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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Wisconic, Inc. and Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America

Wisconic, Inc., the seller, is a Wisconsin-based company established in 1994. It stands out in the market for its custom injection molding services and ability to create affordable, high-end kitchenware products. Over the years, its product range has diversified to include bottled water storage, outdoor entertainment, and other houseware products.

The Buyer, Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America (MRCA), is a Dallas, TX–based company that invests in, grows, and runs manufacturing companies that produce American-made products. Its mission is to revitalize companies through increased employee wellness, enhanced processes, machinery, energy, and communication.

Don’t just sell your company. Make your mark, with Benchmark International.

“Benchmark Nashville has proven time and time again to understand the process of getting to a closing. Too many people in this industry do not listen to the needs on both the buy and sell side, but I can say with absolute certainty after closing multiple deals with this team that not only do they understand it, but they quickly and clearly drive to a solution that is most lucrative for both sides.” – Keven Azevedo, General Partner, MRCA

“MRCA has a clear vision to revitalize American manufacturing, and adding an esteemed company such as Wisconic will fit that bill nicely. Best of luck to all involved.” – Matthew Kekelis, Senior Transaction Director, Benchmark International

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between DBox, Inc. and CBS Property Management Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the successful sale of DBox, Inc. to CBS Property Management Inc.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Talent Framework, LLC and Savard Labor and Marine Personnel

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Talent Framework, LLC and Savard Labor and Marine Personnel.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between 3:13 Sales Group, LLC and Gladhaven Capital

The seller, 3:13 Sales Group, LLC, specializes in providing outsourced business-to-business sales and account management solutions to companies in the Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) industry.  With over 20 years of experience, they know what it takes to be a strategic, transparent partner – doing what’s right for you and your customers.

“I wanted to personally thank you (Matthew Kekelis) and the entire Benchmark team for all of your assistance in brokering the sale of 3:13 Sales Group to Gladhaven Capital. I couldn’t have been more impressed with the professionalism, follow-through, and patience you and your staff showed me throughout the entire process.  In particular, I’d like to commend Morgan Patterson for the countless emails, calls, and meetings it took to get this across the goal line.

As you know, this was not an easy decision for me.  We started this business 12 years ago, and I am proud of what has been built. I also wanted to find a buyer that would be the perfect fit to take this company to the next level and treat the associates, clients, and vendors with the same care and attention they’ve received for so many years. I believe Gladhaven Capital will do just that.

I highly recommend Benchmark International to anyone looking to sell their business. You will not be disappointed. Thank you again for everything!” – Steve Fidlin, Owner, 3:13 Sales Group

You gave it all for your business. Get all you deserve.

The Buyer, Gladhaven Capital, was founded by Jamie Gallagher with the mission to acquire and operate one business for the long term. Jamie has a broad professional background with 20+ years of experience across general management, B2C (CPG) and B2B marketing, corporate strategy, sales, and management consulting.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have found the perfect match for our client, 3:13 Sales Group.  There is no doubt that Jamie with Gladhaven Capital will build upon the success that Steve and his team have accomplished throughout the years.  Best of luck to all.” – Matthew Kekelis, Senior Director, Benchmark International.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between D.R. Price Engineering & Land Surveying, Inc and Boos Resource & Technology Group

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Honaker, VA-based D.R. Price Engineering & Land Surveying, Inc. (“D.R. Price”) and Naperville, IL-based Boos Resource & Technology Group (“Boos”). D.R. Price is a multi-discipline engineering and surveying firm that provides a broad spectrum of structural engineering, civil engineering, mining engineering, land planning, land surveying, and construction surveying services.

“D.R. Price President Richard Bostic grew a fantastic niche business serving the coal mining and other industries in Southwest Virginia and its environs,” commented Benchmark Senior Transaction Director William Sullivan. “The company adds a key piece to the Boos regional growth strategy and will contribute greatly to the acquirer’s capabilities and reach in the region. This transaction was a great fit from both an integration and a cultural standpoint, and we are proud to have supported our client throughout this process to a successful conclusion.”

Your perfect buyer is out there. Find them today.

