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A fascinating report has been published by Intralinks who, in conjunction with Cass Business School in London examined 23 years of data from almost 34,000 companies worldwide to identify the factors that make companies attractive M&A targets. Whilst worth reading the full report, it concludes with a summary of six vital signs business owners should be aware of to make their company attractive to buyers. The study found that in any year… Read More

In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the meat processing sector in Ireland, M&A activity involving participants within the sector has continued apace in 2017, with the conclusion of some notable deals. Now, whilst there is a whole host of reasons underpinning this M&A activity, a number of common themes are evident, with the continued push for scale being the first. In an industry where operating margins are traditionally tight, top-line growth is… Read More

Of all the obstacles inherent in the M&A process, something that’s often overlooked is ‘the people factor’ – that’s to say, understanding, planning and correctly valuing the HR and employment side of a business, as well as company culture – an aspect that’s crucial when two companies come together. A 2016 survey by KPMG showed that a staggering 54% of executives said that HR and corporate culture issues were the most significant… Read More

In a much-talked-about piece in the New York Times recently, Hernan Cristerna, Co-Head of Global M&A at JP Morgan Chase, diagnosed the global mergers and acquisitions market as alive and very much kicking – in spite of ongoing Brexit anxieties and considerable political uncertainty around the Trump administration. Cross-border European-US transactions have already increased by over 80% this year, with some truly blockbuster deals counting among them such as Johnson & Johnson’s… Read More

Due diligence by potential buyers takes up a serious amount of time in any M&A process. Essentially, it’s designed to make sure the buyer knows exactly what it is that they’re buying – and in other cases, ‘reverse diligence’ helps the target company understand whether a potential buyer or merger partner is right for them. But what does due diligence cover, in a nutshell? Here are the top five areas of interest… Read More

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that after an exciting year of growth, we are expanding our international reach to Ireland. The news comes after our recent announcement that Benchmark International will have a presence in South Africa, with the opening of our new Cape Town offices. Ireland has witnessed a staggering economic turnaround as of late, with unemployment being dramatically slashed and the Bank of Ireland forecasting GDP growth of 4.8%… Read More

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Furlong Business Solutions to Volaris Group. Furlong is a unique Management Information System provider in the UK, working with schools across the world. Whether you’re looking to improve access to data, consolidate many disparate systems or improve parental engagement, they can help. More than 285 schools worldwide trust Furlong software products, they provide comprehensive management information solutions. Furlong aim to be a valued… Read More

Irrespective of the outcome and the eventual deal Britain strikes with the EU, there will be greater uncertainty for businesses in the near-term. So what and how will this affect the M&A sector? History shows us that turbulent times economically, politically and socially produce a short term drop in investment and a period of re-appraisal, followed not so remarkably by a resumption in activity. With interest rates low – and set to… Read More

‘To err is human’, it’s said … but for sellers and buyers alike, the M&A process is surely not a good time to make mistakes. Here are the top five errors made by sellers in M&A deals according to Forbes magazine, and our take on each. 1.Not Anticipating the Time and Effort Involved The number one spot goes to failure to anticipate the sheer amount of time and effort that’s involved in… Read More

It seems as though every other day, the headlines announce a new acquisition among major retailers. The giants in the industry are diversifying their products, sucking up more stock, and building mighty kingdoms that boutique and small business owners can’t even throw stones at. How can these smaller businesses possibly compete? First, take a look at what’s happening… It was recently announced that Michael Kors would acquire the Jimmy Choo brand for $1.17 billion…. Read More

Disclosure schedules are an integral part of any merger or acquisition (M&A) transaction. They contain information required by the acquisition agreement—typically a listing of important contracts, intellectual property, employee information, and other materials as well as exceptions or qualifications to the detailed representations and warranties of the selling company contained in the acquisition agreement. An incorrect or incomplete disclosure schedule could result in a breach of the acquisition agreement and possible significant… Read More

Timing is, without doubt, one of the most critical factors in mergers and acquisitions; a recent report found that it is, in fact, the single most reliable predictor in terms of creating real shareholder value. But why is timing so crucial? Think Macro! Acquiring a company is a risk that’s ultimately taken based on the health or otherwise of economies – and we’re talking about macro-economies here, looking way beyond the company… Read More

ROC Northwest are a residential care, domiciliary care and educational care service provider for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, learning, physical disabilities and complex needs with associated challenging behaviour and young people with SEBD. Community inclusion and participation enhance and enrich young people’s lives both educationally and socially. ROC offer exceptional, individual quality environments that put young people at the centre of the programmes they operate. Speaking about the deal, Benchmark… Read More

Entrepreneurs, by nature, are people who spend a considerable amount of time looking for the next opportunity. And for them, ‘the next opportunity’ often includes a suitable time to sell their company. But what, practically, are the most common reasons for sale? 1. Business Value vs Liquidity Getting hold of liquidity in your company is a valuable opportunity, because while there is always value in a business, there is no real liquidity… Read More

Benchmark International has recently opened a new office in Cape Town, South Africa (see 3rd July blog post), headed up by Andre Bresler and Dustin Graham. This is an exciting development for Benchmark International, in a dynamic evolving market. South Africa is a core strategic market for any global M&A team, as the country is the conduit for more than half of M&A activity across the African continent. In South Africa itself,… Read More

French rental car company, Europcar has made its fourth acquisition of the year in the form of Europe’s largest low-cost car rental agency, Goldcar. Europcar announced in December that it was looking to spend up to €500 million on franchised companies, car sharing services or local rivals within the car rental sector in order to achieve its ambitious growth targets and remain competitive. Caroline Parot, Europcar chief executive, commented that the acquisition… Read More

California-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been busy bolstering its portfolio to stay ahead in cloud computing, with even more acquisitions on the horizon. This year, the company revealed purchases worth more than $1.5 billion and is looking to boost demand for server and storage products in order to stay ahead of competitors, such as Dell and Amazon.com. These recent acquisitions come after CEO, Meg Whitman, split the computer and printer business and… Read More

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given the go-ahead for the £11 billion merger of Scotland-based asset management companies Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. Stating that it had decided not to refer the merger to a second phase in-depth investigation, the CMA has made way for the formation of Europe’s second largest fund manager and a global top 25 player, with £660 billion assets under management. The CMA began a… Read More

RPC, the international design and engineering company, has cited recent acquisitions in the last financial year as key factor in its profits more than doubling. Established in 1991, the UK-based specialist in polymer conversion in packaging and non-packaging markets has spent in excess of £1.3 billion on acquisitions since December 2015, which grew revenues by 67 per cent to £2.7 billion in the year to March 31. Recent acquisitions of French bottle-top… Read More

Benchmark International is proud to announce that it has, once again, been named ‘International Mid-Market Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year’ at the annual ACQ Global Awards. This is an especially proud moment for Benchmark International as it marks the third time that it has secured this prestigious award, having previously won in 2014 and 2015. Since 2006, the ACQ Global Awards have celebrated the achievements, innovation and brilliance of industry leaders,… Read More