Benchmark International Logo Blog Mergers and Acquisitions

Archives

Webinar: How To Navigate A Deal With Private Equity Funds And Be Successful

For many sellers, the notion of selling the business they built from the ground up to a private equity fund is unimaginable. Many have heard horror stories from their friends, perhaps read books about the pitfalls of private equity buyers, and may even have some personal experiences. While dealing with private equity funds can be problematic for sellers, they often also are the best, most logical buyer. They are well-funded, so there is little risk the deal will fall through because of the inability to fund. Also, today’s private equity funds generally will leave their portfolio companies to operate free of interference, only offering support, guidance, and growth capital. However, if unrepresented by a capable M&A advisor, sellers can run into many problems in the midst of a transaction with a private equity fund. 

What are these pitfalls? Here are a few:

  • There’s a pronounced gap between what is expected from the fund as it relates to data and what is readily accessible from the seller. How do you bridge that gap?
  • Be aware that Private Equity math is very complicated. Will they bring leverage to the transaction? Where will that debt sit? Will it appropriately dilute their equity? What is a Net Working Capital Peg? How is it calculated? How can buyers use it to erode deal value?
  • How do you know that the deal being offered is competitive with what is out there in the market? PE Funds buy companies for a living, so they are very shrewd negotiators.
  • Due diligence in PE deals is very rigorous. While diligence is a fact of life in all deals, how do you know that a buyer's request is reasonable? How do you know that the timing of each diligence item won’t interfere with your business?

Fear not. An experienced and capable advisor can help you navigate through each of these obstacles. In this webinar, we will discuss the pros and cons of partnering with a Private Equity fund and pay particular attention to how best to handle the complexity these deals inevitably introduce.

Click here to Sign Up For the Webinar

Hosts:

Dara Shareef
Managing Director
Benchmark International

READ MORE >>

UK & ROI Private Equity Review H1 2019

In the latest report published by Experian regarding UK & ROI deal activity in the first half of 2019, trends have shown that the private equity market has continued to play an active role in M&A activity. While there was an 8% decline in the volume of deals funded by private equity compared to last year, 2018 was a particularly fertile year in the industry and PE houses have still been notably active in the market.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Here is a summary of private equity trends by region:

 

London

There was a private equity element in around 19% of all London deals, up from 17% in H1 2018.

Private equity In London has been increasingly active so far this year and, at the top end, six of the ten biggest deals of the year to date featured a private equity buyer. This included a consortium comprising Kirkbi (the Danish family investment vehicle that controls Lego), Canadian pension fund CPPIB and private equity house Blackstone, who agreed to acquire Merlin Entertainments, the leisure business behind Madame Tussauds and Legoland.

Elsewhere, satellite communications firm Inmarsat agreed to be acquired by a consortium including Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus in a £2.7bn deal, as well as TDR Capital’s £1.9bn deal to purchase BCA Marketplace, the company behind WeBuyAnyCar.

READ MORE >>

Mid-Year Irish M&A Review 2019

The first half of 2019 has been strong for the Irish M&A market, according to William Fry’s Mid-Year M&A Review for 2019 in association with Mergermarket. While overall deal volume has dropped, value is up, while private equity and overseas investments have also been significant.

Findings in the report include:

 

Private equity is a major contributor to Irish M&A – Private equity deal value totalled €1.8bn in the first six months of 2019, a 74% increase from H1 2018, with private equity firms accounting for three quarters of overall deal value in H1 2019. Deal volume has also risen from 19 deals to 21 deals.

Likely contributors to this activity include the fact that Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU once the UK leaves, an attractive prospect for North American companies looking to acquire in the EU. Mature private equity firms are also interested in Irish companies, buoyed by Ireland’s steady GDP growth, as this presents Irish companies as attractive deal targets. As well, with the $1.8tn of dry powder that private equity firms have access to, they are now looking to younger markets like Ireland to deploy this capital.

Interested in private equity investment?

To add to this, the Irish government is making moves to support private equity investment in the country, approving the drafting of the Investment Limited Partnership Bill that aims to make the jurisdiction more attractive to fund managers.

READ MORE >>

Do you want to be Featured at the AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Forum in Hong Kong?

On the 12th November 2019 Benchmark International will be attending the AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Forum at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

The AVCJ Forum is widely recognised as the private equity industry’s ‘must attend’ event in Asia, and one of the industry’s leading events globally. It is both the world’s largest Asia-focused private equity conference, and the largest gathering of institutional investors/private equity LPs in Asia. It involves insightful presentations, thought-provoking discussions and networking opportunities with over 1,150 senior professionals.

