Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal has been agreed for the sale of Headland Services Limited to OASIS Group.

Based in Devon, Headland Services Limited provides storage of confidential archive material, confidential data & document destruction services, throughout the south west for a wide range of high profile organisations, including charities, legal firms, universities & colleges. The company’s services extends to confidential shredding, the installation of confidential shredding cabinets, daily deliveries, collections of back-up tapes, & other forms of memory, which are then secured at the company’s premises.

OASIS is a trusted partner to its clients spanning multiple industries & markets throughout the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK, Belgium & Netherlands. OASIS is recognised as one of the fastest growing & most dynamic companies within the records & information management (RIM) industry. In addition to the services they offer throughout Europe, OASIS boast a team of experienced industry leaders with a vision to transform & elevate the RIM industry, OASIS offers a complete RIM service platform thus enabling its clients to harness the power of information.

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties every success for the future.

Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owner in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $5B across 30 industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 13 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.

Good news for Oil & Gas M&A in the U.K.?

Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and pipelining company based in Aberdeen and backed by private-equity, have pulled off a significant deal to acquire OMV’s North Sea interests. The $1bn deal is estimated to be the largest for the offshore energy industry in the UK, following the severe drop in crude prices. This is the second significant deal of the year that the highly acquisitive firm has made in the North Sea.

The size of the deal suggests that while many in the industry are cautious, there can be cause for optimism regarding M&A activity within this particular sector, moving into 2017. The long-term drop in the price of crude oil since 2014, coupled with volatility in the price within the past 12 months, mean that resilience has been a key watchword. However, some of the largest names in the industry, not to mention smaller operators, are filtering down some activity in acquisitions and investments.

Long-term confidence and innovation

Private equity investment in oil & gas has continued over the past two years, highlighting that long-term investors can find attractive investment opportunities in the sector. PE companies have relatively long-term investment aims, so the belief that the sector will recover over time is most likely the source of this activity – Siccar Point is backed by several PE firms, underlining this confidence.

Equally, the Siccar Point deal also highlights the attractiveness of the sector for newcomers. While companies and assets remain at low prices, new entrants can certainly spark new ways of thinking in the sector – it is clear that the current shock has forced a significant re-think for industry. Moreover, these highly acquisitive companies are looking to bolt-on a variety of different companies, developing potentially new synergies and new company structures taking the sector into uncharted territory. Those companies new to the sector will find creative ways of structuring, to take advantage once the price of oil stabilises, delivering a new lease of life, and innovative approaches, in the coming years.

Trickle-down effect

Conversely, as these smaller players are looking to make a range of moves, activity from the largest companies in the sector is filtering down. Shell-BG Group and GE-Baker Hughes are mega deals which create significant challenges, from regulatory requirements to the big shifts in strategy sometimes required by these companies.

While, Baker Hughes had to scrap its proposed deal with Halliburton in 2014 due to regulatory issues, Shell and BG will have to sell off various parts of their existing businesses to ensure the deal is rubber-stamped by authorities. It has already been mooted that Siccar Point will look to make a play for some North Sea assets to be put on the market by Shell/BG.

Ultimately, while there is relatively low confidence in the sector as a result of long-term pressures, there is certainly hope for optimism as we head into the new year.

Stay tuned to our blog for M&A news and remember to get in touch with our experienced team with any questions you have about the M&A process and how Benchmark International can help you.

The role of HR in deal making

Within M&A there will always be a winner and, ideally, the deal will be a resounding success for both parties. However, more often than not there will be someone who loses out, and the road towards successful M&A is not always straightforward.

There are many obstacles which can break down a deal, and even after a deal has successfully completed, there remain a multitude of ways in which the transaction can fall apart. Typically, post-deal issues will arise from staff engagement, as cultural harmony between two organisations can be difficult to achieve. Many employees can feel a sense of disillusion or disengagement, and a lack of morale or willingness to collaborate with a new company can prove to be a significant hurdle when it comes to successful integration, meaning that the HR department is more influential than ever.

With that in mind, it’s crucial that both parties in any transaction communicate and collaborate effectively in order to make the transition to the new, merged company as smooth as possible and avoid the possible clash of corporate cultures. Strategic team building exercises are just one way in which organisations can help both groups of employees to become acquainted with each other, however businesses must also consider how their future company will be structured, and exactly how their employees will work together.

