The seller, Warnock Tanner & Associates, has been operating a successful IT services/management company for over 25 years. WTA Consulting’s customers range in size from small local businesses to Fortune 500 businesses. WTA specialized in Complete Consulting, Development & Implementation Services for Oracle Primavera.READ MORE >>
Total Nutrition Technology of Leesburg, Florida, is a full-service nutritional supplement source providing services ranging from product development through fulfillment. Founded in 2003, TNT has been included on the INC 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies and is the leader in its markets served, with products shipped throughout the United States and internationally.
Brandless of San Francisco provides a wide range of premium quality lifestyle products in the wellness, beauty, and home categories. With a focus on clean certifications and better living, the Brandless family of products is closely aligned to the superior offerings and reputation gained through the addition of Total Nutrition Technology.
Of the combination, Total Nutrition Technology Founder and CEO Lourdes McAgy commented, “We are exceedingly happy to be joining the Brandless family. Their focus on quality and delivery aligns perfectly with the way that we have built TNT, and we strongly believe that this combination will power both companies to an increased position of leadership in this space.”
The acquisition is backed by Clarke Capital Partners of Provo, Utah. Clarke is a family office focusing on founder-led businesses and multiple investments in the consumer products space.
Benchmark International Transaction Director William Sullivan stated regarding the transaction, “We were able to source a strong number of highly qualified buyers very quickly for Lourdes’s great company, providing her with the options that she deserved. Brandless was the most strategic choice, with perfect synergies to set them up for immediate expansion from day one. We could not be happier about this fantastic partnership.”
READ MORE >>
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
READ MORE >>
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.
- 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.
READ MORE >>
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.
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.READ MORE >>
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between HireVergence LLC and Job.com.
HireVergence, based in Tampa, Florida, is a highly specialized staffing firm providing experienced cybersecurity and IT resources to clients of all sizes nationwide. The founders of HireVergence, Mark Tuszynski, Dave Gilden, and Julio Sanchez, bring more than 50 years of combined experience in information technology.
Job.com is a digital recruitment company with a unique perspective: delivering technology and capabilities that shake up the market by bringing together a data-driven approach based in AI and machine learning with high-level human capital delivered solutions, designed to efficiently attract and retain the right talent and provide consumer-level user experiences throughout the hiring process.
According to the company’s announcement, “We're delighted with the acquisition of HireVergence, their fantastic team, and to work with their loyal customer base. This is a major step towards Job.com's vision of a digitized staffing industry, delivering a hiring experience to the jobseeker that moves away from transactions and focuses on career journeys," says Arran Stewart, co-founder, and Chief Visionary Officer.
"We are excited to be joining forces with Job.com. Our shared vision of leveraging technology to reshape the recruitment industry will provide immense value for our customers and exciting opportunities for our team. The three of us are looking forward to continuing on the journey we started nine years ago with Job.com," says HireVergence founders Mark, Dave, and Julio.
Regarding the transaction process, Dave Gilden commented, “As founders, we were very pleased with the pipeline of qualified buyers that Benchmark was able to produce. We had multiple options to choose from, each with a unique upside to consider. Ultimately, it is highly unlikely we would have found any of these opportunities on our own.”
Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent HireVergence in this strategic transaction. Dave, Mark, and Julio are engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. We’re excited to see that their legacy will be preserved and enhanced through this transaction with Job.com. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”READ MORE >>
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between DevelopScripts LLC and Awection Inc, a SaaS company in the Dallas, Texas market. Awection Inc is the most recent business endeavor undertaken by entrepreneur, Alex Guiva.
DevelopScripts is a Texas-based company that offers a white-label, subscription-based digital platform allowing users to organize, manage, and conduct auctions through a centralized medium facilitating business transactions as well as fundraising efforts. The company also provides peer-to-peer marketplaces for e-commerce platforms. The Company serves customers in the automotive, equipment, pet, liquidation services, collectibles, event planning, and other industries. DevelopScripts’ founder, Rajesh Rajaram, has built a unique platform in the auction software category and successfully expanded his customer base and offerings year after year.
