Build or Buy? Should you acquire?

In his three-part series, Build or Buy? Equiteq’s Adam Blatchford discusses the pillars for successful growth through acquisition. Adam begins by addressing the fundamental question: Should you acquire?

As a shareholder, you have set goals, both personally and for your firm.

Those goals may include building enough equity value to retire, start a new venture, or support your family; everyone is different, but most owners have a timescale and an amount in mind.

Acquisition could help you achieve those shareholder goals; it can add value to your firm if it is carefully and clearly aligned to your overall business strategy.

Acquisition is not a strategy in itself, it is a means which can be used to deliver the strategic needs of your business plan. First your strategy must be aligned to your shareholder goals, then you can consider if acquisition is the right way to accomplish that strategy.

There are right and wrong ways to grow through acquisition; you want to be scaling smart, ensuring business growth translates into equity value growth by avoiding mistakes and missteps, so that you can deliver your business plan and create value in your firm. The best way to do this is to view your firm through the eyes of a buyer, considering how the shape of firm you are building will be attractive to a future investor.

There are a number of ways that acquisition can be valuable to deliver your strategic needs and to simultaneously build value to a potential buyer.

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Equiteq advises Livingbridge on its investment in clinical consulting business, Four Eyes Insight.

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Equiteq, the consulting sector M&A specialist, is pleased to announce its client Livingbridge, an independent private equity investor, has invested in the clinical consulting business, Four Eyes Insight.  Equiteq provided commercial advice and detailed operational development guidance to help validate the investment case and provide a roadmap for rapid scaling and equity growth.

Four Eyes Insight was founded in 2013 by Dr Henry Carleton and Brian Wells. Leveraging the founders’ clinical experience, the business helps acute NHS trusts across the country identify and implement efficiency and performance improvements projects.  Four Eyes Insight have been able to demonstrate lasting productivity improvements which are highly valued by trust management and the regulator, NHSI.   Pete Clarke, partner at Livingbridge’s commented on Equiteq.

“Equiteq were invaluable in providing the roadmap for scaling which enabled us to invest with a clear view on the necessary infrastructure investment and its sequencing.  Their work provided us with the confidence to invest and commit to a transformational business plan which will double the number of employees in the medium term”

Dr Henry Carleton, co-founder and CEO at Four Eyes Insight commented: “We have worked hard to establish ourselves as a key partner for the Trusts we work with, turning medical productivity plans into an operational reality and helping them to achieve significant efficiency gains and savings.  Equiteq’s support and Livingbridge’s investment unleashes a new phase of growth and we are actively recruiting across all areas of the firm to scale rapidly and build on the strong momentum we have generated to date.”

David Cheesman, Group Director, based in Equiteq’s London office, commented, “We were delighted to support Livingbridge and Four Eyes develop an operational plan for robust scaling and equity growth. There is enormous potential in secondary care for Four Eye’s to improve the patient experience and increase value for money with is market leading offerings and Livingbridge’s investment will allow Four Eyes to pursue a significant market opportunity. Equiteq’s expertise in operations and business scaling alongside its investment banking services is a powerful combination that is well aligned to ambitious management team plans and private equity investments”.

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Equiteq Sells Global Health Strategy Consulting Firm Rabin Martin to Omnicom Public Relations Group, part of Omnicom Group Inc.

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We are pleased to announce the sale of Rabin Martin to Omnicom Public Relations Group, part of Omnicom Group Inc.  Equiteq was the exclusive financial advisor to Rabin Martin, an innovative global health strategy consulting firm working with clients at the intersection of business, philanthropy, policy, and public health to solve some of the world’s largest health challenges. 

Rabin Martin has been a driving force in creating numerous high-profile global health initiatives to improve primary care, treat chronic disease, enhance women’s health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Their roster of clients includes leading healthcare companies, non-profit organizations, foundations, and universities. The firm’s long-standing relationships with key public-and private-sector health leaders help to catalyze major improvements in global public health around the globe.

