Case study: Improving value and advising on successful sale for GIA

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Background

GIA, a world leader in customized market intelligence, serves companies whose decision-makers need a solid market understanding in order to grow and compete internationally.

With the support of our Equiteq growth programme, they had already increased their equity value by more than 250% in a 12-month period which ultimately culminated in us being appointed as lead M&A advisor on their eventual sale to M-Brain Oy.

The client’s situation

GIA had achieved good revenue growth and geographical expansion across the world; however their profitability history had been erratic, affecting their attractiveness to potential acquirers in the past.

Our approach

Our approach was to run intensive value-enhancement workshops in London and Helsinki to calculate the current valuation of GIA and then design an action plan to improve that valuation.

We formulated a plan which would increase the valuation of GIA by more than 100% by identifying unnecessary overheads and removing non-value-adding expenditure and encouraging each senior member of the team to commit to improved sales over a period of 12 months. Once the improvement plan was underway, we began our arrangement for sale.

How did this deliver value to the client?

During the process, GIA improved their EBITDA margin to greater than 15% and we were able to demonstrate to potential acquirers that these profit improvements were permanent, resulting in a much stronger valuation proposition.

  • We ran a comprehensive global marketing process, comprising approximately 80 buyers, which garnered significant interest in the business with more than 30% signing NDAs and taking the information memorandum
  • In a competitive process the final sale price achieved was significantly above the target valuation

GIA recognized our efforts in the sale and the performance improvement as critical to achieving the result. All shareholders, including the private equity house, were delighted with the result.

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