Mr. Rajaram commented regarding the deal, “Benchmark International really pulled their weight in getting this deal done. I was very impressed by every team member’s tenacity to get this deal across the finish line. Most importantly, the Benchmark team always took the time to listen to my concerns and feedback and were open to working on this deal with my best interests in mind. Benchmark International ultimately found the perfect partner to escalate the Company’s growth and take DevelopScripts to the next level.”
Alex Guiva, President of Awection Inc, has been growing businesses for over 20 years and is experienced in a wide array of industries. He said in relation to the deal, “Having closed over 30 transactions, I can attest that it is rare to find an intermediary as knowledgeable as Benchmark International. They truly focused on the important aspects of deal making and consistently made an effort to get to the finish line without creating disruptions for the organization during the process.”
Benchmark International’s Transaction Director Luis Vinals stated, “Working with a client like Rajesh is like working with the American Dream. Rajesh has such a rich and interesting story, which was a joy to learn about. Throughout the entire process, Rajesh was communicative and collaborative. With the Benchmark International team by his side, Rajesh was able to procure the deal he desired that would allow him to meet his personal and business objectives. Open communication allowed us to have strategic conversations that ultimately led to our team finding the ideal cultural fit for our client.”READ MORE >>
Benchmark International facilitated the transaction between Vertex Software Corporation and Level 5 Lab.
Vertex Software Corporation is a web-based solutions business specializing in building online, browser-based software applications. Vertex brings traditional software engineering methodology and discipline to web development, delivering robust solutions to its clients quickly and efficiently.
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.
President of Vertex Software Corporation David MacDonald commented, “Benchmark International’s team delivered on finding a buyer for my business that would take care of my team as well as would carry on the high level of service after the sale that our customers have come to expect.”
Deal Associate, Amy Alonso commented, “Benchmark International added value by negotiating this deal. We saw throughout the entire process that the buyer, Level 5 Lab, 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 Vertex Software Corporation and Level 5 Lab the best of luck in their future endeavors.”READ MORE >>
Ridgeline Advisors (“Ridgeline”), a Dallas-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce it has completed the recapitalization of insurance and annuity software developer Management Data, Inc. (“MDI”).
Founded in 1982, MDI has operated as a software developer and ASP provider to insurance and annuity companies. MDI serves its customers by customizing software needs and providing best in class service.
“We are pleased to partner with Pat and the MDI team, they have built an impressive organization that is well positioned to continue to serve its clients during this challenging operating environment. We are impressed with the MDI’s emphasis on technical expertise, product leadership and customer service,” said Worth Snyder, a Managing Director of Ridgeline. “MDI has developed a unique platform that creates a compelling customer value proposition, evidenced by its roster of blue-chip clients in the insurance category. We look forward to helping MDI continue to grow and enhance its product offering and value proposition,” commented Awais Shaikh, a Managing Director of Ridgeline.
“After an intensive three-year search for the right successor, we have finally found an organization that shares our vision and commitment to total customer service and support for our employees. After 23 years of running MDI, I can transition control with the assurance that the legacy of our unique attitude of customer support and value for our clients will be carried on with the same commitment that I have had over these many years,” commented Pat Michael, President and CEO of MDI.
Tyrus O’Neill, Managing Partner with Benchmark International, added “We would like to congratulate Management Data and Pat Michael, as well as, Ridgeline Advisors on a successful deal. Everyone at Benchmark International was impressed by the professionalism of both parties throughout the entire process. Additionally, it’s fantastic to see continued deal activity despite everything taking place in the broader economy. We wish everyone involved nothing but the best moving forward and believe it’s the beginning of a great partnership for Ridgeline and Management Data.”
About Management Data, Inc.
