Top 3 Business Problems – Early-Stage M&A

March 30, 2017 Leah Hoffmann

early stage m&a

Business Talent Group’s independent consultants can help at all stages of the M&A lifecycle, but one place where they excel is at the start of a deal—or before, as executives seek to validate growth strategies, analyze market dynamics, and understand the high-level value of an acquisition target.

Why? Because they combine practical, objective perspective with deep technical expertise in industries that may be less familiar to our clients.

They can also tailor their workflow according to the project’s needs, whether it’s augmenting internal teams and frameworks or serving as discreet, behind-the-scenes advisers.

Here are a few examples.

Evaluating a Vertical Acquisition

The VP of Business Development at a lawn and garden company was contemplating an acquisition that would give it more control over a critical natural resource used in key products. Looking for a clearer picture of market context and dynamics—and how greater vertical integration might benefit the company—he turned to Business Talent Group. Our consultant was a corporate development leader with 20 years of global multi-sector experience. He helped the client research the new market and identify key investment theses for the acquisition. He also helped with early due diligence, and articulated his ideas in a presentation to the board that ultimately persuaded them to take action.

Streamlining Global Due Diligence

A global private equity firm engaged Business Talent Group to enhance due diligence across its portfolio. Traditional consulting firms couldn't deliver the deep technical knowledge the firm's operating partners required. So they turned to us for on-demand access to independent specialists with deep operational and geographical expertise. During one recent project, we provided a powerful, two-person team to lead technical and commercial due diligence on an EMEA-based distribution and logistics business. This team conducted multiple site visits to analyze 11 business units, assessing risks and opportunities as well as broader market context.

Validating Acquisition Targets

The head of corporate development at a global manufacturing conglomerate wanted to bolster the company’s medical devices portfolio by expanding into a high-growth market that was adjacent to their core space. However, the segment was highly complex, and executives were struggling to validate the opportunity and get a clear picture of potential targets. Business Talent Group's lean, two-person team—an ex-McKinsey strategist with experience in the target segment and an ex-Booz M&A specialist—spearheaded the analysis, interviewing internal experts and leveraging secondary research to evaluate market needs and trends. Then, they assessed the potential value and synergies of 15 different companies in the segment. During the second phase of the project, the team conducted more detailed interviews and analysis to narrow the field to three potential acquisition targets. The subsequent acquisition was one of the most impactful in the firm’s history.


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About the Author

Leah Hoffmann

Leah Hoffmann is a former journalist who has worked for and The Economist. She is passionate about clear thinking, sharp writing, and strong points of view.

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