serve as great solutions for exit strategies, they can be so much more than that. M&A should be regarded as a powerful tactical opportunity.

Often times, M&A deals are considered to be a way to get out and cash out with instant gratification. But what else might be possible when a deal is carefully crafted to deliver sustainable returns and support a powerful legacy for the business in the long-term? M&A done right can translate into great success for a company and, ultimately, its leadership.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Marley Drug, Inc. and Medicure Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Marley Drug, Inc. (“Marley Drug”) and Medicure Pharma Inc., the US subsidiary of Medicure Inc. (“Medicure”).

Marley Drug is a North Carolina corporation owned by Dr. David Marley and his wife, Elizabeth Marley. The company operates as a hybrid walk-in local pharmacy and a nationwide mail-order pharmacy focused on providing affordable prescription drugs. Established in 2002, the company is licensed throughout the United States, including Washington D.C., and in Puerto Rico.

Medicure is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular therapeutics for the U.S. market. Medicure Inc. is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and trades under the symbol MPH on the TSX Venture Exchange. Its subsidiaries include Medicure International, Inc. (Barbados), which owns the U.S. rights to AGGRASTAT and two U.S. corporations, Medicure USA, Inc. and Medicure Pharma, Inc., which distributes the company’s products in the United States.

Albert D. Friesen, PhD, CEO of Medicure Inc. commented regarding the deal, “The team at Benchmark International was very helpful in facilitating the Medicure Inc. acquisition of Marley Drug, Inc. Benchmark was well organized and kept the discussion and deal making on schedule for a timely closing to the original target date, for which I thank the entire Benchmark International team.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The acquisition enables Medicure further to expand the distribution of its products within the United States. As a manufacturer, Medicure intends to provide branded medications, as well as extremely low-cost generic medications.

Dr. Marley commented, “It’s a perfect and responsible transition for Marley Drug.” Regarding Benchmark International, Dr. Marley added, “I can’t begin to express my gratitude to Benchmark International for their role in facilitating the sale of Marley Drug. As someone with zero experience in the M&A world, they were patient with me, as well as educational and efficient. It goes without saying I simply could not have asked for a smoother transaction. In fact, I doubt I could have had a successful transaction without the Benchmark International team.”

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to support Marley Drug in this transaction. Dr. Marley and his team were wonderful to work with. They were engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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2020 M&A In The Global Sports World

In early 2020, there was plenty of optimism for investment opportunities and growth in the sports sector prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has since caused disruption in nearly every sector around the world. Financial uncertainty has been a large factor in addition to issues surrounding player contracts and broadcasting rights. Mergers and acquisitions activity in the global sports world has experienced a downward trend but there is hope on the horizon.

Italian Football

Amidst COVID-19 delays, Italian football (calico) has had its share of off-the-field matters this year. In August, the Italian club A.S. Roma announced the completion of a takeover by Texas-based Friedkin Group: an 86.6% stake in for €591 million, a large decrease from the previously agreed upon figure of €750 million prior to the pandemic. This lower price demonstrates how lost matches, sponsorship, and broadcasting income all impact the valuation of sports clubs. In light of these decreasing valuations, PE firms could be motivated to seek out bargain M&A and financing opportunities.

Italy’s Serie A has also embraced private investment. In September, its 20 clubs agreed to create its own media company financed partially by PE funds in order to better organize the sale and promotion of the league's TV rights. The move is designed to improve governance and increase revenue, especially abroad.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Industrial Water Management Ltd and EnviroChemie Group GmbH

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Dublin-based Industrial Water Management to German-based EnviroChemie Group, a subsidiary of SKion Water GmbH.

Industrial Water Management has been established since 1974 and is engaged in the manufacture and supply of boiler and cooling water treatment chemicals and technical backup services, secondary disinfection equipment, remedial services and other water hygiene solutions to the commercial, industrial and healthcare sectors. With 30 employees, IWM generates an annual turnover of approximately €3 million.

Founded in 1976, EnviroChemie supplies sustainable system solutions worldwide for all the tasks involved in industrial water treatment and the treatment of process water, circulation water, cooling water, boiler water and wastewater. The company serves customers in industrial and commercial sectors such as pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, automotive, transportation, chemicals, dairy, food & beverage, metals, mining, public swimming pools & spas, and textiles.

The acquisition of IWM will strengthen the mutual competencies in the companies’ markets and expand the range of services available for customers. This transaction will give EnviroChemie a presence in Ireland, giving these customers the potential to benefit from EnviroChemie’s broad range of products and services as well as local support from IWM.

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Conor O' Donovan, CEO of IWM, commented: "The high level of competence and diverse experience of the experts at EnviroChemie Group will enhance IWM’s capacity in providing comprehensive support to our customers in Ireland. We are also proud to bring our expertise, specifically in water hygiene and legionella treatment, to the customers of our new colleagues. Many existing and new customers will benefit from the expansion of EnviroChemie Group's range of services with complete solutions for process water and wastewater".

