What buyers want – and how to appeal to them
Heard the one about Private Equity, the Trade Buyer, and the Angel Investor?
BCMS webinars typically feature advice from professionals, and share experience from entrepreneurs who’ve successfully sold up. Last week we crossed over to the other side of the deal table, and ran a webinar with a difference. Entitled See your business through the eyes of an acquirer, this session featured a panel of serial acquirers and investors, with markedly different investment and acquisition strategies. It’s available to view now, on demand.
I chaired the discussion, and it was fascinating to see how candid our panellists were about their investment strategies – in terms of what they are looking for, what they’re not, and how they weigh up the many, many opportunities presented to them.
Some business owners can fall into the trap of viewing a potential acquirer as a ‘bogey man’; someone who’ll pick their business model to pieces, pore over their accounts, and play hardball ruthlessly when it comes to making an offer. Of course, any investor will make a thorough analysis of your business. But as Mark Cornwell (of HPS Group), Patrick Kalverboer (of H2 Equity Partners) and Stepan Galaev (of Galaev & Co) told us, deal-making is very much about ‘fit’ - understanding a business, the opportunity it represents, and how to take it forward.
These are serious, active acquirers and investors. HPS has acquired a number of BCMS clients (including Channel Advantage and Jardine Communications). With prior experience in the healthcare sector, H2 Equity invested in GBUK Healthcare, and Patrick chairs a £200 million fund investing in UK, Ireland and Benelux based businesses. Stepan works with well-known Angel Investors such as Nick Jenkins (Moonpig.com), Tej Lalvani (Vitabiotics) and Jenny Campbell (YourCash), who feature in BBC TV’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ programme.
If you have even a passing interest in how acquirers think – and how deals get done – then what they have to say is well worth 51 minutes of your time.