Benchmark International is the only corporate financier to exhibit at the event, helping to promote its exclusive opportunities on a worldwide level.

Do you want to be featured and showcased in front of leading dealmakers? Naturally, we present only a select number of companies for each event, so we would encourage you to contact us now to ensure your business is included.

Schedule A Call

READ MORE >>

South Africa's Private Equity Scales New Heights

Benchmark International’s South African office was proud to attend the unveiling of this year’s private equity survey conducted by the South African Venture Capital Association (SAVCA).

Once again, private equity in South Africa has demonstrated the robust nature of the local market by posting a significant increase in investment activity in 2018.

The survey reports the value of new and follow-on investments has reached R35.4 billion, more than double the annual average of R15.2 billion posted over the past decade.

The research has further revealed that Southern Africa’s private equity industry (comprising both government and private funds) boasted R171 billion in funds under management (FUM) as of 31 December 2018.

More pointedly, the facts allude to a significant spike in trade sales, which were the most popular transaction, equating to a value of R5.6 billion in the past calendar year.

This further solidifies the dynamic reputation of the local mid-market sector of the economy and bodes well for the near and mid-term investment cycle for South African business owners looking to grow, transform, or exit their businesses.

Additional key takeaways from the survey include:

  • R171 billion in funds under management (FUM)
  •  R12.8 billion was raised in 2018
  • 55. 5% of the funds have been earmarked for South African investments
  • Real estate comprised 15% of the value of all unrealized investments at 31 December 2018, with manufacturing and retail accounting for 11.6% and 10.8%, respectively
  •  Average investment deal size increased to R43.3 million during 2018, from R41.5 million during 2017

To obtain the survey results, SAVCA, along with its research partner Deloitte, surveyed 47 managers, representing 82 funds, with a mandate to invest in South Africa and in other African markets.

READ MORE >>

What is Private Equity? FAQs About the Industry

What is private equity?

Private equity (PE) is medium to long-term finance provided in return for an equity stake in a company. The objective of the PE company is to enhance the value of a company in order to achieve a successful exit (i.e. sale).

 

Where do PE firms get their money?

PE firms generally invest funds they manage on behalf of groups of individuals, pension funds, and other major organisations.

 

What types of companies do PE firms invest in?

PE firms look for companies that can offer a lucrative exit within three to seven years. Therefore, the company has to be large enough to support investments from the PE firm and have the potential to offer large profits in a relatively short timeframe. This means that PE firms buy companies with strong growth potential, or companies that are currently undervalued because they’re in financial difficulties.

 

How are PE fund managers compensated?

PE fund managers receive their income via two channels – management fees and carried interest.

A management fee is paid by the limited partners (the people who provided money to invest) to the PE firm to pay for their involvement. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the assets to pay for ongoing expenses such as salaries.

Carried interest is a percentage of profits that the fund gains on the investment. This compensation helps to motivate the PE fund managers to improve the company’s performance.

What is a platform company?

A platform company is the initial acquisition made by a PE firm in a specific industry. Typically, a platform company has a strong management team to drive the company forward and a proven track record in a specific industry. This company is the foundation for subsequent companies acquired in the industry.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

What is a bolt-on company?

A bolt-on company is in a trade which the PE firm has already invested and is added on to one of its platform companies. The fund will look for bolt-ons that provide competitive services, new technology or geographic footprint diversification, as well as companies that can be quickly integrated into the existing management structure. Typically, a bolt-on company is smaller than a platform company and has minimal infrastructure in terms of finance and administration.

READ MORE >>

How Should your MBO be Funded?

If you’ve decided to embark on an MBO, you might have asked yourself, how is this funded? Generally, members of the buyout team are required to invest a sum of personal money into Newco but it would be unusual for them to fund the whole transaction. The equity provided by the management is necessary to demonstrate their commitment to the transaction, therefore it needs to be meaningful, yet it does not have to be too vast – typically representing 6-12 months salary. So, how is the remainder of the MBO funded?

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

Seller Financing

A common option to fund an MBO, seller financing is where the management team asks the seller to help fund the MBO. This is also known as deferred consideration, as the seller is deferring a proportion of their payment of the purchase price until after completion. While the seller would more than likely prefer the consideration paid in full on completion, often lenders may request that a portion of the sale is financed by the seller, as it demonstrates that the seller has confidence in the management team and the company going forward.

READ MORE >>

M&A Trends in the Technology Sector – Why has it Reached New Highs?

A newly released report from Mergermarket concerning M&A trends in the first half of 2019 has shown that M&A in the technology sector has reached new highs. So far, 1,307 deals have been recorded in the technology sector this year, equating to 15.9% of deal activity by volume in 1H 2019, its highest half-yearly share on Mergermarket record.