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties the very best going forward.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Card Geotechnics Limited and CET Infrastructure

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Surrey-based Card Geotechnics (CGL) and Palatine-backed CET Infrastructure.

CGL is a specialist geotechnical and geoenvironmental consultancy, providing services for a wide spectrum of ground-based challenges across the construction industry. Using advanced software, the company pioneers time and cost-effective solutions to accommodate clients’ specifications. Operating from seven locations across the UK and Ireland, the company serves clients across a range of market sectors including residential, commercial, infrastructure and energy.

CET Infrastructure is a provider of specialist geotechnical, environmental and materials testing services to the construction and engineering sector. The company is backed by mid-market investor, Palatine Private Equity.

The acquisition, the company’s largest to date, continues its buy-and-build strategy and will take annual revenues at CET Infrastructure to over £30m, as well as significantly broaden the breadth and depth of the technical services it offers to customers.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Peter Eglinton, CEO of CET Group, says: “We are delighted to welcome the team at CGL to CET and excited about the range of skills and services that we can now offer. From the first time we met the team at CGL, we knew that we had a very similar focus around developing our staff and delivering for our customers.”

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties the very best going forward.

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Post-COVID Due Diligence

No one knows for sure how much longer the COVID-19 pandemic will be affecting our lives and our businesses. But we do know that mergers and acquisitions are still happening, deal activity will pick up, and the way we approach due diligence in a post-COVID world has the power to make major differences when it comes to selling a company. While there are new obstacles to consider, there are also significant opportunities to identify and create value, and help companies outperform the market.

Real-time Data

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Benchmark International is Pleased to Announce Our Attendance at the ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference

Benchmark International is pleased to announce our attendance at the ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference on December 16, 2020.

The conference is devoted to deal making in the middle-market technology sector.

Key elements include:

  • Multi billions in dry powder represented
  • Attendees include premier technology investors and intermediaries
  • 100+ senior capital providers and technology sector insiders
  • Private one-on-one meetings scheduled with top decision makers
  • Speakers include high profile founders that have sold to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google

Link to Conference Registration: https://www.acg.org/nyc/events/acg-ny-annual-technology-ma-conference 

ACG New York Annual Technology M&A Conference 

Key topics include the latest trends and investment opportunities:

  • Identifying how Private Equity using technology for competitive advantage and to enhance portfolio company value
  • Finding tech innovations and ideas that will boom beyond CV-19
  • Naming where are Capital Providers are placing their technology sub sector bet

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Grow Your Business Through A Strategic Alliance Or Strategic Partnership

Mergers and acquisitions are proven highly effective strategies for business owners that want to create growth, diversify, save a struggling business, or craft an exit strategy for their retirement. But maybe you are seeking a less-permanent measure to boost your bottom line. By forming a strategic alliance or a strategic partnership with another business, you can create significant growth and cost savings for both companies. 

Strategic Alliances
Your business can gain a series of advantages through a legal strategic alliance agreement. An alliance can improve operations, pool resources, share core competencies, change the competitive landscape, create economies of scale, and offer a lower cost way to enter new sectors. There are three main types of strategic alliances:
  • Joint Venture: When two or more parent companies form an entity together with a business objective, sharing in the risks and returns, and retaining their individual legal statuses. It can be an equal joint venture, in which both parent companies own an equal portion of the entity, or it can be a majority-owned venture, in which one partner owns a larger percentage of the company. A joint venture can help to save money, combine expertise, or enter new markets. It is not a partnership, consortium, or merger. 
  • Equity Alliance: When one company purchases a specific percentage of equity in another company. 
  • Non-Equity Alliance: When two companies enter into a contractual relationship, which allocates resources, capabilities, assets, or other means to one another.
 
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Kendall Stafford Wins the 2020 Americas Rising Star Dealmakers Award

A special congratulations to Managing Partner Kendall Stafford at Benchmark International for receiving the Americas Rising Star Dealmakers award for 2020.

Global M&A Network honored the winners of the Americas Rising Star Dealmakers during the 3rd annual virtual ceremony celebrations held this year. The prestigious "once in a lifetime" award singularly recognizes brilliant and exceptional young dealmakers from the private equity and growth investors, lending, M&A, and restructuring transactional communities.

"We congratulate the winners for their talents and commitment to excellence in executing growth generating deals. They represent the future of the industry as an invaluable team member at their firm. We are especially delighted to honor their outstanding achievements during these times of economic uncertainty as the recipient of the "rising golden star" personal trophy accolade and wish them many successes throughout their professional career and for many more years ahead." said Shanta Kumari, CEO and global group editor, at Global M&A Network.

Kendall Stafford was chosen based on her track record of success, compassionate leadership skills, and expanded M&A knowledge. Kendall commented regarding the award, "It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Global M&A Network as one of America’s top dealmakers. I am passionate about helping middle-market business owners achieve their exit strategies. I have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to thrive in such a rewarding market.”