Based in Pelham, Alabama, Management Data, Inc. (“MDI”), provides policy administration software and services and has supported insurance companies and banks offering insurance products since 1982. MDI is exclusively focused on the insurance segment, serving carriers who sell individual or group life, annuity, and health policies. MDI’s core system FIMMAS supports all product lines in a single implementation utilizing the synergy of cross product and client support for both Individual and Group products. FIMMAS supports complete end-to-end insurance functionality from a pre-sale quote through claims payments. FIMMAS is a robust and flexible policy administration system that helps insurers accelerate underwriting and claims to enhance the customer experience and support profitable growth. For additional information visit www.mgtdata.com.
Ridgeline is a Dallas-based investment firm that partners with seasoned management teams to invest in growing, profitable, privately-held companies across North America with a focus on four core industry sectors: technology, consumer, healthcare, and business solutions. The firm takes a selective approach to investing in high-potential businesses whose owners and management teams want an investment partner with the capital, experience, and record of successful collaboration required to achieve their liquidity and value-creation objectives.
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Aventura Magazine, asset of Stern Bloom Media, Inc. (“Stern Bloom”) and Palm Beach Media Group (“Palm Beach Media”).
Stern Bloom is an integrated print publishing company in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Its flagship lifestyle magazine, Aventura has established itself within South Florida as the source for entertaining editorial, exciting layouts, and high visibility for advertisers.
The Palm Beach Media Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hour Media. Hour Media Group headquartered in Troy, Michigan, is recognized as an influential publisher of city, regional, and custom publications. The marquee titles include: Hour Detroit, Minnesota Monthly, and Sacramento Magazine. The company has offices in Michigan, California, Florida, and Alabama. This acquisition fits well with Hour Media’s strategic growth plan.
David Bloom, Partner of Stern Bloom Media, stated, “We feel that Palm Beach Media Group is the perfect organization to honor our brand and elevate our legacy far into the future.” He also commented, “Choosing to partner with Benchmark International was a great decision.”
“Aventura magazine is a 20-year success story,” said John Balardo, President of Palm Beach Media Group and its parent, Hour Media. “This acquisition represents an ideal opportunity to extend our current roster of lifestyle, design, and custom publications into the greater Miami market.”
Regarding the deal, Transaction Director Leo VanderSchuur at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to represent Stern Bloom Media in this strategic transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both parties continued success.”READ MORE >>
Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Euro Business Solutions and Cloudstream Technology.
Euro Business Solutions is an IT support specialist established in 1997. It provides consultancy services and hardware and software sales to corporate clients. Services include various external managed services, consultancy work, written recommendations, data recovery and recycling.
Cloudstream, a division of the TechStream Group, is an innovative and diverse talent solutions provider, dedicated to providing advanced technology and transformation skills across consulting, start-up or enterprise environments. This represents a strategic acquisition for Cloudstream, as it allows the company to bolt-on Euro Business Solutions’ services to its own.READ MORE >>
Benchmark International has advised on the transaction between bespoke software provider, Richlyn Systems, and Sheffield-based Pennine Holdings.
Established in 1983, Richlyn Systems is a specialist software and web developer, providing industry tailored software development, standalone software packages and contractual software maintenance to a diverse range of niche B2B clients in industries such as commercial property, health, manufacturing and distribution.
Pennine Holdings focuses on acquiring and developing IT related businesses with a view to creating synergies and improving performance.READ MORE >>
Benchmark International has facilitated the transaction of BobCAD CAM, Inc. to Harris Computer Corporation.
BobCAD-CAM, Inc. based in Clearwater, FL, is a leader in CNC programming software for milling, turning, routing, and wire EDM. It combines CAD (computer-aided-design) and CAM (computer-aided-manufacture) functionality into a single interface. Through its proprietary software, the company provides manufacturers a powerful and easy to use CNC (computer numerical control) programming software.
Larry Pendleton, CEO of BobCAD Cam, Inc. commented regarding the transaction, “We are excited to enter this new phase of our company’s growth. We’re especially thankful to the entire Benchmark International team that supported us in the process. As our M&A advisors, they were extremely knowledgeable, thorough and professional during the entire transaction. The Benchmark International team helped us secure multiple offers from strategic, financial, domestic and international buyers, and we couldn’t have gotten this transaction done without them."