With an accomplished, multi-disciplinary team of professionals located in New York, Los Angeles, London and Geneva, Rabin Martin will continue to be led by Jeffrey L. Sturchio, PhD, President and CEO along with Rebecca Hoppy, Managing Director and Partner and Kate Schachern, Partner.

Equiteq CEO, David Jorgenson, commented, “Rabin Martin has built an impressive leadership position in the industry through innovative strategic offerings delivered by an impressive team. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Rabin Martin’s leaders, and are excited about their opportunity to grow within Omnicom Public Relations Group.”

On Equiteq’s role as lead advisor, Jeff Sturchio, President and CEO of Rabin Martin, added, “Equiteq’s expertise in consulting and professional services M&A delivered unique value to Rabin Martin during this process.  Their experience and guidance were invaluable in preparing us for sale as well as executing a successful transaction process.”

Registering free for Equiteq Edge will allow you to access content and insight to help you prepare your business for sale or sell your business.

Equiteq advises Spire Research and Consulting Group on merger with Yamada Business Consulting Co. Ltd.

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We are pleased to announce the merger of our client, Spire Research and Consulting Group, with Yamada Business Consulting Co. Ltd (YBC), one of Japan’s largest consulting firms. Equiteq acted as exclusive financial advisor to Spire.

YBC acquired an 80 per cent stake in Spire Research and Consulting Pte Ltd, the parent company for the Spire Research and Consulting group of companies. Leon Perera, the co-founder of Spire, will continue to serve as the CEO of the group, retaining a 20 per cent stake.

The merger makes Spire part of a  much larger and publicly listed corporate group, which is expected to create more access to new consulting solutions, economies of scale, investment resources and synergistic business development possibilities. With the merger, the Spire Research and Consulting brand will become the global brand for YBC outside of Japan.

Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire, said: ”Joining the Yamada Consulting Group is the opening of a key chapter in the life of Spire Consulting & Research. I am grateful to Equiteq for the valuable support their Singapore team have provided throughout the process, from the preparation phase to the closing of the deal.”

Jean-Louis Michelet, Head of Equiteq in Asia Pacific, commented: ”Leon Perera and the Spire team have been great partners with Equiteq in this project, and the efficiency of the process owes much to the excellent mutual understanding among the parties. We are glad and proud to have contributed to this success.“

Keisaku Masuda, Managing Director of Yamada Business Consulting, added: ”I am looking forward to seeing the synergies coming to fruition between the two organisations and the development of our group being boosted by this strategic move. We have appreciated all the work done by the Equiteq team to support Spire, but also  help the two parties reach a fair and balanced agreement.”

Registering free for Equiteq Edge will allow you to access content and insight to help you prepare your business for sale or sell your business. 

Equiteq Edge: Countering uncertainty with knowledge to give you and your business the edge

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The decision to sell your consultancy is one of the biggest that you’re likely to make in your life. How and when do you start planning for it? Who do you trust to provide the right insights and information? How do you choose your partner?

The reality is you don’t know what you don’t know. So it is with this introduction, that we present Equiteq Edge, our new thought leadership platform that gives you access to all the information you need: analysis of market conditions, advice from people who have been through the process and even intelligence from buyers themselves.

Whether you are on the cusp of selling, have been approached by a buyer or are planning to sell in the next 3 to 5 years, we’ve created Equiteq Edge to be a ‘must have’.

A highlight of our 2014 Equiteq Edge programme includes our first ever buyers’ insight report. We’ve put key questions to corporate buyers and to private equity firms in both the US and the UK. The report will get into the minds of buyers, what they believe, how hungry they are to buy, what’s particularly on their agenda and hopefully an indication of the prices they’re prepared to pay.

There are a number of ways you can be kept up to date with Equiteq Edge. Sign-up for the reports and newsletters to be delivered to your inbox, join and participate in our Equiteq Edge LinkedIn Group or follow us on Twitter.

Finally we’d love to hear from you. What are the issues and questions that keep you awake at night?

Pouring all we know (what to do and how to do it), all we’ve done (more consultancy deals than anyone else) into Equiteq Edge, we will deliver insight that helps you grow and sell your consulting firm.

We look forward to accompanying you on your journey.