Kendall began as a Director at Benchmark International's US headquarters in Tampa, Florida. She now resides as the Managing Partner at Benchmark International's Austin office, where she continues to lead with compassion, empathy, and transparency, not only for her clients but for her team. 

Check out the full list of 2020 winners HERE, and again congratulations to Kendall Stafford for being acknowledged and receiving this prestigious award.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Calvin’s Electric and In Charge LLC

Calvin’s Electric is an electrical contractor that focuses on residential projects.  The company provides hardwire electric services for their clients’ projects while improving each customer’s electrical efficiency and providing electrical code compliance consulting as needed. They also offer 24-hour service for their existing customers.

Calvin’s Electric is based in Dripping Springs, a suburb of Austin, Texas, but the company services Austin and the surrounding area. They work with new home builders such as Ash Creek Homes, Brookfield Residential, Sitterle Homes, and Scott Felder Homes, to name a few.

In Charge LLC began in 2007 and provides residential production construction, custom residential and commercial construction, and retrofit services.  In Charge completes jobs that are production or custom and have vast expertise in the areas of electric options, smart home technology, and lighting. In Charge is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin, Texas. Prior to the acquisition of Calvin’s Electric, they had seven locations in Texas.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Benchmark International proved value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies.  Also, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional, and national associations. While clients are often hesitant to meet with local competitors, after speaking with both parties about their goals with a potential transaction, it was abundantly clear that there could be a great fit between them. After much work, we could get both parties in the same room where the great cultural fit emerged.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso commented, “We are excited to see that our client’s legacy will remain and prosper through this transaction. We understood that our client was seeking a company that would provide a succession plan for the company’s future while also providing a great work environment for their employees. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success in the future.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Associates in Pediatric Therapy and VersiCare Group

November 2020 Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Associates in Pediatric Therapy (serving Kentucky and Indiana) and VersiCare Group of Detroit, MI.

The seller,  Associates in Pediatric Therapy, has provided therapeutic services to children with special needs in Metro Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Erlanger, and Southern Indiana since 2007. Renea Sageser, CEO of APT, and husband Scott started with six part-time employees and grew to over 175 employees who serve patients in rural areas to receive high-quality care closer to their homes.

The buyer, VersiCare Group, is a Detroit, MI-based provider of home and community-based services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We are pleased to welcome APT to the VersiCare Family,” stated Lauren Sclesky, CEO of VersiCare. “When we decided to launch an aggressive growth plan in 2018, we targeted companies who share the mission in “helping people succeed” that has led to VersiCare’s success. With this new partnership, I am confident we can continue to provide best-in-class services across Kentucky and Indiana in addition to our other service areas.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Benchmark International was fortunate enough to represent another highly sought after business opportunity with Associates in Pediatric Therapy.  “We had a lot of connections along the way.  We never know who he is going to put in our path.  We challenge ourselves every day to be better.  We are only here for a short period of time.  I pray we cross paths again one day.  Thank you and your team for their contributions,” stated CFO of APT, Scott Sageser.

Matthew Kekelis, Transaction Director with Benchmark International, added “Scott and Renea Sageser are truly the most caring clients whom I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  Their passion for providing quality care to children in need and providing a family environment for their staff is commendable. It deserves to be recognized.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between All-Star Fire, LLC and Fire Safety and Protection, LLC, a Portfolio Company of Sunny River Management

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between All-Star Fire, LLC (“ASF”) and Fire Safety and Protection, LLC (“FSP”), a portfolio company of Sunny River Management (“SRM”).

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD and an Undisclosed Acquirer for the Regal Pet Health Brand

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD and an Undisclosed Acquirer for the Regal Pet Health Brand.

NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD is a private company owning several brands in the complementary medicines and natural beauty sections including Herbex. NEWGROUP brands trade throughout South Africa and internationally.  The Regal Pet Health brand – A division of NEWGROUP– is comprised of a range of herbal remedies that offer the pet owner the tools to address the health of their pets naturally.

Eddie Bisset, Chief Executive Officer for NEWGROUP, commented on the transaction saying, “I would like to thank the full Benchmark team for the smooth facilitation of the Regal Pet Health Brand sale. The level of professionalism displayed by everyone from start to finish is unparalleled. As a first time seller, we were guided every step of the way, with no pressure or unanswered questions. Every concern, question or change of strategy was met with prompt courteous answers.”

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The acquirer, is one of the top five companies in the Health and Beauty Industry with a growing footprint in the rest of Africa. The acquirer commented on the transaction: “It really was a pleasure working with Benchmark in facilitating this transaction. They were really on the button and extremely quick to give feedback in making things go as smooth and fast as possible.”

Tiaan Smit, Transaction Director at Benchmark International added, “Throughout the entire process all parties involved were communicative and collaborative, allowing the Benchmark team to execute a swift transaction. It was a pleasure to represent NEWGROUP (PTY) LTD in this transaction and we are delighted to have found a good home for the Regal Pet Health brand. On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish all parties every success for the future.”