Role Evaluation

Although this may be the last thing that any employee wants to hear when a company heads into M&A, examining current roles is the best way to determine how current staffing structures will fit into the new organisation. Consider what the deal will demand of employee roles: will they have to adopt new responsibilities, travel or even move permanently to new offices? The transaction may also open up new opportunities, and although an acquired company will bring acquired talent with it, there may be gaps in the team that need to be filled. Encouraging current employees to be part of the recruitment process by getting their input will make them feel more included in the structuring of the business.


It’s essential that internal messaging is clear and consistent throughout the deal, right up until the transaction has completed and integration begins. Any letters or emails to employees should send a positive and collaborative message, and should be worded carefully in order to alleviate any fears about the future of the business.

While internal messaging throughout the deal is key, it’s also important to update marketing material and other processes that reflect the new company’s employer brand. Attracting new employees to the business is just as important as retaining those already in it, and strong employer branding will ease a potential employee’s concerns or confusion about the company following M&A.

M&A can certainly create challenges, however HR professionals should take advantage of the opportunities that a merger presents. Stay tuned to our blog for M&A news and remember to get in touch with our experienced team with any questions you have about the M&A process and how Benchmark International can help you.

Record 2016 for M&A against all odds

Despite major political disruption from events such as Britain leaving the EU and the election of a new president of the United States, 2016 is gearing up to be the biggest year for M&A deal announcements since 2007.

According to the Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor, which has a proven track record for accuracy, there will be a three per cent increase in the total number of M&A deals to be announced globally in FY2016 compared to 2015.

Throughout the run-up to the EU referendum and the US election, M&A expectations were low for the remainder of the year. Historically, M&A activity slows in quarter three of a US presidential election year, with dealmakers waiting to see what policies the new president might introduce. However, this year was an exception, which is all the more surprising given the controversial nature of the Trump and Clinton campaign, and especially following the unexpected result.

In the UK, the economic slowdown in the aftermath of Brexit fortunately did not materialise in the third quarter and the region has gone on to have one of its best performing years for early stage M&A activity. The UK has strong levels of asset disposals in other European countries such as France, Spain and Germany as well as the declining pound, making British companies a lot cheaper internationally, to thank for the eight per cent rise. To put this into perspective, the second quarter, which saw the lead up to the referendum, saw a decrease by one per cent.

While Europe, the Middle East & Africa, Asia-Pacific and North America saw increases in early-stage M&A activity, up 13, nine and five per cent respectively, Latin America, Australia and Japan have posted declining early stage activity levels. This varying activity mainly comes down to the new industries of interest. For example, Australia is still struggling to find an alternative to the metals and mining sector.

Across the world, the strongest sectors for early stage activity include energy & power, technology, real estate and media telecommunications, which have all increased by double-digit percentages. These emerging sectors coupled with the predicted increased activity means 2017 is gearing up to be another record-breaking year for global M&A.

Stay tuned to our blog for M&A news and remember to get in touch with our experienced team with any questions you have about the M&A process and how Benchmark International can help you.

Estée Lauder has its eye on millennials with $1.45bn deal

American beauty giant Estée Lauder is no stranger to M&A. The company, founded by its namesake in 1946, already owns a number of the beauty industry’s most popular and largest brands, including MAC, Clinique, La Mer and Jo Malone. However, it is the beauty powerhouse’s latest acquisition of cosmetics company Too Faced, for a reported $1.45bn, which has captured the interest of industry commentators.

The purchase of Too Faced, a popular brand with millennials, is the largest deal in the company’s history, and is seemingly a response to the decline in department store sales and the need to grow across the internet and other channels. This follows a report earlier in November in which Estée recounted quarterly sales that missed estimates due to the decline in department store footfall. Too Faced, on the other hand, campaigns actively online and stocks within stores that are more popular with the millennial shopper, such as Sephora.

The transaction, expected to close in December, is yet another example of traditional, established brands moving into the millennial market. As Estée announced its Too Faced deal, it closed another with Becca Cosmetics. Although at $230m the price tag is considerably smaller than Too Faced, the acquisition of Becca Cosmetics, which is equally as influential in the millennial market, reiterates the company’s vision for the future of its M&A strategy.