Feel like it's a good time to sell?

In fact, in recent years tech M&A has reached record levels but what are the reasons for the industry’s popularity?

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International Advises on the Transaction Between Total Resources UK and Mercia Fund Managers

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that it has successfully facilitated an £8m deal between Total Resources and Mercia.

Founded five years ago after Managing Director, Les Thompson, acquired the assets of Lincolnshire-based Traffic Control and Management, South Tyneside-based Total Resources now operates across five depots throughout the UK, employing around 140 people and offering all aspects of traffic management.

A rapidly growing business, Total Resources was the winner of the fastest growing small business award at the annual Fastest 50 event at the end of 2018. Turnover has soared on a local level due to work at major concerts for Rihanna, Take That, and Bruce Springsteen, and the forthcoming Spice Girls tour, all at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Mercia, provider of both equity and debt finance to small businesses based in the UK, will now allow Total Resources to expand throughout the UK.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

The £8m deal for Total Resources has been a syndicated investment across three different funds bringing its venture, debt and growth investment teams together in a single transaction.

READ MORE >>

Here are the Reasons Why Private Equity Firms are Investing in SaaS Companies

There has been a steep incline in private equity investors buying SaaS (software as a service) companies over the last five years with PE firms investing in, recapitalising, and outright buying numerous SaaS companies. In fact, private equity accounted for 2.5% of all private equity portfolio acquisitions in 2018.

Interested in private equity investment? 

So, what are the reasons for private equity firms investing so heavily into SaaS companies?

READ MORE >>

Do You Want to be Featured at the Pre-eminent M&A Event of the Year?

Benchmark International is pleased to announce our exclusive attendance at the national ACG Intergrowth 2019 conference on May 6th-8th in Orlando, Florida. This is a valuable opportunity where we meet with thousands of well-funded private equity deal-makers and draw their attention to the opportunities we are currently representing.

We have had major success at this event in the past with offers on over 75% of the businesses we featured. This creates competitive tension between financial buyers and strategic buyers.

ACG’s annual event is specifically designed for those on the hunt for private capital in the middle market. With over 2,000 registered attendees and $189 billion of investable capital, this is not your typical meet-and-greet. We currently have 60 one-on-one meetings scheduled with business development team members (the people who analyze Teasers and CIMs) of these PE funds.

Would you like to be showcased to leading dealmakers with strong, acquisitive appetites? Naturally, we present only a select number of companies for each event, so we would encourage you to contact us now to ensure your business is included.

*All opportunities must be submitted by April 30th, 2019.

READ MORE >>

Q1 2019 – Global Private Equity Deal Values Rise

Private equity has remained robust in the first quarter of 2019, with deal values in the first three months of 2019 showing a quarter-on-quarter rise of 3.6% to US $202.2bn.

Feel like it's a good time to sell?

On the flip side, buyout activity did drop marginally; however, take-private transactions conducted by private equity firms reached their highest Q1 value since 2013 – this was driven by the top two buyouts of the year so far – both made by US-based Hellman and Friedman. The private equity firm bought US software developer Ultimate Software Group for US $11.8bn (the fifth largest private equity buyout in the TMT sector on Mergermarket record), as well as making an offer of US $6.4bn for German real estate and automotive digital marketplace, Scout 24.

READ MORE >>

Global M&A Activity 2019 – Deal Makers Optimistic for the Year Ahead

Refinitiv has announced the findings of its annual Deal Makers Sentiment Survey conducted by Greenwich Associates – a survey which provides a quantitative assessment of M&A related and capital market activity in the year ahead.

The survey has revealed that, despite market turbulence, reassurance has been offered in terms of M&A and capital market trends as the deal making professionals surveyed are cautiously optimistic for the year ahead.

READ MORE >>

Will 2019 Be the Year of the Family Office?

For the last decade, private equity players have held the driver’s seat in looking at, winning auctions for, and acquiring lower middle market businesses in the United States. But early results for 2019 indicate this trend may be at an end. The family office has come to the fore and appears poised to become the dominant bidder and buyer in this market.

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

Family offices are similar to private equity funds in that they take a pool of money and invest it across a range of companies seeking diversification to mitigate risk. But what’s more important are the differences between the two buyer types. These include:

  • Private equity funds have mandatory exit time frames imposed by their organizational documents and their agreements with their investors. A typical private equity fund has a life of about ten years so it must buy, grow, and then resell all of its investments in that time frame. Family offices, on the other hand, typically have no time horizon for re-selling. They are more often “buy and hold” acquirers.