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Benchmark International is Pleased to Announce Our Attendance at Kayo's Healthcare Investment Forum

Benchmark International is pleased to announce our attendance at Kayo’s Healthcare Investment Forum on December 2, 2020.

The conference will explore why private equity finance has become such an attractive option for healthcare companies, with a focus on healthcare service, practice management, and healthcare tech.

Attendees include:

  • C-Suite executives at public and private healthcare service and healthcare technology companies
  • Venture capital, private equity, healthcare and private equity industry advisors, and lenders

Link to Forum Registration: https://kayoconferenceseries.com/summits/ 
Link to Agenda: https://kayoconferenceseries.com/healthcare/healthcare-investment-summit-agenda/ 

Kayo’s Healthcare Investment Forum

The conference will cover new technologies, new entrants, a shift to outpatient and home-based services, and the move towards value-based care continue to create new financial pressures for healthcare organizations. As healthcare leaders reimagine their services and transform operations, private equity is stepping up to help.

Kayo believes women should have a community that supports, elevates, and champions them. That’s why they create industry events where professional women can connect with leaders, advance themselves, and champion other women. They want women to know they’re stronger when they Trailblaze Together.

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Printing & Packaging M&A In 2020

In the printing and packaging sectors, M&A activity has slowed since August of 2019 with around 14 percent fewer deals closing. Deal activity was strong at the beginning of 2020, and then the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a standstill in the spring, with activity starting to return to normal in late summer. In fact, there were 16 transactions in August, which happens to be the same number as August of 2019.

The pandemic has made it more challenging to complete deals because of social distancing and how it impacts personal relationships, but buyers have not lost their strategic focus. The packaging side of the business has shown a heightened level of interest in labels, corrugated cartons, and folding cartons. Private equity and large corporate investors remain in the game. There is increased interest in flexible packaging, but the number of these transactions has been limited by the availability of target businesses in this segment.

 

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2020 Automotive M&A Update

During the first half of 2020, M&A activity in the automotive industry was down from previous years due to uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, with cross-border deals becoming more complex. However, the pandemic also resulted in new opportunities for consolidation within the industry.

There were $11.9 billion in M&A deals, which represented a 54.8% decrease in value compared to the first half of 2019. Most investments were in the pursuit of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified) technologies. This type of tech is predicted to drive M&A through the end of 2020. Dealmakers are expected to concentrate on securing supply chains and increasing resiliency rather than expanding globally.

Global Deal Activity

The majority of deal value in volume in the first half of 2020 took place in Asia and Oceania, followed by North America. The largest automotive transaction in the first half of the year was valued at $2.9 billion, with Traton SE, a vehicle-manufacturing subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, acquiring Navistar International Corporation. Volkswagen Group China continued to strengthen its electrification strategy by making two acquisitions valued at more than $1 billion each: Gotion High-tech Co. and JAC Volkswagen Automotive Company.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Greenkey Garden & Home Ltd and Retail Equipment Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Gloucestershire-based Greenkey to Suffolk-based Retail Equipment.

Established in 2003, Greenkey is a trademarked brand and is an established distributor of its own brand of garden equipment, garden décor and animal habitats. The company supplies to garden centres, DIY outlets, agricultural merchants, and online retailers nationwide.

Retail Equipment is a wholesale company selling shopfittings. The acquisition is part of the company’s buy and build strategy.

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

The directors Jeremy and Emma Parkes will retire in six months allowing the opportunity for the new management to develop the business further.

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When Is The Right Time To Retire?

The right time to retire is going to be different for everyone based on individual circumstances and goals. While finances are obviously a major factor in the decision, being emotionally and mentally ready is equally important. Here are some points you should consider if you are thinking about embarking on retirement.

Financial Stability
Retirement hinges upon having the appropriate income to support a comfortable lifestyle in the future. This entails having an accurate and realistic picture of what your expenses will be and how much you will need in order to cover them, including income from your savings, pensions, social security, 401ks, IRAs, and any other assets. The earlier you plan to retire, the more significant your nest egg will need to be. Waiting a few years can help you build up more financial security through tax-advantage investment accounts. So if you love what you do, a later retirement means that you can continue doing it while you shore up your savings for the future. A common algorithm for retirement planning is to have savings that are 25 times the amount of your annual expenses.

No Debt
When heading into retirement, it is advised that you make sure you do not have outstanding debt in the form of high-interest credit cards and outstanding loans aside from a mortgage or car financing, which can be taken into account for your needed expenses. By eliminating debt, your retirement income can be used for current expenses instead of past expenses and offer you added peace of mind.

The Economy
While there is no way to be sure what the future holds, if there are signs of an economic downturn, you may want to hold off on the retirement plans for a bit. This will give the markets time to recover, which will help you recoup your invested assets and retire with a better bottom line.

