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Company name
The Preactor Group
Location
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Founded
1992 via MBO
Business activity
Planning and scheduling software solutions for manufacturing and service industries
Reason for sale
Retirement
Sold
June 2013
Acquirer
Siemens AG

Mike Novels - The Preactor Group

BCMS advised in the sale of the Preactor Group to Siemens in 2013. Mike Novels, shareholder and MD of Preactor, first came to BCMS after receiving an unsolicited offer from an interested party.

Deciding to sell

Although the sale process was kickstarted by the approach Preactor had received, the board of directors knew that an exit strategy needed to be found. They were all nearing retirement, and needed to start thinking about the future of the business. What they needed was some advice. As Mike recalls: “[The company] gave us a valuation close to the figure we had set ourselves as a target. However, having never sold a company before, we felt we needed professional help to get the best combination of price and acquirer. We invited a number of banks and specialists to visit us to advise what they could offer and then we compared them.

“Apart from the personal ‘feel’ we got from the BCMS presentations, another factor was how payments were structured over a period of six months. The percentage of the sale fee was also competitive.”

“The step-by-step process and up-front advice helped us to understand how best to handle any direct calls and enquiries, as well as the initial interviews with potential acquirers.”

“With BCMS, we felt in very good hands”

Mike found the BCMS process helpful, if time-consuming: “The process was very structured, and we felt in good hands. We already had a fairly long list of potential acquirers, which had shown interest in the past.  BCMS added to this list through their research work.

“The step-by-step process and up-front advice helped us to understand how best to handle any direct calls and enquiries, as well as the initial interviews with potential acquirers.

“Although we already had some information prepared for the project, more detail was required, which took time to collect and prepare. However, this prepared us well for what was to come from the due diligence process that the eventual acquirer initiated once the indicative offer was accepted.”

“I still have the energy and experience to help…”

An important part of the sale was that all staff remained with the business, and that a ‘safe pair of hands’ would take the company forwards. And in fact, the acquirer felt, too, that this was an important factor in the acquisition. After all, as Mikes says: “Some of the employees had been with the company since before it became independent, through a management buyout 20 years ago.”

Although Mike has left as an employee, he still works with the company: “I remain a consultant to the acquirer on a part-time basis. I intend to carry on working as I feel I still have the energy and experience to help other companies in many ways.”

“BCMS is a well-run, professionally organised team that will be an asset to any company thinking of selling up.”

Working with BCMS

Mike believes that working with BCMS was the key to success: “In the end we had a good price. BCMS is a well-run, professionally organised team that will be an asset to any company thinking of selling up.”

Recommended

Company name
The Preactor Group
Location
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Founded
1992 via MBO
Business activity
Planning and scheduling software solutions for manufacturing and service industries
Reason for sale
Retirement
Sold
June 2013
Acquirer
Siemens AG
The Preactor Group acquired by Siemens