  • Private equity funds primarily invest “other people’s money”. Family offices invest their own money. While a family office will typically have a management team working for the capital provider and that has the appearance of a private equity-style management company, the management team’s relationships, compensation, career path, and rigidity of investment criteria are each vastly divergent from those of private equity funds.

  • Private equity funds operate under some limitations as to the breathe of their investments - a tech fund can’t buy farmland – but they do seek diversification in very broad terms within these limitations. Family offices tend to have a narrower focus. They hew close to the Warren Buffet mantra that investors should only buy stocks within their "circle of competence." A family office that has made money in landscaping is likely only to look at landscaping businesses and if the family made its money in commercial landscaping, to only look at commercial landscaping businesses. As a result, they tend to come across to Benchmark Internationals’ clients as more knowledgeable about their business.

  • Also owing to their tighter range of interest and the fact that they do not have outside investor to whom they owe fiduciary duties, they tend to move faster, perform less diligence, and produce shorter contracts. Over the last ten years, as multiple have increased, private equity funds and trade buyers have ratcheted up their due diligence to levels our clients find very painful. This is understandable as higher multiple mean more risks for these buyers. But family offices seem more comfortable with this heightened risk and rely on their expertise in the narrower industry to alleviate the risk other buyers reduce via diligence.

  • Family offices also tend to use less debt in their deals than do private equity funds. Perhaps as a result of this fact, or maybe not, they tend to use their existing debt facilities to provide the extra leverage needed to put in competitive bids. As a result, the lenders due diligence is either greatly reduced or eliminated from the acquisition process. This also increases the speed to close and reduced the stress for sellers. When a private equity fund, or even a typical trade buyer, sets up a new transaction, they also set up a new lending arrangement and the bank providing the debt sends in its own diligence team to investigate the deal and the company being acquired. Double the diligence, double the fun!

  • Because a family office’s money is coming from one source as opposed to many, they tend to seek out smaller opportunities than do private equity funds. There are some very small private equity funds these days and there are also some rather large family offices now. But in general, the managers at a family office are more accustomed to dealing with smaller business, more owner-operated businesses, and businesses with less data to share during the due diligence process. As a result, our clients often find them easier to work with and have more interest in working with them on an ongoing basis following the closing.

  • Private equity funds often have a mechanism in place to have their “deal costs” covered by third parties. Deal costs primarily consist of due diligence costs, legal fees, and travel. It is not uncommon to see a private equity funds deal costs amount to over 5% of the transaction value. Family offices, on the other hand, have no one to turn to for their deal costs. This has two favorable results for sellers. First, they spend less on the process, making it shorter and easier. Second, their certainty of close is higher. While private equity funds can somewhat mitigate the costs of a “blown deal,” family offices only have one pocket to pull from – their own (or, in other words, their boss’s personal pocket).

  • The characteristic that is probably self-evident by this point is the higher certainty of close. Family offices know the market batter, they have less bandwidth to use time inefficiently, they have more discretion, they are less reliant on banks, and they don’t want to waste their own money on blown deals. They are thus more cautious, put in fewer bids, and call things off much sooner than other buyer types. In short, if they are proceeding, they are more serious than they average buyer.

  • They are harder to find. They do not have to register with the SEC. There is no secret club they belong to.  They are too short-handed to attend many conferences. Many even enjoy anonymity and don’t even have websites.

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

This last characteristic is what makes selling to family offices tricky. Any broker can produce a Rolodex of private equity funds. In fact, an impressive one could be produced from scratch in a matter of hours. Furthermore, because their focuses tend to be so narrow, the first 100 family offices in the Rolodex would probably not be a good fit for any given business but a similar list of private equity funds would probably produce a few interested buyers in most any growing business. A broker is either into the family office world or they are not. There is no break through moment in this regard. It requires years of dedicated effort to identify and establish relationships with these hidden gems. It requires dozens of researchers and outreach efforts.  It also requires having an inventory of businesses for sale that keeps these buyers interested. Brokers focused on larger deals and boutique brokers lacking global reach simply can’t devote the time and energy necessary to gain access to this strengthening pool of buyers. Only brokerages such as Benchmark International have the capability to do so and many of those with the capability have simply not made the effort.

Our family office relationships are continually growing and in 2019 these efforts have rewarded our clients handsomely.  Keep your eyes open. I bet you’ll soon start to see the Wall Street Journal talking about family offices and the rise of the family office.  When you do, remember that you heard it here first and Benchmark International is your gateway to those buyers.  

READ MORE >>

What Funding is Available to Grow my Business?

When you are ready to take the steps to grow your business, you need to determine the funding you can receive to help make it happen. Many different funding options are available, but how do you know which is right for you?

