12 February saw the return of our RS Corporate Finance Insights breakfast, hosted at G-Live
At our corporate finance event we were delighted to have been joined by an excellent panel of experts, led by Chris Brazier. We would like to thank Zahir Kasmani (BGF), Miral Patel (Literacy Capital) and Jonathan Bruce (Sodexo) for sharing their insight into the mergers and acquisitions market.
About the event
The focus of our corporate finance event was to talk about some key aspects that our experts have encountered when investing in, buying and selling businesses.
Get trusted advice
As an entrepreneur, you may not have been through a sale process, and so would not necessarily fully comprehend the pitfalls and opportunities. Also, negotiation tactics can be hard to navigate. Jonathan shared some of his experiences as a business owner. He highlighted that it would have been quite lonely and emotionally trying, both running the business and managing a sale process – without having someone by his side that understood M&A and most importantly, him.
Be honest with buyers/investors
Avoiding talking about the less palatable parts of your business history will likely cause deal or value issues further down the track – probably once all parties have expended a considerable amount of time and effort. Zahir’s view is that it’s far better to have the more difficult conversations upfront. Furthermore, this will most likely to make the process easier, with negotiations focussed on material areas.
If you are thinking of selling or raising capital, even if not for a few years, making the right choices now and understanding the process can make a material difference to the time taken, the size of the investor/buyer universe and ultimately value.
Miral cited that some of the areas to look at are ‘cleaning up’ the operations, getting the right management team in place and really understanding your numbers.
Know your strategy
What do you want from the transaction? Is it to exit the business on day one of the sale, or to raise capital for a bigger capital event further down the line? Both look different and will ultimately drive how you might approach a transaction.
All our panellist’s experiences included the challenges management teams have articulating to a potential buyer or investor. Also, what the business might look like with them on board. If you don’t know, it will be harder to convince someone else that the business has a positive investable/acquirable future.
We would like to thank the audience for their participation and insightful questions. We very much enjoyed catching up with you all.