Founded in 1988, D.R. Price serves residential, commercial, and government customers throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The company uses the latest industry technologies to perform its services, including GPS surveying, drone technology, electronic data collection, and AutoCAD mapping. D.R. Price has grown significantly in recent years, largely due to increasing customer referrals, a steady flow of new customers, and expanded project scopes.

Boos Resource and Technology Group is an environmental and energy-focused solutions provider that delivers timely and cost-effective construction management, infrastructure, natural gas, and industrial services to clients across the United States and beyond.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Micro-Precision Technologies, Inc. and Great River Capital Partners

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Salem, NH-based Micro-Precision Technologies, Inc. (“MPT”) and Boston, MA-based Great River Capital Partners (“Great River”). MPT designs and manufactures high-performance microelectronics for harsh environments and high-reliability applications. The company’s offerings primarily include thick-film ceramic substrates, hybrid micro-electronic manufacturing, and obsolete semiconductor manufacturing.

“The Benchmark International team understood early that MPT is a highly differentiated asset, given its Defense Logistics Agency standards certification and highly valuable niche manufacturing capabilities,” commented Benchmark Senior Transaction Director William Sullivan. “This opportunity garnered immediate interest from very high-quality buyers, as we knew it would. Ultimately, Great River proved to be the perfect fit, with its narrow focus on mid-sized industrial technology companies, highly competent team, and HQ and management sitting close to MPT’s home base. To extend the metaphor, we think this will be a home run for both teams, and we were proud to be a part of it.”

Your perfect buyer is out there. Find them today.

MPT serves the defense, industrial controls, commercial aviation, semiconductor capital equipment (semi-cap), communications equipment, and space & biological industries across the US and internationally. Founded in 2012 by Mr. Adrian Pyke, the company is one of only 30 worldwide certified by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to the MIL-PRF-38534 quality standard.

Great River Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm with a narrow focus on acquiring mid-sized industrial technology and services companies. Leveraging 30 years of collective investing experience, the firm partners with business owners to create long-term value through organic growth initiatives and strategic add-on acquisitions.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between GEOGRAPH Technologies, LLC and Abingdon Software Group

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated a transaction between Easley, South Carolina-based GEOGRAPH Technologies, LLC (“GEOGRAPH”) and London, UK-based Abingdon Software Group (“Abingdon”).GEOGRAPH provides geographic information system (GIS) services utilizing a software extension for clients to manage fiber optic, copper, and coax networks.

“The Benchmark International's team understood GEOGRAPH’s high degree of differentiation from the very start, particularly around the company’s CrescentLink Esri extension and the connectivity this proprietary solution drives with the company’s impressive customer list,” commented Benchmark Senior Transaction Director William Sullivan. “GEOGRAPH faced no shortage of eager potential partners in this process, receiving strong interest immediately from a range of both strategic and capital partners. Ultimately, Abingdon’s differentiation was largely a function of cultural fit and a strong alignment of vision. All parties were a pleasure to work with, and we are excited about the opportunities that this combination will afford both the GEOGRAPH and Abingdon teams moving forward.”

Don’t just sell your company. Make your mark, with Benchmark International.

Founded in 2018, GEOGRAPH serves over 150 customers and more than 1,000 users in the United States and in three international geographies. In addition to its CrescentLink technology, the company offers professional and support services, which include training and support, data migration, network planning and design, remote GIS management, and GIS consulting.

Abingdon Software Group acquires and develops a mission-critical platform designed for industries undergoing rapid digital transformation. The company’s portfolio offers applications for agriculture, shipping, healthcare, logistics, local authority, resorts, industry, and construction segments, enabling businesses to succeed in essential operations.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Tygra Industries, LLC and Fugue Capital

Benchmark is pleased to announce the transaction between Tygra Industries, LLC and Fugue Capital. The transaction represents a significant opportunity for Fugue Capital to help a long-established company enter a new era of growth.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Ranew’s Companies and ALJ Regional Holdings, Inc. & United Global Development

Benchmark International has facilitated the sale of Ranew’s Companies and its affiliates to ALJ Regional Holdings Inc. (OTC PINK: ALJJ) and United Global Development (UGDC). The Ranew’s Companies is a leading supplier of precision fabrication solutions, industrial coating services, and assembly and logistics services to multinational manufacturers of vehicles and associated equipment.