The first method that comes to mind for many people is borrowed funds. There are multiple options for gaining funding through lenders, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, traditional bank loans, micro-loans, and online business loans. SBA loans and traditional bank loans typically take months to secure and the repayment terms can run up to twenty-five years with interest rates varying. Micro-loans and online business loans can take less time to secure but they carry higher interest rates than bank loans and may have pre-payment penalties. Additionally, even if you get a loan, business growth is not guaranteed. If the borrowed funds are not used wisely, you can end up paying back money with interest that never helped you make any additional money in the first place, just digging you further into debt.  

Do you have an exit or growth strategy in place?

Another method of funding is retained earnings. This approach uses a combination of operating cash flow and profits left in the business to fund your growth plan. Using retained earnings avoids adding debt and interest payments. You also stay in full control of your company by not involving outsiders in your business. However, use of retained earnings can be a very slow process if you must wait and build up the funds you need. You also run a major risk of not having the finances necessary to keep your company operating from a healthy perspective. 

Private equity is a way to acquire funding by selling shares in your company to outside investors. Through this long-term growth strategy, you avoid getting involved with a bank and you minimize your risk. With venture capitalists or angel investors, you also gain the benefit of added expertise and personal interest in the success of the business. One aspect of using equity capital is that shareholders will be expecting a return on their investment. This could result in the consideration of a merger with another company or having the company acquired by a larger company. 

Many companies choose to use mergers and acquisitions strategies because the growth is more imminent. Instead of waiting years for the business to grow itself, merging with another company can double the company’s size, reduce competition, and increase profitability. Merging with another business also gives you the advantage of acquiring intellectual property and expanding innovation. 

Working with an experienced growth partner such as Benchmark International will help you figure out the best direction for you, whether it is a merger, an elevator deal in which you retain a stake in the business, a cash-on-completion arrangement, or a complete exit strategy. There is a range of options available depending on how you want to see your company transformed. The best strategy will also depend on the state of your company and the current market. It is important that there is careful consideration of the cultural fit between the two companies and a firm understanding of how to manage expectations. Having the right connections around the world in various sectors is also a key attribute you want in your representation because it opens up a wealth of opportunities. 

The right partner can maximize value and make your vision a reality for the business that you have worked so hard to build. Benchmark International can be relied upon as a leader in the global landscape to get you the results you deserve. Ready to explore your exit and growth options? 

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International is Attending the Real Deals Mid-Market Conference 5-6th February

Benchmark International is attending the Real Deals Mid-Market conference on the 5th and 6th February at One America Square Conference Centre, London.

If you are interested in the vast number of global opportunities that Benchmark International has to offer, make sure to come and speak to the Benchmark International team.

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International is Set to Sponsor UK Mid-Market 2019 Private Equity Event

Posted on November 30, 2018 By in Mid-Market + Private Equity + networking + Real Deals

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that it will be returning as pre-eminent sponsors to the Real Deals Mid-Market event in February 2019 for the sixth year running.

The event is to take place at the America Square Conference Centre in London and is attended by the UK and Europe’s most influential private equity professionals, providing an opportunity to network with hundreds of dealmakers, drawing attention to the opportunities currently represented by Benchmark International.

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Sale of Enroute Networks, Inc. to Dynamic Quest

Benchmark International, has successfully negotiated the sale of its client, Enroute Networks, Inc. (“Enroute”) to Dynamic Quest (“DQ”), a portfolio company of Spire Capital Partners (“Spire Capital”), a New York based private equity firm.

Founded in 2001 and based in Marietta, Georgia, Enroute is a leading information technology services provider managing the IT needs and security challenges of small to medium sized businesses. The company focuses on being a value-added reseller and cloud provider of computer networking, telephony, and systems solutions, as well as a fully capable IT managed service provider (MSP) of all solutions it implements. Today, the company employs over 15 people serving customers across the United States with a focus on the Southeast.

Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, DQ is a managed service provider offering IT and cloud services to enterprises and businesses. Founded in 2000, DQ’s services include hosted cloud services, disaster recovery, managed IT, service plans, software maintenance and development, application support, virtual CIO and IT security services. In 2017, the Company serviced over 225 customers across a wide variety of market verticals. Dynamic Quest currently has 119 full time employees and satellite offices in Winston-Salem and Cary, North Carolina and Clark, Philippines. Spire Capital has supported DQ’s strategy of pursuing acquisitions to broaden its geographic reach and scale, while complementing its strong organic revenue growth. The acquisition of DQ marked the seventh platform investment in Spire Capital Partners III, and the strategic acquisition of Enroute represents an excellent addition to this.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Founder & CEO of Enroute, David Hampson, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in identifying an acquirer whose vision aligned with our own. The team brought multiple offers to the table, and created a competitive bid process among some of the top names in the industry. A big thanks to the Benchmark transaction team for the extraordinary effort in making this deal a reality.”

