Chairman’s Letter – May 2020 HELLO WORLD

The Data Behind COVID-19 and Beyond In response to the rapid spread of a potentially destructive novel virus, almost every western government implemented a containment approach that had never been used before. Through emergency orders, all non-essential businesses were ordered closed, the entire population (except essential workers) was ordered to stay in their homes, and […]

Unsolicited Offer Pros, Cons and Next Steps HELLO WORLD

In the previous article, we looked at how to evaluate an unsolicited offer. Here, we examine the pros and cons of a single offer and discuss how to proceed. Pros and Cons of a Single Offer Common thinking says a single offer is ideal if you’re the buyer, while multiple offers are better if you’re […]

Evaluating an Unsolicited Offer HELLO WORLD

In today’s active M&A environment, business owners may receive an offer to buy their company, even when they have not expressed an intention to sell. Especially for successful and/or fast-growing companies, and businesses in growth sectors, such unsolicited offers are quite common. How should you respond? In this article, we’ll look at how to evaluate […]

Sometimes You Don’t Want a Bargain HELLO WORLD

We all know the thrill of finding an item vastly on sale. “It was a steal!”, we exclaim to our friends. In the world of M&A, buyers are always cautioned about the dangers of overpaying. In the classic Harvard Business Review article “Are You Paying Too Much for that Acquisition?”, Robert Eccles et al warn, […]

Overview of Valuation Methods HELLO WORLD

Correctly valuing a business is central to any successful M&A transaction. As much art as science, valuation strives to quantify the financial benefits of owning the business today and in the future. Here we kick off a series of articles examining different valuation approaches, limitations, and best practices. This piece introduces the core principles of […]

Acquisition Integration HELLO WORLD

Chess board merger

Last month, we discussed how acquirers can select and work most productively with an M&A advisor. Here we conclude this buy-side article series with a look at acquisition integration. Though we typically end our formal engagement at deal closing, we always emphasize acquisition integration for two reasons: 1. Regardless of how rigorous your selection, due diligence […]

Conducting Due Diligence HELLO WORLD

Business man presenting financial analysis

Implicit in our previous article’s discussion of the M&A pipeline is the need to move from a pool of initial candidates, often numbering 100 or more, to perhaps 1-2 good acquisitions. After high-level screens have weeded out the less attractive possibilities, and detailed analysis of publicly available information has further distilled the list, we may […]

Building a Strong Acquisition Pipeline HELLO WORLD

Pipeline over water

The last article looked at sources of target company value, and their importance based on the purpose of your acquisition. Continuing in the Search and Assessment stage of our framework, let’s now turn to the mechanics of building a strong pipeline. Figure 1. Stillwater Capital Acquisition Framework What is a pipeline? Your pipeline is a […]

The Importance of Value Drivers When Assessing Targets HELLO WORLD

Having established the importance of corporate strategy as the starting point for any deal and introduced possible acquisition types, let’s shift attention from the Strategy stage of our framework to Search and Assessment (Figure 1). What value does a potential target bring, and where do we find good quality targets? Let’s start with value   […]

Aligning Acquisitions With Corporate Strategy HELLO WORLD

Meeting

The last article shared a framework we use to guide clients through their acquisition decisions in a disciplined way, and explored the four questions every acquirer must be able to answer. Here we dig deeper into the first step in the framework, and the question of purpose, looking at the alignment of acquisitions with corporate […]

The Four Essential Questions – A Framework for Successful Acquisitions HELLO WORLD

“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” Michael Dell (Founder, Dell Computers) Over two decades in the business, we have worked with several hundred midmarket acquirers. Their most common struggle is understanding the complex, interconnected decisions […]

Successful Acquisitions Require Successful Integration HELLO WORLD

Successful Acquisitions

The success or failure of an acquisition depends on how the target is integrated. Successful integration requires a clear understanding of what is being purchased.