Harris Computer Corporation provides mission critical software solutions for utilities, healthcare, local governments, public safety, and schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. Harris has offices throughout North America. Harris is a wholly owned subsidiary of Constellation Software, Inc. CSI is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Trading symbol CSU.
This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams to strategically accelerate the rate of profitable growth.
Benchmark International's Transaction Director, Leo Vanderschuur commented, "It was a pleasure to represent BobCAD CAM in this transaction. Throughout the process, Larry and his team were exceptionally responsive, diligent, and professional. This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams to strategically accelerate the rate of profitable growth. On behalf of the numerous Benchmark International personnel that worked on this opportunity, we congratulate both teams on reaching this goal."READ MORE >>
Through the year 2023, the global higher education market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 12%. There are several factors driving positive growth in this sector, from the high demand for technological innovations to the surge of internationalization.READ MORE >>
While ongoing geopolitical uncertainties could present challenges in 2019, the overall outlook for the global retail industry remains optimistic. In the world’s top retail market, the United States, retail sales are predicted to grow more than 3 percent to exceed $5.5 trillion. But for the first time ever, China is expected to outperform the U.S. in retail sales. China is forecasted to see a 7.5 percent growth in retail sales this year, reaching $5.6 trillion.READ MORE >>
Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Dublin-based managed print services company, Office Technology, and leading certified technology company, Intuity.
Established in 1988, Office Technology oversees all aspects of clients’ print infrastructure, supplying and servicing Canon multi-functional devices as a gold member, as well as providing the software to manage the cohesion of machinery, predominantly for SME and corporate clients.READ MORE >>
Quality, affordable healthcare remains an important issue for people all over the world, from Europe and the United States to Asia and Africa. As global healthcare spending continues to skyrocket, people are demanding more bipartisan policies from their political leaders to address the problem. This is why value-based care solutions are starting to play a major role. The industry is undergoing a shift in focus from treating illness to achieving and maintaining wellness. These solutions are more productive and less wasteful, as they aim to avoid unnecessary testing and interventions. Up until now, this role has been typically driven by health plans, but physicians and health systems are getting more involved in the full spectrum of care. All of these elements of value-based care represent huge growth opportunities in the digital healthcare coming-of-age, with various forms of technology as the major impetus.
Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and Data
Technologies that automate nonclinical duties such as paperwork are being developed to save physicians time and allow them to focus on patients. The implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and artificial intelligence tools is expected to better connect patients, physicians, health systems, and health plans. Physicians will be able to utilize EHR data to manage illnesses with fewer scheduled in-person appointments.
Virtual care is also an emerging market factor in the changing healthcare landscape. Many people put off doctor visits until their condition worsens, which increases costs such as emergency room expenses. New virtual care technologies are enabling patients to see a physician from the comfort of home. It also means that physicians are able to see more patients. TeleHealth Services is an ideal example of this trend. It uses digital information, computers and mobile devices to access and manage health care services remotely. In the last few years, nearly three quarters of major employer health plans had incorporated TeleHealth software services into their benefit packages.
Tech-enabled medical devices and services are another growing trend. This includes wearable devices, digital therapeutics, and applications that collect and communicate data. Last year, FitBit acquired Twine Health, a health-coaching platform that helps people improve health outcomes while helping health systems, plans, and providers reduce healthcare costs. Last summer, Amazon acquired the online pharmacy PillPack for almost $1 billion, and drug giant GlaxoSmithKline entered into a four-year agreement with the online platform 23andme, the world’s leading DNA-testing-kit resource for consumers. Also in 2018, Roche acquired Flatiron, which uses oncology EHRs to connect oncologists, academics, hospitals, researchers and regulators on a shared technology platform.