In a similar move, L’Oréal, owner of Lancôme, Essie and Kiehl’s, agreed to acquire trendy Los Angeles-based make up brand NYX for $500m in 2014. The subsequent European rollout of NYX has given the millennial-favoured brand access to a new market, and last year L’Oréal reported that NYX’s like-for-like sales growth had increased by 78 per cent. And L’Oréal’s M&A spree continued this year, as in Q3 it announced its $1.2bn bid for IT Cosmetics – the company’s largest acquisition in eight years after purchasing YSL Beaute for $1.7bn in 2008.

Similarly to Too Faced, IT Cosmetics has gained a significant following from the millennial generation, which is becoming increasingly influential to the cosmetics industry’s growth. This generation, and even younger consumers, have redefined the way in which shoppers purchase cosmetics; the department store and the golden era of luxury beauty brands is gradually declining as this new demographic come forward, and social media and e-commerce becomes more important than ever.

Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have acknowledged this shift, and as more up-and-coming cosmetics brands emerge, M&A activity within the beauty industry is set to continue at its rapid pace. The record deals announced by both of these companies in recent months further validates the idea that traditional, established brands must move into younger market spaces in order to remain relevant and continue business growth.

Stay tuned to our blog for M&A news and remember to get in touch with our experienced team with any questions you have about the M&A process and how Benchmark International can help you.

CEO of the Year: Greg Jackson, Benchmark International


Greg Jackson, CEO of Benchmark International was named as one of 2016’s top CEOs of the year by AI Global Media. As a part of the award, Jackson was featured in AI Magazine’s November issue, an honor only a few come to achieve.

“I am honored to be recognized as CEO of the Year given the immense amount of talent in the industry.  Benchmark International has grown exponentially in recent years by providing clients with a global offering backed by unquestionable experience, expertise and talent. Our trailblazing business model has set new expectations for the industry as a whole. The driving force behind our success is centered on our relentless desire to ensure our clients are at the forefront of everything we do.”

Nominees go through a rigorous selection process to maintain the integrity of the award. After nomination, candidates are thoroughly researched and evaluated based on professionalism, expertise and results.

This process ensures that only the top performing CEOs are acknowledged for the prestigious award. The magazine features only 15 CEOs per year.

About Greg Jackson, CEO

Greg has a wealth of professional experience amassing over 20 years of M&A expertise within the corporate mid-market across multiple sectors. Greg cofounded one of the largest company sales specialists in the UK, eventually exiting in 2007. The experience propelled Greg towards Benchmark International where he continues his passion for selling businesses and exceeding client’s expectations across the globe.

About Benchmark International

Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $5B across 30 industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 13 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners achieve their personal objectives and ensure the continued growth of their businesses.

About AI Global Media

Al Global Media is a multi-platform publishing house with a global reach, spanning over 170 countries worldwide. Launched over five years ago, Al Global Media has grown rapidly with a global subscriber list of over 238,000 corporate professionals and decision makers.  Through the company’s international reach, clients and advertisers have access to over five million CEOs, top-tier professionals, corporate decision makers and business professionals. Staffed by a team of dedicated writers, researchers, and designers, the firm uncovers, develops and publishes quality content in conjunction with some of the biggest names in the global business landscape.

How the Recent Election Result May Impact the Value of Your Company…

Now that we know Donald Trump will lead THE UNITED STATES for the next 4 years, please see how some of his proposed changes may affect the value of your company. VIEW THE DETAILS HERE

There are TWO impending critical issues every business owner should consider when planning an exit or growth strategy.

1- Market conditions that effect how much a business owner can get for his or her business
2- Taxes impacting the amount that business owners get to keep upon the successful sale of his or her business

After spending significant time and money to build a quality business, it is important to make sure that you get the most value when you decide to sell all or a portion of the company. The two issues above are very important to keep in mind during the preparation process.

Read more about what these changes mean to your exit or growth strategy and how they may affect your company’s value by following the link below:


Or to learn more please call Sam Smoot directly at (813) 898-2356.