ALJJ is a publicly traded holding company and the parent of two industry-leading businesses, Realtime Digital Innovations and Faneuil. Benchmark International identified ALJJ as the potential acquirer through our marketing outreach to publicly traded companies in the commercial printing or coating industries. Benchmark International Director Michael MacInnes stated, “We were aware that ALJJ had just successfully exited Phoenix Color so we marked them early in our process as a likely buyer with a deep understanding of the coating side of the business and a strong position in terms of cash on hand.”

UGDC is an institutional investment platform focused on the investment, development, and management of single-tenant, net lease properties with a $1.2+ billion portfolio consisting of over 350 properties across the United States. Benchmark International presented the opportunity to UGDC at an M&A buyer conference during the initial meeting between the two firms.

Your perfect buyer is out there. Find them today.

In addition to achieving the clients’ aspirations concerning overall deal value, ALJJ issued one of the sellers, Mr. Ranew, 19.99% of the equity interests in the purchasing entity in consideration of the rollover of certain of Mr. Ranew’s equity interests. ALJJ and Mr. Ranew have entered into a stockholders’ agreement providing for certain customary rights, as well as a purchase/sale right commencing on the fifth anniversary of the closing date to cause ALJJ to either, at ALJJ’s election, (i) purchase all the common stock held by Mr. Ranew or (ii) sell to Mr. Ranew all the common stock of the acquisition entity held by ALJJ, in each case, at a value determined by Mr. Ranew.

“Bringing in UGDC to acquire certain assets of Ranew’s Companies that ALJJ either did not want or the value of which would have pushed the transaction size above ALJJ’s caps was an absolute key to selling this business,” emphasized Clinton Johnston, Benchmark International’s Managing Partner on the transaction. The sale to ALJJ, the sale to UGDC, and the execution of certain leases between the two acquirers closed simultaneously, a mandatory condition for the sellers.

While certain financial details of the transactions were published as part of ALJJ’s mandatory public disclosures, the term of the UGDC transaction remain confidential.

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Benchmark International Has Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between L&D Mail Masters, Inc. and Ironmark

The seller, L & D Mail Masters, Inc., is a full-service direct marketing firm incorporated in 1986. They enable their clients to create campaigns that Relate, Captivate, Cultivate, and Resonate with their target audience. L & D Mail Masters, Inc. offers a wide range of solutions for direct marketing needs, from campaign design to implementation and all the services in between. Their facility enables their clients to design, print, and mail all in one location. They provide direct marketing at its best by bringing expertise, experience, passion, and professionalism to their clients.

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2024 Robotics Industry Report

The global robotics market was valued at $46 billion in 2023 and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1% to reach $169.8 billion between 2024 and 2032. 

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Family Business Succession Planning And Success Rates

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

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Applying EBITDA Multiples To Your Company Valuation

If you are considering selling your business, you undoubtedly need to understand its value. Unfortunately, arriving at that answer can entail many different methodologies, and it often involves the familiar valuation formula of applying a multiple of Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA).

For example, if a company boasts EBITDA of $1 million, and a five times EBITDA multiple is applied, the company’s estimated value is $5 million. But how do we know what multiple applies to your business? And how do we know if the EBITDA number is even accurate? After all, EBITDA will not be the same for every business.

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10 Inspirational Graphics About Retirement

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What’s The Difference Between Recurring And Repeat Revenue?

If you are considering selling your business, you will need to have a clear understanding of its type of customer revenue because it can significantly impact the value of your business. Sometimes people confuse recurring revenue with repeat revenue, but it is essential to understand how they are not the same thing.

Recurring Revenue
Recurring revenue stems from a contractually bound legal agreement for a solution delivered over time. It is usually contractual over one or multiple years, and because it may carry penalties or fees if the customer leaves, it can be counted on into the future. This makes it highly valued by prospective acquirers because of its predictability and lower risk.