 

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6 Considerations When Selecting A Transaction Advisor

The most expensive mistake in selling a business is to undersell it. A qualified intermediary can add significant value to a transaction simply by virtue of experience.

Putting this into context, buyers are fit for transactions, they conclude deals in multiple jurisdictions and often have dedicated teams that focus exclusively on mergers and acquisitions. Business owners may typically have done a transaction or even two in their careers, but most often they have not yet sold a business and can benefit enormously by having a seasoned sell-side advisor on their team.

Whilst there are very broad categories of advisor; no two intermediaries are the same. In selecting an advisor there are some fundamental questions to ask that will help establish whether the firm will meet your specific needs and requirements.

1. Who will manage my deal?

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M&A Outlook Under Biden Election Win

Now that Biden was named the President-elect, what does this mean for mergers and acquisitions under a Biden administration? The good news is that mergers and acquisitions activity is expected to increase regardless of the election results. Many experts predict that M&A activity will return to pre-pandemic levels in the next year, and that the market will be favorable for the next few years.

Taxes
President Biden’s proposed tax plan raises the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, which would likely make M&A deals more expensive. Biden has also voiced support for an increase in capital gains taxes, which could impact M&A activity. The proposed plan would tax long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6% on income over $1 million, and eliminates step-up in basis for capital gains taxation. Sellers may be anxious to complete deals prior to 2021 to dodge higher taxes and potentially lower valuations, and to avoid having increased capital gains taxes cut into profits from a deal.

The Biden plan also restores the top individual federal income tax rate from 37% to the pre-Trump rate of 39.6%. It also promotes tax provisions to penalize the exporting of jobs overseas and to incentivize investments in new infrastructure and green energy, transportation and manufacturing, and establishes a minimum tax on corporations with book profits of $100 million or more, structured as a 15% alternative minimum tax, to prevent them from paying no taxes. The plan also offers tax credits to small businesses for adopting workplace retirement savings plans and creates a Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit to reduce the tax liability of businesses that face workforce layoffs or a major government institution closure.

It is important to note that getting tax code changes enacted into law requires congressional leadership and the White House to work together to reach consensus. This can be challenging, and can also take a considerable amount of time, meaning that there may not be immediate tax implications for M&A. But you still may not want to wait until 2021 to sell your company. Here’s why.  

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Johnson Claim Service, Inc. and Davies

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction of Johnson Claim Service, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been acquired by Davies.

Johnson Claim Service provides insurance adjuster and appraisal services for insurance contracts written to cover property, casualty transportation and agricultural claims. The transportation claims include truck, trailer, heavy equipment physical damage, motor truck cargo, dealers open lot, garage keeper’s legal liability and non-truck liability. The company has both a domestic and international client base for which its services are provided.

Allen G. Johnson, President of Johnson Claim Service commented regarding the transaction, "We engaged Benchmark to assist in providing professional services in the sale of our insurance related business.   Their team, and most importantly their Deal Associate who handled our transaction through to completion, stayed involved during some difficult negotiations.  The Deal Associate helped JCS finish the business sale with a very positive result for the owners.  Great job Benchmark International!"

Johnson Claim Service will join Davies already established Claims Solutions business in the US, adding specialist transportation claims capability. Globally Davies has more than 4,000 colleagues, with operating centers across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada.  The business delivers professional services and technology solutions across the risk and insurance value chain, including excellence in claims, underwriting, distribution, regulation, customer experience, human capital, digital transformation & change management. This deal marks Davies sixth acquisition of 2020. 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Benchmark International proved its value in finding a buyer with experience in the industry through its proprietary multi-medium marketing strategies. In addition, Benchmark International incorporated several campaigns with local, regional and national associations.

Deal Associate Amy Alonso at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark International added value by negotiating this deal. We saw throughout the entire process that the buyer, Davies, was a perfect fit who stood to benefit greatly from the experience, industry knowledge and high quality service that they would gain from the existing owner. With this knowledge, the team was able to negotiate a deal that would allow for the existing owner to successfully transition the business to a capable buyer. We wish Johnson Claim Service Inc and Davies the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

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Benchmark International Is Proud To Be A Part Of The 2020 OCFO Founders Conference

Benchmark International is proud to be a part of the 2020 OCFO Founders Conference, taking place virtually, during Global Entrepreneurship Week on 19th November 2020.

As part of the event, Dustin Graham, Managing Partner of Transactions for Benchmark International's South African offices, will be speaking on the topic Building Your Business For Sale.

Topic: Building for Sale,  14:40–15:00 – Dustin Graham
Event date and time:
19th November 2020, 13:00–16:00
Location: Virtual event
Link to register and ticket sales:  https://zcu.io/1od4
Link to event agenda: https://www.foundersevents.co.za/agenda/

OCFO Founders Conference Annual Event
The annual Founders Conference normally takes place in the heart of beautiful Cape Town during Global Entrepreneurship Week. However, in the light of Covid-19, It was decided to host the Founders Conference as a virtual event this year.

