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The M&A Insider: In it for the long haul - M&A lessons from the surface of a comet

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I heard a radio interview yesterday with a guy who works for E2V, a technology company based in Chelmsford, who built sensors and Image of a comet in spaceimaging equipment for the Rosetta mission to land the Philae probe on a comet. The sense of pride and achievement was almost tangible, even across the airwaves – and then he said this; “It was a strange day really, because we delivered our part of this project 15 years ago.” 
 
15 years! That’s a heck of a wait to see any kind of result from something you have worked on. 
 
But, it can be a bit like that in the world of M&A too.
 
One of the questions business owners regularly ask is; how long will it take? This is a good, and fair, question with two answers:
 
1. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right…
Preparation is key. Don’t rush in just because you have an offer on the table, or you think you know who will buy… it takes time to do it properly.
 
2. It will take as long as it takes…
That said, it’s a flexible process. We have completed some deals in months, others over the course of years. The point is we don’t charge by the hour, or watch the clock. We keep going until we get the best result for the business owner.
 
Thankfully, we have never had to wait 15 years to see a result… but I have tremendous respect for companies like E2V that do.

Dave Rebbettes's picture
Posted nov 2014
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