However, recurring revenue does not have to be contractual to be valuable. Depending on the business and the services offered, it can be too costly or too much of a hassle for a customer to leave or switch providers. An excellent example of this is customer relationship marketing companies that collect large amounts of valued data over time, making it more beneficial for clients to stick with their services. Below is a list of the different types of recurring revenue.

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The New Reality and What it Means for Valuation

Is the bull market for privately held companies over? No, that’s not (yet) the reality. But one of the hallmarks of the glorious decade for selling businesses is no more. And unfortunately, many of the acquirers’ gatekeepers weren’t around the last time there was a bull market that looked like this one.

So what is this new normal? Let’s first look at the old normal that we enjoyed from 2010 to 2019 - a nice, slow, smooth macroeconomic recovery. The normalcy of the “teens” allowed small and medium businesses to grow smoothly under ideal conditions. As a result, many businesses experienced near-constant year-over-year growth. And when they’ve failed to do so (or failed to do better), the reasons for the deviation could almost always legitimately be traced directly to some internal event; perhaps the loss of a key salesperson, the launch of a bad enhancement, the lack of ability to pass on an increase in inputs to the customer, or the inability to keep up with a specific competitor.

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How to Avoid Seller's Remorse

Selling your business can be an emotional experience. You certainly don’t want to be left at the end of the process with a sinking feeling that you have made a bad deal or sold to a buyer who doesn’t appreciate the value and legacy of the company you have built. However, there are things that you can do to avoid seller’s remorse; we will discuss several of them in this article for you to consider.


It’s best to begin putting together an exit plan sooner rather than later. Preparing well for the transition of a business requires time, action, and significant attention. For many business owners, their business represents the majority of their wealth. Planning for the transition allows you to have enough time to minimize taxes, prepare financially for a living situation without the income from the business and put a plan together for the next phase of life. Although typically, entrepreneurs are not the retiring type, knowing what your next move will be can be very important for your state of mind post-sale. Seller’s remorse can often be avoided by beginning to plan for the transaction three to five years before the business owner wants to exit.

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Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Company

What’s Your Competitive Advantage on the Market?

Consider why prospective buyers would be interested in purchasing your company. You should be able to identify its assets in order to get a proper business valuation. How unique is your product or service offering? Do you outperform the competitors in your sector or in a particular geographic area? You will also want to consider whether your revenues are stable, growing, or declining. If you understand why someone would be interested in purchasing your company, you will be more equipped to enhance those qualities and effectively articulate them to buyers.

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Dispelling Myths about Private Equity Buyers

We have all heard the horror stories from lower middle market business owners. Private Equity buyers will come in and get rid of all of my employees, borrow an absurd amount of money to finance the acquisition, thereby straining my company’s balance sheet and income statement, and then, light a match Goodfellas-style when they are done extracting value from it. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret? The days of financially engineering a path to outsized profits are long gone. While there certainly was an era where Private Equity funds looked to lock in a guaranteed “win” by over-levering the balance sheet, stripping the Income Statement of “fat”- read, people- and quickly flipping to monetize the win, those days are largely behind us. Today, most professional buyers value the team in place more so than any perceived competitive advantage with the product or service offering. I’ll say that again, buyers often view the team as the most important determinant of success- more so even than the core product or service offered by the business.

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Strategies for Retaining Talent During a Merger or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions are effective solutions for growing a company, getting a competitive edge, accessing new resources, lowering risk, tapping into new markets, and acquiring key talent. Obviously, these are all very appealing to investors and upper management. But employees do not always see it this way. 

In actuality, employees often view such a major change as a threat. These negative feelings can lead to employee retention problems, especially in today’s world where labor shortages are already a significant problem. Staff members may feel uncertain about the future of the company, how secure their job may be, how the culture will change, and how a change in leadership will impact them. They can also have their concerns worsened or blown out of proportion if there is not a clear line of communication about what is happening with the company during a transition. Sometimes employees will feel a sense of betrayal. Furthermore, some team members may feel guilty if they keep their jobs while coworkers are victims of downsizing or restructuring. Combine all these factors and quickly end up with people looking for work elsewhere. But that is not good for any deal. Why?

