Shop Floor & Jeans to Board Rooms & Pearls
A few weeks ago, at M&A East, we met with many private equity firms expanding their add-on criteria to include companies in the lower middle market, as competition for the slightly large companies is simply absurd. Additionally, a large number of these firms expressed challenges in connecting with the shareholders/business owners of these lower middle-market manufacturing businesses. And it’s funny because we are incredibly aware of this fact. Each week, we receive several inquiries from individuals stating that their sole reason for being on planet Earth is to own and operate their own manufacturing company. This individual may or may not have investors and may or may not have manufacturing experience. They do have a website, a LinkedIn profile and all their social media stuff syncs with their initial pitch. However, with a small amount of research, we quickly learn that this individual is actually connected to a PE. As an FYI, there is an easier way….and THIS is where we come in.
We at Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers excel at communicating with sellers – mostly men who have built their business from the ground up and shudder at the idea of selling to a private equity group. How is it that we succeed in this space?
Knowledge of Manufacturing Equipment & Assets
Our founder, Fran Brunelle, began her career transitioning manufacturing companies almost 25 years ago. When it comes to understanding manufacturing machinery – what it does, how it works, the current and replacement value – she’s among the best. And, she’s transferred that knowledge to her team. We put on our jeans, walk the shop floor and – well – talk shop.
Focus on Manufacturing
Transitioning manufacturing companies is the only thing we do. We understand manufacturing valuations, multiples and marketing. We are plugged into M&A industry trends as well as what is happening in specific manufacturing sectors.
Concern for the Legacy
As much as it’s about the money, the sellers we work with care about the legacy they’ve built, the jobs they’ve created and the communities they’ve served and we get it. We are skilled at providing a level of comfort to retiring sellers that our PE buyers will bring systems and resources that will not only ensure their legacy but provide opportunity to their staff.
Trust to Do the Right Thing
We will only accept a listing we know we can successfully sell. We respectfully ask a lot of questions. We educate them about the process. We provide guidance. We’re straight shooters. We leave no stone unturned in order to effectively enable a seller to transition his company.
Working with Individual Buyers and/or a Private Equity
When awarded a listing and it’s ready to market, we slap on the pearls and engage potential buyers who can be former C-Suite execs, strategics or PEs. Our own corporate experience in sales management, business development, marketing, project management, team building and leadership enable us to see what they hope to accomplish with an understanding of what it’s going to take to get there. It’s our job to navigate and negotiate the way through the great divide between PE buyers and sellers. We help the seller to see value in the business strategy, marketing and sales experience “a suit” brings to the table, who will learn the craft later, which is exactly the opposite of how the seller built his $2M – $15M business. We encourage the buyer to be respectful of all the seller has accomplished, to come prepared with thoughtful questions and even take notes (written or electronic) – because that signals to a seller that a buyer is serious.
When these things happen during the first meeting, we’ve begun to successfully navigate the great M&A divide.
If you’re a private equity and have questions, don’t hesitate to call Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers – 908.387.1000.