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Case Studies

 

Case Study 1

 

One manufacturing company our team recently sold had close to $2 million in annual profit and was originally approached by a private equity group who evaluated the business and subsequently offered them $6.7 million. The seller and their lawyers negotiated that up as far as $7.6 million but the seller wanted $8.5 million for the business. After several frustrating months of protracted and stalled negotiations the seller contacted us and we were retained to represent them. We then organized and initiated a full marketing process by outlining a detailed strategy with our client, conducting a financial and operational review, creating the necessary materials required by the sophisticated buyer community, researching the relevant transactions within the client’s industry, marketing the opportunity, creating and managing a blind auction, etc. This process brought forth a number of other qualified buyers to the table which included several private equity groups, private and public companies, strategic buyers, and a few high net worth investors. We then negotiated with the original buyer and got them to raise their offer to $9.8 million. However, they eventually dropped out of the process as the deal price went beyond what they were willing to pay. We negotiated with several other buyers and ultimately sold the company for over $24 million in an all cash transaction. Had the sellers taken the deal on the table originally they would have left over $16 million on the table.

 

 

Case Study 2

 

Another client owned a construction related contracting business with just over $30 million in revenue. The seller wanted $18 million for their contracting business. In this case the seller had retained another advisory firm but did not have any offers that approached their $18 million price. Once we got involved we subsequently organized and initiated the full process with a detailed strategy, a thorough financial and operational review, created the necessary materials required by sophisticated buyers, researched the relevant transactions within their industry, marketed the opportunity, and created a well-managed blind auction. Spectrum was able to procure close to a dozen offers for this business and we continued to negotiate with each prospective buyer and eventually got two of the prospective buyers north of $30 million with all cash at closing. These two buyers were both private equity groups which Spectrum had dealt with on previously transactions. One group got as high as $34.5 million while the other group eventually offered $36 million. Our client eventually agreed to accept the lower offer of $34.5 million because they were very comfortable with the individual that private equity group had brought in to run this business after the sale. We informed our client that we were confident we could get their preferred buyer up to match the higher $36 million offer without any further concessions. Our client wisely agreed with our consensus and we were able to get their preferred buyer to match the other offer and the business was sold for $36 million all cash to their preferred buyer. This $36 million all cash transaction was a full $18 million more than the client wanted for their business.

 

 

Case Study 3

 

This manufacturing client had originally retained our firm as their advisor in 1993. After selling that business the senior management team started a new manufacturing business which they grew and operated successfully for many years. After this business reached $3 million in annual EBITDA they attempted to sell the business on their own for $12 million, but without any success. After realizing the difficulties in selling the company on their own they retained us once again. We then initiated extensive research and created the appropriate marketing materials to properly present this company to the market. In the end we procured 35 bona fide written offers for our client from a variety of public and private companies, strategic buyers, private equity groups, hedge funds, and even large investment banking firms. The highest offers exceeded $31 million, with all cash at closing. This was approximately $20 million over and above what the client wanted but had failed to generate through their own efforts in selling their business.

 

 

Case Study 4

 

Another manufacturing client had been trying to sell their business on their own for a period of two years. They finally came to an agreement to sell to a buyer they had been negotiating with for an extended period. However, after many months of wasted due diligence that transaction ultimately fell through leaving the company in a very difficult situation. Our firm was then retained to secure a sale to a larger strategic partner. After we put together a suitable offering document on the company and began marketing the business, we were able to procure offers from several different buyers. These included both financial and strategic buyers from our extensive network. The advantage to the client in this case was not only a successful closing but the bidding war we created which eventually led to the highest offer being 9 times earnings. This was a far better result than the original failed transaction the seller had put together on their own and an outcome only achievable through the diligent efforts of an experienced and knowledgeable Spectrum team.

Case Study 5

This patented manufacturer had over $5.5 million in annual EBITDA and had been trying to sell their business through another intermediary firm they had retained prior to us. That intermediary charged them very large up-front retainer fees but delivered little beyond lengthy, ill-conceived, confusing marketing documents which completely missed the mark of clearly disclosing the core business as well as outlining the opportunity going forward. Their marketing efforts fell flat and they were not able to bring a single qualified buyer to the table. Understandably, the owners became very frustrated as their personal lives were on hold and their business was in a state of protracted limbo. Management came to us to see if we could help. Our team got involved and started digging into what had been done as well as what clearly had not been done properly. Once we ascertained this and clearly understood the objectives of the sellers we agreed to take on the assignment. After initiating the appropriate research and marketing process required to properly represent and sell the business the results started to show. We had numerous parties now interested in this business and multiple offers. After a few months of marketing, meetings, negotiations, and a few facility tours, we put together a deal with a private equity group we had brought forth. At a price of 12 times earnings the client was very happy as this valuation price greatly exceeded their expectations.