Cloud technology also brings new benefits to the table, such as easy integration of immense datasets, and AI capabilities that analyze data and provide insights remotely. Cloud technology is expected to continue to gain momentum, as data—both big and small—are finally being used in ways that may make a meaningful difference for the healthcare industry.
Healthcare Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) in 2019
The industry saw ample M&A activity last year, and this activity has already carried over into 2019, with several major deals already closing in January. There are also some big moves in the works that everyone is watching. A proposed merger between retail pharmacy CVS and insurance giant Aetna has drawn much speculation and scrutiny as it still awaits regulatory approval as of this month. Walmart has been in talks to merge with insurance provider Humana, another sign of major retailers attempting to take a stake in the healthcare industry.
With the growing digital health market and continued pharmaceutical innovations, M&A strategies remain a preferred growth plan for executives and it is expected that there will be lively M&A activity throughout 2019. Southeast Asia has drawn abundant attention, with a 92 percent increase in healthcare IPO volume last year. Plus, the stock exchange in Hong Kong introduced new rules allowing biotech companies to issue shares even before recording revenue or profits. Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia all have ripe environments for new opportunities. And even despite trade tensions, rising interest rates, and volatile markets, deal-making activity in the region remains forecasted to grow.
What it Means for You
Whether you are seeking a new investment, looking to grow your company, or considering selling your business, a great deal of financial opportunity lies in the global healthcare industry. 2019 may very well be the right year for you to make a move. If you contact our specialists at Benchmark International, we will use our global connections and mergers and acquisitions expertise to help you carefully craft the ideal opportunity for you and your next venture.READ MORE >>
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of M.C. Communications to ModOp LLC. MC Communications, is a creative services marketing firm established in 1986 in Dallas, Texas. The buyer, ModOp, LLC., is a digital marketing firm with locations in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
For Three decades, M.C. Communications has provided full service, integrated advertising, public relations and social media marketing. M.C. Communication’s portfolio includes a variety of clients in industries like manufacturing, energy, insurance, government, finance, retail, health, security and entertainment.
ModOp, LLC., is a creative strategic design agency that shapes brands through powerful storytelling, stunning design and insightful problem solving.
Benchmark International’s Transaction Director, Luis Vinals, commented “We are beyond thrilled for Mike and his team at M.C. Communications. Having an excellent cultural fit is the key to all successful partnerships and we believe that many doors will open for the team at M.C. Communications and for ModOp LLC., as they move forward.
Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of its client, MC2, Inc. ("MC2 ") to Stark Holdings America, Inc. ("Stark"), formerly known as Stark Technologies Group, Inc., a New York corporation.
Based in Sanford, Florida, MC2 is recognized as Florida's automated control and security systems leader, with more than 20 years of on-site experience. MC2 has successfully evolved into a premier provider of engineered, state-of-the-art direct digital control, energy management systems, security access control, and closed circuit television systems, and lighting control for customers in both public and private sectors.
Under President Roy G. Hoffman Jr.'s leadership, the company has successfully expanded and continues to increase its service footprint throughout the state of Florida. With a team of more than 50 knowledgeable engineers and technicians trained in a variety of automation and security systems, the company is prepared to deploy professionally designed systems to meet customers' specific needs. MC2' s flexibility allows the company to offer proprietary and non-proprietary systems, including integration services to third party systems, offering complete low voltage building solutions.
Mr Hoffman stated, "While Benchmark was involved throughout the process, their assistance on getting extra value built into the deal after the acquirer's initial valuation was received really demonstrated their unique expertise and command of the process."
With more than 29 years in business, Stark is a North American provider of comprehensive intelligent building and energy management solutions. The company boasts over 250 employees and has been involved in projects across all 50 states, as well as 1 0 Canadian Provinces. While Stark continues to experience year-over-year revenue growth, the acquisition of MC2 provides Stark with an expanded geographic presence in the Florida market.
"MC2 is a compelling addition to Stark's platform, and we are truly honored to have worked alongside the MC2 team toward this successful outcome", said Trevor Talkie, Senior Associate at Benchmark International.