“It was a pleasure working with David (Hampson) from the early stages of his relationship with Benchmark through to closing. We received excellent feedback from the market early-on and were able to orchestrate a process that resulted in multiple offers and ended with an ideal acquirer sharing many of Enroute’s same core values,” said Trevor Talkie, Senior Associate at Benchmark International. “Enroute is a compelling addition to DQ under Spire Capital’s growing managed IT services platform, and we are truly honored to have worked alongside Mr. Hampson toward this successful outcome.”

Leo VanderSchuur, Director at Benchmark International added, “It was a pleasure to represent Enroute in this transaction, and we’re extremely pleased with the outcome. On behalf of Benchmark International, I’d like to wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

READ MORE >>

Four Trends in the US Private Equity Industry You Should Know About

Posted on November 19, 2018 By in US M&A + Private Equity

There has been a surge in US private equity (PE) dealmaking throughout 2018 – 3,501 deals worth $508.8B closed, with the majority of transactions occurring in the third quarter. But what have been the trends in this industry and what has caused the increase in dealmaking?

READ MORE >>

To PE or Not to PE – Is a Private Equity Firm the Right Type of Buyer for My Company?

If you are considering the sale of your company, then you may have also thought about what type of acquirer you would like to approach. You may have considered a private equity firm (PE firm) as an attractive prospect, as there are a range of benefits from partnering with PE firms such as the amount of funding available, their active involvement in the company and their expertise in creating value.

There are, however, certain criteria that PE firms look for when sourcing acquisition targets and the following tend to be what they will look for in a portfolio company:

 

READ MORE >>

Top 10 Industries for Private Equity Investment Revealed

A study by Private Equity Info has identified the top 10 industries that private equity firms have been acquiring during 2018. Below is a breakdown of the industries along with why they have been so popular with private equity firms.

1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing features on the list, in part, as a result of advancements in manufacturing. With automation, processes are made more efficient in many different sectors such as technology, aerospace, automobile and medical devices, making manufacturing companies an attractive prospect for private equity firms as they can utilise the technology in their portfolio companies and it is a good investment.

Watermill Group is a prime example of a private equity firm acquiring manufacturing companies. It currently has three manufacturing companies in its portfolio and within the past year acquired Andaray (Holdings) Limited and its subsidiary Cooper & Turner.

Commenting on this, Steve Karol, Managing Partner at Watermill Group said, “We are bullish on manufacturing in North America. Advanced manufacturing is creating a lot of new opportunities in many different sectors for many different companies.”

 2. Software

Similar to manufacturing, the software industry is popular with private equity firms as it can be utilised within other sectors for their advancement.

Software can be utilised in all manner of sectors and is proving particularly popular in retail as it can detect changes in customer attitude. While a valuable asset to have, it is incredibly difficult for other sectors to replicate what the software can do, therefore lends itself as an add-on to other companies.

Proof of this is within European M&A. Within the last year, software M&A activity set a new record for the number of transactions conducted and one of the main drivers for this growth was private equity, with statistics from Mergermarket showing that there were $11.2 billion of private equity deals conducted out of the $24.7 billion overall total for 2017.

Interested in private equity investment?

 3. Technology

Once again, private equity is investing as technology is a useful asset to be used to improve portfolio companies.

What has been interesting over the past year is how private equity firms, themselves, have started to utilise technology for their own benefit, not just for the benefit of portfolio companies. For example, artificial intelligence systems are now being used to screen investment opportunities. This phenomenon is not expected to slow down either, as a survey by Coller Capital shows three quarters of investors believe their private equity programmes could be improved by the use of external data sources such as third party software and cloud applications to the digital marketplace.

 

 4. Healthcare

There is an interest in healthcare from private equity given the fact that this is a growth sector because of the ageing population and the fact that the system is fragmented and needs to be consolidated. Recent acquisitions in this industry include that of Envision Healthcare by KKR in June 2018.

It’s particularly good news for healthcare companies in the UK, as private equity firms have been increasingly active in this market, believing the sector will fare well throughout Brexit.

 

5. Data

Data, in a similar way to technology, has been popular with private equity firms because of both acquiring the assets for their portfolio companies and because data can be used within the transactions themselves.