The conference brings together top business people, investors, and entrepreneurs in South Africa for powerful networking, learning, and inspiration. The Founders Conference is one of the biggest gatherings of entrepreneurs on the African continent—not to be missed by any serious founder. Speakers include some of the most successful founders around the globe and investors who have raised and invested billions.

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How To Successfully Maintain A Strategic Partnership

Strategic partnerships or alliances can be very effective business tools and are important to the health and growth of a company. They can enhance capabilities, and open up shared access to new markets, channels, intellectual property and lowered risk. But they can also be complex. Once you form this type of partnership, it takes some effort to maintain it and ensure that it is a win-win for both parties involved. By taking the right steps and having a clear vision for your long-term strategic partnership, you can help it create value, thrive, and boost your business. 

Narrow Your Focus

There are many businesses that you could form a partnership with, but you have to narrow it down to what makes the most sense. What partners serve similar customer bases that make sense? For example, if you have a landscaping business, consider partnering with a nursery or a landscaping supply company. You’ll be serving the same buyer and can pass on referrals while streamlining the process and relationship for the customer.

See Both Sides

A strategic partnership, like any relationship, needs to work for both sides in order for it to flourish and yield mutual benefits. When you’re pitching the alliance to a potential partner, consider the benefits for them and present them clearly.

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How PPP Loans Affect Your Ability To Sell Your Business – We Now Have Guidance

In this webinar, Clinton Johnston, Managing Director at Benchmark International, will share Benchmark International's collective insights from the various transactions we have closed for clients with outstanding PPP loans both before and after the issuance of the SBA's October 2nd guidelines regarding PPP loans and changes of ownership. 


Click Here To Watch The Webinar: How PPP Loans Affect Your Ability To Sell Your Business - We Now Have Guidance 

 

We have also included handouts that go along with this webinar for you to download and view at your convenience. Please see the handouts below:


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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Tom Walker & Sons Limited and HMS Ltd

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Stockton-on-Tees food packaging firm, Tom Walker & Sons (TWS), to Glasgow-based food ingredients group, HMS.

Established in 1982, TWS is one of the UK’s leading distributors, importers and packers of cheese products, supplying to a national retail and wholesale customer base. Services include cutting and packing, co-packing, new product development and national chilled distribution of a vast selection of cheeses, including Cambozola cheese, of which it is the sole UK distributor.

HMS and its subsidiaries are one of Europe’s largest food ingredient distributors. Established in 1992, HMS has a turnover in excess of £210m and provides UK and European coverage through a network of six warehouses and 73 vehicles. The acquisition of TWS will allow the company to benefit from adding additional food products to its current offering.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Following the acquisition, TWS will continue to operate as a stand-alone business and will be headed up by Russell Eley who will take over from Peter Walker, the current managing director.

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Enhancing Company Value By Enhancing Culture

Culture Affects the Bottom Line

When a company demonstrates that it’s thriving with happy and motivated talent, it is more likely to garner a higher business valuation when going to market for a merger or acquisition.

There is a proven link between culture, employees, productivity, and profit. Research shows that:

  • Businesses with satisfied employeeshave been noted to outperform competitors by 20 percent.
  • Happiness leads to a 12 percent boost in productivity and companies with strong cultures see a 43 percent increasein revenue growth.
  • When employees are engaged, absenteeism falls 41 percent, productivity rises by 17 percent, and turnover is cut by 24 percent.
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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Rivanet Limited and Intec Business Solutions Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of education technology specialists, RivaNET™, by business technology company, inTec.

RivaNET™ is a provider of innovative enterprise grade IT solutions to independent schools and colleges in London and the South East. Delivering optimised technology and infrastructure, in addition to cyber security and managed support services, the company’s offering promotes an exceptional learning environment whilst safeguarding pupils, staff, and institutions.

inTec is a technology telecoms and IT support company offering 'Work Smarter' solutions, such as streamlining processes, improving workforce productivity, and reducing operating costs.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

RivaNET™ will play a leading role in inTec’s strategy to build a dynamic technology group, allowing inTec to expand its geographic reach and move into the education sector.

Going forward, RivaNET™ will continue to trade as such and will be led by current Managing Director, Nick Donoghue.

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The Value Of Professional Exit Planning

Exit planning is how business owners prepare to depart from their private company and maximize its value through a merger or acquisition to increase shareholder value or transition the company to serve other objectives. It basically arranges for you to leave your company on your own terms. Unfortunately, many business owners do not recognize the value in professional exit planning because they do not see their company from the perspective of a potential buyer, resulting in significant loss of value when exiting the business.