Leo VanderSchuur, Director at Benchmark International added, "Allowing both the seller and acquirer to prosper and benefit is always an ideal end result. On behalf of Benchmark International, I'd like to wish both parties the best of luck moving forward."READ MORE >>
Benchmark International M&A specialist, Benchmark International, has facilitated the sale of Integrated Legacy Solutions, LLC (“ILS”) to NXTsoft, LLC (“NXTsoft”).
Based in Trussville, Alabama, ILS offers image and data conversion migration technology for the financial services industry. The company specializes in data management through one of three methods: full data conversion into a new system, data migration into its flagship OmniView Browser™ or a blended approach that combines the two.
NXTsoft, located in Birmingham, AL, is concentrated in risk management, including solutions in cybersecurity, compliance, and data analytics. Like ILS, several of NXTsoft’s portfolio companies also provide high quality software solutions serving financial institutions. NXTsoft is backed by a team with a 25-year track record of successful technology start-ups.
ILS founder, Kris Bishop commented, “I would like to thank the Benchmark International team for their dedication and persistence. Their team and hands on approach provided excellent marketing documents, broad coverage across various types of prospective buyers, and resulted in multiple offers over the term of our engagement”
Leo VanderSchuur, Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent ILS, Kris Bishop and Jason Alfano in this transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we are extremely pleased with the outcome. Allowing both the seller and acquirer to prosper and benefit is always an ideal end result.”READ MORE >>
Due diligence, the start of the end whereby a business is scrutinised by a prospective buyer to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential before purchase. Unfortunately, it is very time intensive and can make or break an M&A deal.
Thankfully, due diligence has evolved and improved, largely due to advances in technology and digitisation, helping those undertaking due diligence avoid physical data rooms and huge volumes of paper documents, instead using sophisticated, intelligent virtual data rooms, complete with digital content libraries and access to automated analytic reporting.
This has led to greater speed, simplicity and security across the entire process, enabling practitioners to close deals faster.
However, it is still a frustrating process, so is it possible that due diligence could become more efficient than it has in the past? Could technology transform due diligence? And what other factors could impact the process in the next five years?READ MORE >>
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.
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.”
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the sale of ME Interests LP, DBA First Service Technology to Restoration Risk Management.
First Service Technology is a professional services company that offers IT and physical security integration consulting, network audits, project management, implementation, and installation for the Texas market.
First Service Technology serves the State, Local, and Public Education markets (SLED). These include Texas K-12 school districts and city and county government entities. The company also serves the commercial market. Ownership consisted of two partners looking to sell the company to de-risk and facilitate growth. Both partners were open to various deal structures and willing to stay with the company on a long term basis.
Restoration Risk Management is a Wyoming based entity with partners in several international locations such as Thailand, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. The acquisition of First Service Technology will facilitateRestoration Risk Management’s entrance into the Texas market.
Transaction Director, Luis Vinals, commented “The Central Texas Market is primed for growth across a variety of industries. The consolidation of the IT Services and IT Security sectors prove that now is the time to sell. Currently, buyers are paying sellers historically high multiples for their businesses in this space. In addition, Benchmark International’s Austin office, through its team of Analysits, Associates and Directors were able to uncover an international buyer based in Thailand and the UK with sufficient experience to run and grow First Service Technology. This is testament of Benchmark International’s market reach and understanding across all sectors.”
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the acquisition of Paragon Plastics, Inc. (“Paragon”) by Ashley Industrial Molding, Inc. (“AIM”). Paragon is an original equipment manufacturing company using thermoforming technology to produce custom plastic products for marine, industrial, busing, and aerospace industries.
Paragon was founded in 1993 by David Trout. The company produces high quality OEM components and offers a full range of services including CAD design, pattern milling, plastic forming, assembly, and finishing. The company’s proven track record, commitment to high-quality, professional work, combined with its advanced technology has enabled Paragon to establish a stellar reputation and build long-lasting client relationships.
