More and more I am seeing creative deal structuring in today’s M&A market. This comes as little surprise. The credit markets remain quiet; companies are not growing their way out of financial stress and smaller firms often finding themselves squeezed by larger companies who offer more products and better terms.
So what is a small to midsized business CEO to do? One suggestion us to align yourself with companies where you do not share the same customer (no need to fight over scraps) and find companies that add value to your offering and aggregate the products and service for your customers. In some cases we are advising our clients take minority positions in critical companies. In others, we advise acquiring a majority position and in others we are structuring subcontracting agreements. There is no silver bullet, but the key is to have some weapons on your side that can differentiate you – particularly from your fretful competitors who are paralyzed. Keep in mind I think you are going to have a lot more buying competition in 12 to 16 months. Time is becoming of the essence.