The use of data and analytics in private equity is gaining momentum as it can be used to identify issues at a quicker rate and focus the due diligence process, enabling both the buyer and seller to close a deal faster. It is important that a deal can be closed quickly for private equity firms, as record amount of dry powder available means that there is a lot more competition in the market.

 

 6. Oil & Gas

As the oil & gas industry has strengthened in 2018 with a rise in commodity prices, costs and emerging technology the market is forecast to accelerate, with an expected global value of $2,627.4bn by the end of 2022, compared to $1,977.3bn in 2017.

This could make the industry an attractive prospect to private equity buyers although, that being said, oil & gas has always been a popular industry for private equity investment as it is a commodity that is always in demand, it produces a steady cash flow, there are high barriers to entry into the market, and it attracts strong profits.

 

7. Medical

While the medical industry has some crossover with healthcare, there is more of a focus on the area of medical devices, particularly within manufacturing and research. As innovative new drugs and devices are continually coming to market this is attractive for private equity. A recent acquisition in this sphere includes Mérieux Développement and Gimv’s acquisition of Stiplastics Healthcaring.

Feel like it's a good time to sell?

8. Construction/10. Engineering

While construction and engineering appeared in eighth and tenth places respectively, there has been an increased presence of private equity firms in the combined engineering and construction industry. While last year saw an increase in private equity exits, there was also an increase in acquisition activity.

One notable transaction in 2017 was that of Warburg Pincus’ acquisition of Service Logic. This acquisition is a key example of why private equity interest has increased as Service Logic is a HVAC and mechanical services provider, an area which private equity firms are eager to enter because of the recurring revenues available. There has been even more interest in recent years as the aftermarket is growing as a result of a need for it within the construction industry.

 

 9. Transportation & Logistics

Private equity in the transportation & logistics industry has emerged as a large player since the 2008 financial crisis as it worked at consolidating a fragmented market and financing expansion. In 2014, there was a shift to publicly trading companies acquiring transportation & logistics companies, and private equity took advantage of a buyers’ market and sold. By 2015, however, private equity was back to being the main contender as spending slowed down from publicly traded companies due to their stock prices falling, whereas private equity had the necessary resources.

One such company that specialises in transportation & logistics acquisitions is Greenbriar Equity Group, with the majority of its current portfolio dating back to 2015. Some of its recent acquisitions include The Whitcraft Group (April 2017) and LaserShip (March 2018).

 

WE ARE READY WHEN YOU ARE

Call Benchmark International today if you are interested in an exit or growth strategy or if you are interested in acquiring.

READ MORE >>

Why Now is the Time to Sell to Private Equity as a Small Enterprise

Recent data from the Centre of Management Buy-Out (CMBOR) at Imperial College Business School, in association with Investec and Equistone Partners Europe, has shown that the number of small buy-out (sub-€10m enterprise value) private equity backed transactions have nearly doubled in the UK from H2 2017 to H1 2018, rising from 24 to 48 deals. Statistics also show that there has been strong growth in Europe, increasing by 26 per cent to 168 deals.

The north of England has also shown promising statistics in terms of deal value, increasing from £25m in H1 2017 to £28m in H1 2018.

READ MORE >>

Dry Powder in Private Equity: A Struggle to Spend or a Welcome Resource?

Dry powder is currently a hot topic within the private equity industry because the levels of dry powder are at a record high since the financial crisis, with over $1T of committed capital available.

It is the term used for the amount of cash reserves or liquid assets used by an investor for investment purposes, but has not yet been deployed and there are a number of reasons why there is an excess. In part, there are surplus cash reserves as a result of the strength of fundraising – more cash risen, more cash reserves. However, this is a tale of two halves as private equity has not been spending as much in previous years – asset prices have been inflating and private equity firms are reluctant to pay a premium for these assets. In fact, there has been a year-on-year decrease in private equity funding from 2015 to 2017.

READ MORE >>

I Need Capital to Grow My Business, Where do I Start?

It takes capital to start a business and it takes capital to grow a business. However, when you have exhausted your personal reserves, what are your options? There are a handful of ways additional capital can be gained to continue the growth of your business. Simply put, there are four categories that most types of capital fall into when you’re looking to grow your business: your own revenue, debt, public equity, and private equity options.

Your Own Revenue

Most start-ups begin from your own pocket. This might be a good way to get the ball rolling, and you can hit up friends and family for additional funds along the way as well. As long as your business grows at a steady pace, this might even be a reasonable ongoing source of capital as it encourages organic growth. This capital pool allows you to stay in control and if the business changes, you can make adjustments accordingly.

Using your own revenue to grow the business allows you to remain in control, but it may take longer to reach your growth objectives. Opportunities could potentially be lost because there is not enough available capital to take on new projects. Additionally, if you spend all your time and money concentrating on growth, you may never get to see the full value of your work because all your profits are going back into the business.

