Sprechen Sie business? Why M&A is a global language
I was interviewed earlier this week by a journalist from a Swiss newspaper about BCMS’ operation in Switzerland, based near Lausanne. Not unreasonably, he asked me why I thought the BCMS model works in his country when it was developed and refined in the UK, initially for UK clients.
It’s a good question. How does a process that works for a marketing agency in the Thames Valley translate to an educational publisher in Poland, or a robotic machine manufacturer in Amsterdam? (And it does: they have all sold through BCMS.)
The answer is simple: business is global, and the motives for selling and acquiring are universal.
Whether you’re in Kowloon, Charleston, Cape Town or Cheltenham, you want the best for your business, and its future. You want the best future commercial prospects, the best outcomes for the staff and customers, and of course, the best outcomes for you – personally and financially.
Concerns for business owners are the same the world over. How do I leave a business I have spent years building? How do I grow the business from here? Who will take over? What are my options? How much is my business worth?
Yes, businesses are different, and business cultures are different. But the BCMS approach – identifying a wide pool of potential acquirers, creating a competitive environment, and delivering a range of choices for clients – applies wherever you are.
Acquirers’ motives are universal, too. Typically they are seeking specialist, niche business that can add value to their current offerings, extend their geographical reach, and bring cross-selling opportunities to their customers.
North American companies have been active acquirers in 2015. But our net goes wider. The last month alone saw a South African packaging firm sell to a Pakistan-based acquirer, a UK textiles company sell to a Thailand-based group, and a Spanish company acquire a UK firm.
I was delighted we were able to tell our journalist friend that upcoming completions in Switzerland will see Swiss firms sell to companies in the UK, US and Czech Republic.
M&A is a global language, and I’d like to think we’re pretty fluent.