888-983-1617 [email protected]

Going Big at BIG Council: An Overview of the M&A Market

North Carolina’s BIG Council is known for coordinating must-attend events for regional business owners. I (Frank) took part in a BIG-organized event focusing on strategies to build, scale and monetize a high-performance business. I co-led a presentation with DecisionPoint Advisors’ Managing Partner Doug Ellis on the region’s mergers & acquisitions (M&A) market. It was a point-counterpoint discussion: I talked about traditional businesses, while Doug spoke on tech companies.

Read the takeaways below:


The Traditional Market

For ‘traditional’ businesses (basic services + industries), the force driving M&A is private equity investing, by funds or family offices, acting either directly or via add-on acquisitions by their portfolio companies.

There is also an increased appetite to look at ‘stretch’ deals — deals that are riskier or more complex than usual. For business owners looking to grow or sell, the headline is “be prepared” and know you’re selling into a 1% close ratio market. Before seeking capital, businesses should build a five-year projection model that can withstand scrutiny and that an investor would find attractive.


The Technology Market

M&A activity is incredibly robust in the technology space, and it’s driven by a few factors. Above all, there are huge hoards of cash on balance sheets, so acquisitions are appealing — and often, necessary. Many companies have “righted their ships” financially, boards are confident and quotas are high. Businesses have found that they can’t meet their goals through organic growth alone, so growth through acquisition has become all the more important.

Increasing competition also plays a role. There’s a strong appetite for differentiation and IP in tech, and the big companies are always seeking new products and features.

Corporate development officers are looking at lots of deals for every transaction completed. They are both under pressure to add revenue and to avoid risks. Therefore, the due diligence process is intense, even for smaller deals, and it’s all the more important for a seller’s legal, finance and IP “houses” to be in order.


The SQL Sentry Story

Charlotte has some talented entrepreneurs and real success stories. SQL Sentry, a bootstrapped IT company, for example, took $25 million in growth capital from Mainsail Ventures. Following the presentation I led with Doug, SQL co-founder Ken Teeter and I did a “fireside chat” about what changes this investment has created for him and his company.

How to Increase Business Value Before a Sale

Learn how to increas your business’ value to maximize sale profits and attract better buyers and/or partners.

Oaklyn Consulting Congratulates Medecipher on Acquisition by SnapCare

Oaklyn Consulting congratulates Denver-based cloud-based software developer Medecipher Inc. on its acquisition by SnapCare, a leading healthcare workforce solutions provider. Oaklyn Consulting assisted Medecipher in negotiating the business terms of the transaction....

Is Now The Right Time To Sell My Business?

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, For the last five years, I’ve been making 65% to 75% gross profit. I know in the next few years, gross profit is going to shrink because of new competition coming into the market. What advice do you have for me to consider...

How to Navigate Business Debt and Equity Options

When closely held businesses need capital, they generally have two options — getting a bank loan or seeking out private investors. While a loan isn’t going to be a viable solution for every liquidity need a business has, it can be significantly less expensive in the...

Help Me With a Conflict in My Family Business

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, Three members of our family business (a father and two sons) are not getting along. The father isn't retiring and wants to control the business, while the sons would like to sell the business. What advice do you have for the...

Help Me With a Succession Plan

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, It’s been a really hard year. I own a business that I’ve been successfully running for the last 15 years. I’ve had some health troubles that have pushed me to a position where my doctors are suggesting that I need to retire...

Can a Nonprofit be Acquired by a Corporation? 

Can nonprofits be acquired by corporations? Is it a good idea for for-profit businesses to acquire nonprofits? Learn everything you need to know.

Venturing into Capital: Understanding Small Business Private Equity  

Explore small business private equity and all of its alternatives to reach new heights for capital in your company.

Help Me With Acquiring a Business

Ask Us Anything Dear Oaklyn Consulting, I am a business owner who has a substantial local presence. I’m considering acquiring a competitor that has a larger presence outside my current market. This move would expand our footprint immediately and give us the...

How to Merge Nonprofits: Acquisition, Stakeholders, Post-merger Integration, and More

Merging nonprofits is not as hard as it sounds. Just make sure goals are aligned, assets are well assessed, and that you have the right advisors by your side.