A solid exit plan clearly defines the business owner’s objectives, and lays out a comprehensive strategy that accounts for all personal, business, financial, legal, and taxation aspects of reaching those objectives, including leadership succession and the future of the business. These objectives include the maximization of value, mitigation of risk, conducting an expedient transaction, and finding the right investor to take over the business in its best interests. The strategy may also cover worst-case scenarios, such as illness or death of the business owner. Quality exit planning usually should take place around 10 years prior to transitioning the business, to allow for value strategies to flourish.

Why It’s So Important

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In Case You Missed It, Catch Dustin Graham’s Fireside Chat At The Recent SA Innovation Summit.

Dustin Graham, Managing Partner at Benchmark International, Cape Town, virtually chatted to innovators and business owners about the critically necessary planning for their exit and their worth at the recent SA Innovation Summit.

The SA Innovation Summit is the largest startup event in Africa, and brings together top entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, and thought leaders to inspire sustained economic growth across Africa. The Summit provides various platforms for developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating thought-leadership.

The interaction between Dustin and Jonathan Smit, founder of PayFast, is well worth a listen.

Listen Now on Vimeo: Planning Your Exit

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between Advantage Plastics of New York and an Affiliate of Orchard Creek Capital

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Advantage Plastics of New York and Sherri Plastics (Advantage Plastics), to an affiliate of Orchard Creek Capital.

Advantage Plastics specializes in thermoforming a variety of plastic products across numerous industries. Specialties include vacuum forming, CNC trimming, laser cutting, and laser engraving. The company works with a wide array of materials, including ABS, HDPE, Acrylic, and PVC.

Owner, John Salva with Advantage Plastics commented regarding the deal completion, "The team at Benchmark really stepped up and took care of all of us. It was important to us that we find a buyer that would compensate us for our life's work, as well as value our wonderful team of employees."

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Orchard Creek Capital is an investment company based in Northville, Michigan that invests in small manufacturing businesses across the United States. Their investment focus is on successful companies with established track records and solid growth prospects. In 2018, Orchard Creek acquired a plastic injection molding company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Acquiring Advantage Plastics brings additional assets in the plastics space.

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent Advantage Plastics in this transaction. We’re excited to see that the legacy will be preserved and enhanced through this transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Kent Catering Services (Bromley) Ltd and Catercall Ltd

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the acquisition of Kent Catering Services (Bromley) (KCSB) by Birmingham-based Catercall.

KCSB was established in 1995 by David Clarke and since then has operated within the commercial catering equipment maintenance industry, covering London and the Home Counties.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The company is a specialist in the installation, maintenance and repair of commercial catering equipment, working alongside a wide range of clients including hotels, restaurants and schools.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama, PC and Carbon Health

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama (serving the Greater Mobile area) and Carbon Health of San Francisco, CA.The seller, Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama, has been providing urgent care services to the Greater Mobile, AL market since 2013. Hillcrest has repeatedly remained on top of the most reputable urgent care facilities in Mobile and ranked 2nd in the state of Alabama. Dr. Gamil “Jimmy” Dawood is a compassionate individual with a true love of providing acute care services to patients looking for convenient, reliable care.

Dr. Jimmy Dawood mentioned regarding the transaction, “I was very pleased to find out that Carbon Health shares the same philosophy of putting patients first and providing excellent care in a friendly environment as I do. The Benchmark team was always available and more than a partner in the whole process! Matthew Kekelis and Neal Wilkerson in particular were very professional, resourceful, supportive and friendly. They went above and beyond to ensure the successful completion of the sale.”

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The buyer, Carbon Health is a San Francisco based technology-enabled healthcare provider delivering omnichannel primary and urgent care across the country. The company, launched in 2015, has re-engineered healthcare delivery from the ground up to provide an exceptional experience for both providers and patients, making high-quality care accessible to all.

“We are grateful to work with Benchmark International and Dr. Dawood of Hillcrest Urgent Care of Alabama for a seamless transition,” said Will Abbott, Chief Operating Officer at Carbon Health. “Dr. Dawood and his team have built a thriving practice in the Greater Mobile community. The Carbon Health team is excited to build on this foundation and continue to provide high-quality care while integrating additional innovations to expand services and meet the community where they are.”

Regarding the deal completion, Transaction Director Matthew Kekelis at Benchmark International commented, “Benchmark, through are open bid process, was able to secure many interested parties in a short period of time. Because of this, we were able to successfully negotiate an offer our Client could not pass up. A straightforward diligence process with open lines of communication between all parties expedited the time to deal completion. “Everyone involved in this transaction diligently worked together and agreed early on that this was a great match. Hillcrest Urgent Care is a beacon of healthcare excellence in the community. We were all excited to find the perfect buyer, Carbon Health, to build upon Hillcrest’s commitment of providing exceptional healthcare.”

ABOUT CARBON HEALTH Carbon Health is the technology-enabled healthcare provider designed from the ground up to put patient-care first. By combining technology with modern clinics, it delivers a uniquely seamless experience from virtual care to in-person care to meet patients where they are. Carbon Health removes the boundaries to high-quality, transparent and personal care and envisions making patient-centric, world-class care accessible and a reality for everyone. Carbon Health is headquartered in San Francisco with clinics across California and virtual care in 16 states across the U.S. To access Carbon Health, download the app (iTunes or Google Play) or visit carbonhealth.com.