AIM, headquartered in Ashley Indiana, is a leading manufacturer of quality custom molded and painted plastic products and assemblies. AIM has manufacturing processes which encompasses capabilities in SMC Compression Molding, Reaction Injection Molding and Thermoforming. The primary marketplaces it services are the agricultural, industrial, construction, forestry and military markets. The company continues to expand its product capability and nationwide footprint through acquisitions. The Paragon opportunity became a good strategic fit for AIM’s growth.
David Trout, president and owner of Paragon stated, “The Benchmark team, with their knowledge and experience in M&A transactions far surpassed my expectations. After owning my business for 25 years, Benchmark found the perfect buyer to continue the Legacy. Thanks for all your help through this transaction.”
Regarding the deal, Transaction Director Leo VanderSchuur stated, “It was a pleasure to represent Paragon in this strategic transaction. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.” Senior Associate, Sunny Garten, added, “David and his team were wonderful to work with. They were engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. We’re excited to see that their legacy will be preserved and enhanced through this transaction with AIM.”
Benchmark International is pleased to announce the completion of a transaction between Logicalis South Africa (Pty) Ltd and the Clarotech group of companies including Clarotech Holdings (Pty) Ltd & Clarotech Consulting (Pty) Ltd. The deal was concluded by the transaction team based at the mid-market M&A corporate advisory’s African headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa in August of 2018.
The Clarotech group of companies specialise in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) providing consulting, physical product and support services to businesses throughout Southern Africa. Operating since 2001, the company satisfies the need for advice, solutions and ongoing service. Clarotech’s aim is to simplify ICT by supplying relevant solutions of value through proven end-to-end methodology.
Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider supplying digital enablement services. The business boasts a well-curated customer base where it advocates for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, CA Technologies, NetApp, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and ServiceNow. The Logicalis Group has annualised revenues of over $1.5 billion, from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with revenues of over $4 billion.
The similarities in business strategy, culture and ethos between the two companies have made this acquisition a “natural fit”, says Colin Fair, Managing Director and owner of Clarotech. “For the past few years, the management team has been looking for a company who could be a partner for us, one that would allow us to create something special from the marriage. We have been seeking a 1+1=4 scenario that would benefit our customers and our staff. This is what Clarotech has found in Logicalis.”
Commenting on this, Andre Bresler of Benchmark Corporate South Africa said: “This transaction affirms many analysts’ predictions of a positive climate for M&A in the TMT sector for 2018. Whilst there was defined interest from both up and down the supply chain in this acquisition, the strong cultural fit and clear synergies offered by the ultimate acquirer were evident from the outset. It has been a real privilege to have a hand in such an outstanding result for such outstanding clients.”
On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties every success for the future.READ MORE >>
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the merger between Network Technologies, Inc. and Automated Systems Design. Network Technologies, Inc.
(NTI) is an IT infrastructure design and planning firm, specializing in technology cabling, audio/visual design and control systems, security systems and wireless networks.
Automated Systems Design (ASD), is a nationwide provider of design, engineering, installation, and project management for workplace technologies for customers in a variety of industries.
Jeff Cook, President and majority owner of NTI said “The Benchmark team was very professional, responsive and provided great guidance during our entire transaction process. Having Benchmark on our side, focusing on the details of the transaction process, allowed our management team to continue to focus on the day to day running of our business. I would highly recommend partnering with Benchmark for any small to mid-size business owner that is considering the sale or merger of their firm. We are excited to be part of the ASD team and look forward to providing expanded services and capabilities to our clients through the synergies of the combined companies.”
“We are very pleased to welcome NTI, led by Jeff Cook and Scott Dupuis, to the ASD family. The combined companies of ASD and NTI is a strong strategic fit that will provide our customers a fully integrated design/build organization. NTI's experienced management team and operational staff will be a strong addition to our organization and we look forward to integrating the team over the next few months. We believe the merged companies further our goal to expand our service offerings to both NTI and ASD customers throughout the US. We look forward to building on the success of both organizations and to continue to grow our customer base through the strong reputation of delivering projects on time and budget.” said Kevin Kiziah, President and CEO of ASD.
Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between HiWAAY Information Services and 1stPoint Communications.
Since 1995 HiWAAY has provided hosting and email services, data center colocation, internet access and private network services to subscribers from its facilities in Alabama.
"The acquisition of HiWAAY’s assets builds on the success we have had with the acquisition of WebSite Source,” said Erik Levitt, 1stPoint’s CEO. “Access to retail subscribers is a very important part of our business plan. The HiWAAY name is well known in the local market and will provide us the building blocks that we need to service the marketplace in the southeastern United States, which we see as strategically important.”
1stPoint will continue to operate the HiWAAY facility in Homewood and will add the facility to its MPLS network, adding a number of private networking resources to HiWAAY’s existing products. The new services offered to HiWAAY clients will include 1stPoint’s line of collaboration tools, business texting, and more advanced hosting offerings including its virtual desktop environment. HiWAAY services, including email spam protection, will be added to other 1stPoint product offerings.
“This is a great outcome for the customers, employees, and the owners of HiWAAY,” said Jason Mohprasit, one of HiWAAY’s two owners. Mr. Mohprasit and Mr. Chris Campbell grew HiWAAY from 2010 to 2018, migrating the business from a dial-up and DSL provider into an advanced hosting provider. “We are very excited to see 1stPoint’s team take the business to the next level,” added Mr. Campbell.
Benchmark International represented HiWAAY in the transaction and was responsible for the introduction to 1stPoint.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this transaction” said Robert West, Senior Associate at Benchmark. “The transaction went smoothly and we hope that we can work with Benchmark on future projects,” added Levitt. Benchmark provides growth and exit strategies to businesses interested in creating transformative events.
“We welcome the HiWAAY team and look forward to working with the clients and expanding our relationship with them,” added Kristen Vasicek, the Director of Marketing for 1stPoint, who was involved in the acquisition. “HiWAAY’s reputation as being an outstanding service provider with a nationwide capability but a local touch will help us continue to establish our New Way to Work strategy.”READ MORE >>
Technology-related mergers and acquisitions are set to remain robust over the next 12 months, according to the recent semi-annual leaders’ poll from law firm Morrison & Foerster’s global M&A team.READ MORE >>
California-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been busy bolstering its portfolio to stay ahead in cloud computing, with even more acquisitions on the horizon.READ MORE >>
Following news last week that Apple had completed a deal to acquire sleep-tracking device company Beddit, the tech behemoth has completed yet another acquisition in the form of Lattice.io.READ MORE >>
Last week it was revealed that Apple had completed a low-key deal to acquire Beddit, a Finnish company that makes sleep-tracking devices compatible with apps for both iOS and the Apple Watch.READ MORE >>
Online education platform Udacity has completed its first ever acquisition with its purchase of CloudLab for an undisclosed figure. With its specialism in tech-related nanodegrees – vocational qualifications that can be achieved faster and cost less than traditional degrees – Udacity plans to use CloudLab’s platform to allow users to code interactively and collaboratively from within their browsers.READ MORE >>
When it comes to M&A security breaches can be costly in more ways than one. Yahoo!’s expectations of a smooth transition in the Verizon takeover have been scuppered with the news that the acquiring company was not prepared to offer the full asking price.READ MORE >>
READ MORE >>
We’re just over a month into 2017 and already rumours are circulating about a magical mega deal set to take place this year. Despite the lack of evidence to back-up a Disney acquisition of Netflix, there has been much discussion throughout the industry about whether such an acquisition can and will actually happen.
In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in a deal worth $19bn. However, more than two years later, the social media giant has been accused of providing EU regulators with misleading information during its takeover of the mobile messaging service.READ MORE >>
Despite major political disruption from events such as Britain leaving the EU and the election of a new president of the United States, 2016 is gearing up to be the biggest year for M&A deal announcements since 2007.READ MORE >>