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Seller Protection With an Earnout

Earnout Agreements have become increasingly routine in deal structures over the last several years as they are most widely used during times of political and/or economic uncertainty. The earnout payment is additional compensation paid in the future to the seller after the business is sold. An earnout agreement can help bridge a valuation gap or encourage the former owner to remain for a longer period of time following the close of the sale. They should only be considered when the company will continue to operate the same in the years following the sale at the time of closing. While sellers can sometimes be nervous when it comes to agreeing to an earnout, there are protections for yourself that you can keep in mind.


When structuring the earnout, it is important to consider the financial metrics used and choose your benchmark carefully. For example, buyers will often prefer to use an EBITDA target as they believe this will be the most dependable indicator of the business's profitability. On the other hand, typically, sellers do not like using EBITDA due to concerns that the buyer can manipulate the number to benefit the buyer at the end of the earnout period. While sellers usually prefer a marker based on the business's gross revenues, gross profit can sometimes be used as a good compromise for both parties. Suppose an EBITDA calculation must be agreed to move forward with the deal. In that case, the seller can ask for various expenses, overhead costs, etc., to be excluded from the calculation.

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Why Should I Sell My Company?

As the owner of a business, you face a slew of tough decisions nearly every day. One question you may have asked yourself is whether you should sell your company. Several factors can influence your decision to sell, some of which you may not have even thought about. Here you will find a comprehensive list of possible reasons to help you decide if and when selling your business is right for you.  

It's at a High Point

Over time, most businesses face different cycles of highs and lows, and potential buyers prefer to acquire companies that are thriving and have a positive future outlook. When your company is performing well, and profits are high, you can opt to sell to get the maximum value in a sale. You may not be ready to retire or move on, but if you sell at the right time, you can make the most money possible and pave the way for a more secure financial future. This can also help you avoid selling at a later date for less value, which would mean less money for your retirement. 

If you are far from being ready to retire, there are ways to structure a deal to stay on with the company, working for the new owner and helping them grow the business. This can help you start the transition to your full exit. And in this case, if the business declines or an economic recession occurs, you do not face the risk of losing value because you got out at the right time.

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How a Partial Sale of Your Business Can Benefit You

There are strategies available for business owners who are in need of additional capital to grow their business. The partial sale transaction has gained popularity over the last couple of years. When business owners find themselves with limited operating liquidity, they are unable to create the type of growth they desire. A partial sale can bring additional resources into the business that can set into motion long-term growth strategies, increase operational stability and recruit new hires. If you are looking to downsize your company, you can invest that money into different opportunities that may offer you a higher return on your investment.

A partial sale of your business gives you the opportunity to remain involved in the business that you have spent decades building. Following a partial sale, many business owners serve as advisors, senior executives, board members, etc., to assist the buyer with their transition period to new ownership. Smart buyers are open to customizing the role and involvement of the seller once the deal has closed in order that the seller remains with the business for months and years to come.

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The Shift From a Seller's Market To a Buyer's Market When Interest Rates Rise

So if you are a business owner considering selling your company, the good news is that right now, it's a seller's M&A market. By October of 2021, total M&A deal activity reached $4.4 trillion, which is an increase of 92% compared to a year ago and is the strongest opening period for M&A since 1980. In addition, merger activity resulted in deals totaling $1.52 trillion in the three months prior to September 27, 2021. That's up 38% from the same quarter in 2020—and more than any other quarter on record.

In a seller's market, demand is high for assets that are in limited supply, giving sellers more pricing and negotiating power. This demand can be attributed to a recovering economy, high cash balances, big government spending, new SPAC buyers, and low-interest rates. Plus, investors are flush with cash and ready to spend it on acquisitions that can help create growth or add capabilities. When market conditions shift, buyers have the upper hand in deal negotiations. And this could happen when the U.S. Federal Reserve increases interest rates in the next year or so.