Debt

All businesses have some sort of debt whether from a bank loan, credit card loan, or mortgage for a business property. You just need to decide how you plan to use debt to help your business grow. Using debt allows you to grow your business without giving away any of your ownership in the business. Taking on debt for new equipment, for example, will increase your company productivity and allow you to pay down the loan quicker.

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International Facilitates The Sale Of Challenger Pools Of Tampa To Cody Pools Of Florida

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

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

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

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

WE ARE READY WHEN YOU ARE.

Call Benchmark International today if you are interested in an exit or growth strategy or if you are interested in acquiring.

READ MORE >>

Dry Powder in Private Equity – A Struggle to Spend or a Welcome Resource?

Posted on April 5, 2018 By in deals + Private Equity + Dry powder

Dry powder is currently a hot topic within the private equity industry because the levels of dry powder are at a record high since the financial crisis, with over $1 trillion of committed capital available.

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International Completes Sale of Fast of Florida, Inc to Southern Air & Heat Holdings

International M&A specialist, Benchmark International, has successfully negotiated the sale of its client, FAST of Florida, Inc. (“FAST”) to Southern Air & Heat (“Southern HVAC”), a portfolio company of MSouth Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity firm.

Based in Clearwater, Florida, FAST is a leading provider of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and electrical sales, installation, and maintenance services to the residential and commercial markets. In 1972, the company was established as a small air conditioning repair shop by Eddie Vaughan. Eddie’s wife, Melissa, joined the company in the early 1980’s, assisting with administrative duties and bookkeeping. As the company grew, FAST evolved to expand its service offerings in order to remain competitive and add additional revenue streams. In 2005, Mr. Vaughan passed away after a long illness, and Melissa assumed ownership of the business. Under Mrs. Vaughan’s leadership, FAST has continued to experience tremendous growth while continuing to offer the same level of quality service the company was built upon. Today, the company employs nearly 50 people serving Pinellas County, Florida and the surrounding markets.

 

Ready to explore your exit and growth options?

 

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Southern Air & Heat is a leading provider of essential maintenance, repair, replacement and new installation services for the residential and commercial HVAC markets. Currently, the Company serves over 100,000 homeowners across its target markets. Southern HVAC is financially backed by MSouth Equity Partners, a private equity investment firm that provides equity capital and expertise to support management teams of lower middle market companies. Founded in 2007, MSouth manages $1.3 billion with three active funds, and is the successor to Cravey, Green & Wahlen, which was founded in 1984.

President of FAST, Melissa Vaughan, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in helping me to exit my family legacy business gracefully. The team did an outstanding job of marketing my business toward motivated buyers, and ultimately finding the perfect fit in Southern HVAC. I would like to thank the Benchmark transaction team for the extraordinary effort in making this transaction a reality.”

“Our focus was to find the acquirer that shared FAST’s passion and commitment to providing a personalized level of service while retaining the culture that Melissa has worked so hard to preserve,” said Trevor Talkie, Senior Associate at Benchmark International. “FAST is a compelling addition to MSouth’s growing HVAC platform, and we are truly honored to have worked alongside Melissa and her team toward this successful outcome.”

Tyrus O’Neill, Director at Benchmark International added, “After the journey Melissa has been through, we’re happy to see the process reach an ideal end result. On behalf of Benchmark International, I’d like to wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

READ MORE >>

Giving in Order to Receive: A Surprisingly ‘Warm and Fuzzy Glow’ in the Harvard Business Review

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review made a perhaps surprising conjecture: that as far as mergers and acquisitions are concerned, those companies that focus on what they’re going to get from an acquisition are less likely to succeed, in terms of the deal outcomes, than those companies that focus on what they can give to the process.

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International Advises on the Deal Between SigmaRoc and Topcrete Limited

 

READ MORE >>

Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Signalhome Limited to Lynx Private Equity

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Signalhome Limited to Lynx Private Equity.

READ MORE >>

It was October Dealfest at Benchmark International!

October was a fantastic month for Benchmark International and we are proud to announce that our teams in the UK and US have completed deals with an overall, combined transaction value of $160,000,000.

READ MORE >>

1st Class Holidays to PHD Equity Partners Deal shortlisted for 'Deal of the Year (sub £10m)'

Benchmark International is proud to announce that the deal in which 1st Class Holidays was acquired by PHD Equity Partners has been shortlisted for ‘Deal of the Year (sub £10m)’ at this year’s Insider North West Dealmakers Awards.

READ MORE >>
1

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Follow Us on Twitter