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait For 2021 To Engage With An M&A Advisor

2020 has certainly served up its share of uncertainties and economic concerns thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. There seems to be a popular attitude that once 2021 arrives, everything will simply return to normal. If you are considering selling your company, you may not want to wait until next year. Here’s why.

Some Things Haven’t Changed

Regardless of the pandemic and economic concerns, certain factors remain constant. Investors sitting on plenty of capital are always seeking opportunities, no matter what is happening in the economy.

First, it is important to note that there was a record-setting amount of capital raised in 2019.

  • Across 1,064 private equity, venture capital, infrastructure, and real estate funds, an astounding $888 billion was raised.
  • Globally, PE firms raised more money than any previous year, closing on almost half a trillion dollars
  • More than $300 billion was raised in U.S. private equity alone.
  • More than $100 billion in capital is still unspent in funds that are six years or older. 
  • In the U.S., venture capital funds saw a huge year for investment realizations, and exit value more than doubled year-over-year. This cash will eventually be distributed to limited partners and investors are likely to reinvest it in new funds.

It could easily be a seller’s market in your sector. Plenty of businesses have seen valuations rise because their services are in higher demand in the current environment. If your business is fortunate enough to fall into this category, selling now can be critical to getting maximum value.

Additionally, tens of thousands of Baby Boomers are still reaching retirement age and many of them are also business owners. Those who own companies that have suffered due to the pandemic may be more likely to consider retirement and an exit strategy because they don’t want to put in the time, effort and money to rebuild their business at their age. They could flood the market at any time, meaning you will be facing increased competition, giving buyers the upper hand. This scenario can also result in a lower valuation for your business. It is another solid reason you should consider starting the M&A process sooner rather than later.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

We Know the NOW

Nobody can say for sure what the future holds for the economy, but we do know what the state of it is today. When we know and understand what is certain right now, we can make educated decisions based on current circumstances. These circumstances include political factors, trends within your sector, what your competition is doing, buyer demand, as well as current market values, tax rates, and interest rates.

  • Right now, the U.S. is seeing the lowest interest rates in its economic history. On September 16th, the Federal Reserve left the target range for its federal funds rate unchanged at 0-0.25%, and signaled that it would keep them at that level through at least 2023.
  • At this time we also know the current tax environment. We can only expect that taxes will increase in the long term in order to overcome the growing debt burden that has been created in 2020 because of economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While you might feel that waiting until 2021 will allow you to sell your company for more money, that is not necessarily the case. There is no proven data to support that theory, and you could actually end up selling your company for a lower valuation because you chose to wait. Also, the right timing depends heavily on the activity in your sector. What type of business you own can constitute the best time to sell, even during a pandemic. It could actually be the perfect time.

You Can’t Prepare Too Soon

Timing is everything when it comes to selling a business. And sure, 2020 seems to have turned everything upside down, but we also cannot predict what 2021 holds. Optimism for the future is somewhat human nature during a long-term crisis, but questions surround the timing and availability of a vaccine for the virus, and how quickly the economy will fully recover.

It is important to note that plenty of businesses are still being bought and sold in 2020. If you put off a sale too long, you could run the risk of missing out on a great opportunity to get the most value for your company. But at the very least, you should not put off the preparation for a sale. It can take several months to years to complete a merger or acquisition. Even if you are unable to sell this year, starting the preparation process now can position you for a seamless transaction down the road. You should engage now to ensure that your company can be put on the market at the beginning of 2021. When the process is done correctly it can take 30-60 days just to get a business on the market, and a total of 6-12 months to close a deal. Waiting until January to act could put you at a major disadvantage with buyers on market at the beginning of the year.

Preparing now will also position you as a more patient seller, versus one that is panicking to unload your business without a solid exit plan. Buyers will see you as desperate, leading them to offer you less money. If you demonstrate that you have been carefully preparing for a sale and have done your due diligence, you are likely to garner a higher sale price.

Another advantage of preparing for a sale is that it can put you in the position to test the market. Maybe you are not sure if you should sell. So, why not put your business out there and see what kind of offers come back? You might be surprised at what emerges. If you still don’t want to sell, you can simply take your business off the market and wait for a better time. However, if you choose to do that, you do run the risk of appearing that you are not a serious seller in the future. Working with a reputable M&A firm can help steer you through the process and protect you from making common seller mistakes. They will also help you control the narrative, so that your business remains positioned in a positive light no matter what decisions you ultimately make.  

Let’s Start the Conversation

Our M&A experts at Benchmark International know how hard you have worked to build your business. Even if you are not sure if you are ready to sell, reach out to us and we’ll help you figure out what is best for you, your company, your family, and your financial future.

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