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The Impact of Labor Shortages on M&A

The Labor Shortage Persists

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted companies of all sizes, but small businesses have certainly been hit the hardest. First, there were total shutdowns, followed by financing problems due to slowed business, and now it is labor shortages that are the latest issue as the world works towards recovery. 

The slew of workers leaving the workforce altogether is fueling a growing labor shortage in what seems to be every industry. Demand is up, and supply is down. Businesses are facing concerns with not having enough people to get the job done—especially in sectors such as healthcare and technology. These spaces are seeing attrition rates of 3.6% and 4.5% higher, respectively, than last year. Research even shows that 36% of workers who quit their jobs did so without another job lined up.

And the labor shortage is an issue that is happening on a global scale, from the US to Canada to Europe. According to the US Census Bureau, many businesses struggle to retain and attract employees, and 49% of business owners say the labor shortage is affecting their business. And a Canadian study reported that 30% of Canadian business owners say the top motivating factor for pursuing an acquisition is gaining access to new talent. That number is up from 20% before the pandemic. Additionally, a recent Eurostat survey found that, in the third quarter of 2021, a worker shortage was hampering production at 83% of industrial companies in Hungary, 50% in Poland, and 44% in the Czech Republic.

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2022 Is a Seller's Year for M&A

2021 Was a Record Year

In 2021, dealmakers worldwide announced $5.6 trillion in M&A transactions (that’s 30% higher than the previous record), and the U.S. reported $2.9 trillion in transactions (that’s 40% higher than the previous record). While 2021 may have been a record-breaking year for middle-market M&A activity, 2022 should be an excellent year for sellers. 

Last year several factors drove deal activity to new heights:

  • Pent-up activity from the previous slow year because of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • A wealth of capital seeking investment opportunities
  • Potential tax changes this year
  • Strong economic growth
  • Continued low-interest rates
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2021 Was a Record Year For M&A - And 2022 Could be, Too

After the trials and tribulations of 2020, no one really knew what to expect going into 2021. Yet, for the world of M&A, it couldn’t have been a more pleasant surprise.

Last year has most certainly been a record year for M&A deals, making a huge comeback from 2020. In 2021, the number of announced deals exceeded 62,000 globally. That’s up an unprecedented 24% from 2020. Deal values reached an all-time high of $5.1 trillion.

Almost all sectors are showing signs of recovery from 2020. Values are up and multiples are rising, with strategic M&A multiples at an all-time high (a median multiple of 16x EV/EBITDA).

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Deal Fatigue: Preventative Measures

Deal fatigue is a condition that can arise during negotiations where involved parties begin to feel exhausted, discouraged, and frustrated in their attempt to reach an agreement. The negotiation process can sometimes be lengthy and demanding and requires players to spend valuable resources such as time, money, and energy. The inability to compromise in such negotiations not only depletes these resources but also can ultimately lead to a potential deal falling apart. Deal fatigue is a common obstacle in the world of mergers and acquisitions, one that both buyers and sellers alike have faced. From this, however, dealmakers around the globe have observed a few preventive measures that can be taken to ensure a successful transaction.

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High Net Worth Retirement Planning Tips

You’ve proven you are an expert at running a successful business, and you know how to make money. But are you an expert when it comes to retirement? There are certain financial factors that high-net-worth individuals should consider leading up to retirement.  

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10 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Company

Selling a business comes with its share of challenges and concerns. Many business owners do not realize just how much time and energy is required to facilitate the sale of a company and are blindsided when they embark on the M&A process. The good news is that many of the pitfalls around selling can be avoided by learning from others' mistakes, like the 10 outlined below.

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What To Look For When Choosing An M&A Advisor

Selling your business is a paramount moment in your life. It’s something you absolutely want to get right so that you can extract the most value out of the deal—and so that you are protected from being swindled by a savvy buyer. It also takes a great deal of time and energy to sell a company, which can be rather difficult to spare when you are trying to focus on running a business. Most people simply do not have this time, energy, connections, or expertise that is required to put their company on the market. This is where the importance of an experienced M&A advisor comes in. By partnering with an M&A expert, they handle all the details of a deal, including due diligence, negotiations, marketing, vetting, and ensuring that you get the most value for your business. They also know how to navigate bumps in the process, and manage the expectations of all parties involved.

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Can It Be Too Early To Put My Business On The Market?

Timing the sale of a company can certainly be a tricky decision. You don’t want to sell too soon, and you don’t want to sell too late either. In both scenarios, you risk leaving money on the table if the timing isn’t right. So what is a business owner to do?

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Why 2021 Is A Seller’s Market

A Seller’s Market Versus a Buyer’s Market

In a seller's M&A market, excess demand for assets that are in limited supply gives sellers more power when it comes to pricing. Such demand can be generated and galvanized by circumstances that include a strong economy, lower interest rates, high cash balances, and solid earnings. Other factors that can instill confidence in buyers—leading to more bidders willing to pay a higher purchase price—include strong brand equity, significant market share, innovative technology, and streamlined distributions that are difficult to emulate or recreate from scratch.

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How Do I Get The Most Out Of My SaaS Company?

As the owner of a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, there are several strategic steps you can implement in order to drive growth and maximize the value of your business.

1. Expand Geographically

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Selling Your Company? Beware Of Strangers Bearing Gifts

If you are considering selling your company, you should be aware of a certain menace that could have you in its crosshairs. There are direct buyers out there who intentionally prey on business owners, attempting to acquire a company by blindsiding its owner with big promises and, more importantly, taking advantage of their lack of guidance from a seasoned M&A professional. These buyers purposely look to avoid competition for a company because competition drives valuations higher, and they want to make an acquisition on the cheap—in addition to other shady maneuvers.

Bait & Switch
Some buyers will attempt to pull “bait & switch” tactics. To initially intrigue a seller, the buyer will present a high dollar amount. As they conduct due diligence and get the target more and more committed to the deal, they begin chipping away at the value until they reach a price and terms that are far more favorable for the buyer. This is typically an exhausting process for the seller and can lead to plenty of regret. If the deal falls apart, the seller may be reluctant to restart the process with another buyer, thinking the process will just be the same. In reality, it could have been completely different for the seller if they had a reputable M&A specialist on their side from the beginning.

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M&A Expectations After The Covid-19 Pandemic

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed M&A deal activity overall in 2020. According to data from PitchBook, more than 2,000 transactions closed for a value of $336.8 billion in Q2 of last year. That represents a 41 percent decline in the number of deals from Q1. Yet, deals did pick up in the second half of the year, which is likely to continue, as businesses are poised for improved economic conditions that leave COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.

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The Importance Of Being “Sale Ready”

As a business owner, maybe you haven’t given much thought to selling your company. Or maybe you’ve bounced the idea around but not too seriously. It’s pretty common for business owners to think, “I have years before I plan on selling my business. Why would I worry about that now?” Well, here’s the thing. Life is unpredictable. Just look at how prepared the world was for the COVID-19 pandemic. We think it’s safe to say that no business owner was prepared for that.

But being prepared for the unexpected isn’t the only reason that it is important to have your business in “sale ready” shape at all times, even if you’re not ready to sell. If the company is not in ready condition, it could cost you financially. And it goes beyond that. Always operating your company as if you are ready to sell accomplishes several very beneficial objectives. It ensures that you are operating at peak performance with a focus on profitability at all times, and it helps you avoid being too late to the game to make the necessary changes to be ready to sell. A person’s priorities in life can change quickly or even gradually over a span of years, and you might not have the time to correct any issues that would impact the valuation of your company and, ultimately, its sale price. It’s important to remember that properly preparing a company to go to market can take years. When push comes to shove, if you end up in a situation where you need to sell, not being ready can be a costly mistake.   

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Leading Positive Change After an Acquisition

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

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

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

 

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

Benchmark best practice and compare current performance to the highest performance

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

Institute symbolic events to signal the positive change

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

Create a new language that illustrates the positive change

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

Overcome resistance

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

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

 Benchmark International Buyer Profiles

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

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

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

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

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When Is The Right Time To Retire?

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

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

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

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

 

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