Capstone Webinar: Finding Opportunity for Growth in Tough Times CPE Credit Awarded Thursday, April 8, 2010; 1:00 PM ET David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar. David will focus on where you can find opportunity for growth in the toughest economy in a generation.  His main […]

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According to CFOs recently polled by Merrill Datasite, “87.1% of respondent are considering M&A activity as a means to grow.”   We at Capstone agree – the time is right to make a BOLD move – growing proactively through external growth.  Our clients are using acquisitions and investments to create a competitive advantage by adding capability […]

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I just spoke at the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Spring Conference and the general sentiment was cautious optimism for the next 12 months.  Several attendees mentioned they only see distressed companies selling and at 0.5x revenues.  Another mentioned his firm has lots of cash and no debt but they are hesitant to part […]

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Valuing a for-sale opportunity becomes more challenging during periods of economic and financing uncertainty. During an economic boom, sellers are often able to obtain top dollar due to increased competition among buyers, with readily available financing options. However, in today’s market, buyers are more cautious about the businesses they are buying and the amount they […]

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“There are a lot of companies that are flushed with cash, they want to do deals and targets that feel that they are 20 percent below their historic highs so they are not as interested in doing a deal,” he explained. “So that’s the right territory for a lot of unsolicited bids.” I agree with […]

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M&A: From LOI to Close CPE Credit Awarded Thursday, March 11, 2010; 1:00 PM ET David Braun is hosting a webinar with Capstone Senior Vice President Wes Teague. Building on the success of our last webinar on Contemporary Legal Issues in M&A, Capstone is presenting a new program that will lead you through one of […]

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Banks are still not lending much these days and last year  had their sharpest decline in lending in 67 years.  A friend who is a Vice President at a major US bank recently told me: “We have lots of money to lend, just no one that we want to lend it to.”   So how […]

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Clients always want to know how  we can quickly understand the perspective of the owner of the acquisition target.  Over the past 15 years focusing on the privately-held, not-for-sale space, we have a 98% success rate getting our clients in meaningful conversations and meetings with companies that are deemed to be a strategic fit. The […]

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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 […]

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A recent New York Times article, “How to Sell Your Business” provided some excellent advice about how to sell your own business. It recommended assembling “a team of professionals..an attorney and an accountant that you trust”. This is good counsel and should be followed by anyone selling, or buying, a business. However, the article also […]

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On this blog previously, David discussed some of the issues surrounding the AOL-Time Warner merger.  Given that the ten year anniversary of the merger was recently marked, I wanted to re-visit the ill-fated deal to explore it a little more in-depth. AOL and Time Warner merged to create the “world’s first Internet-age media and communications […]

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I was asked during a recent client review for my recommendation on when it was appropriate to divulge  leadership’s M&A intentions to the Board. Based upon my experience, there is no time like the present. You want to avoid surprises. You want to get questions out “on the table” in time to develop answers. You […]

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The New York Stock Exchange ended 2009 up nearly 30% over 2008.  That makes a lot of individuals feel better about the economy because they “feel” wealthier. Companies are no different.  With an up market we expect M&A activity to increase, generally as a laggard to the equities market.  Think about it:  a company’s stock […]

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Bloomberg recently reported that: “Chief executive officers are so sure the economy will keep recovering they’re agreeing to prices that are 37 percent higher than the average since 2001, when Bloomberg started compiling data. While stocks in the S&P 500 are trading at the most expensive valuations in seven years compared with profits in the […]

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I am hosting a webinar tomorrow (December 17) with CPE credit being awarded! We’ve heard from our audience that they want an opportunity to earn CPE credits by the end of the year, so we’ve developed a webinar on an in-demand topic: current legal topics in M&A. Even if you are not a member of the […]

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According to the Wall Street Journal,  November 2009 was the biggest month in over a year for deals involving consumer products and food and drinks firms, with $12.54 billion in acquisitions.  And it doesn’t look like this momentum will be stopped.  Kettle Chips, Just for Men and Grecian Formula hair-coloring products, Aqua Velva cologne, Brylcreem hair […]

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Our buy-side clients at Capstone are seeing the same trend that a recent Reuters article reported: “Companies are making moves to divest assets that are not essential to their operations, while stronger firms, nudged on by their boards and shareholders, are looking to grow and position themselves for the recovery.”  This leads to numerous “orphan” non-core product […]

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A recent round table of corporate dealmakers at a conference sponsored by The Deal offered some interesting insights into the strategy mindset of some of the largest corporations in America.  All of the panelists expressed a “commitment to external growth.” Two observations stood out to me. First, Sean Murphy of Abbott Labs said they are […]

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There is a trend afoot for firms to become more vertically integrated – controlling their supply sources, manufacturing, and distribution channels.  A few recent examples include Oracle acquiring Sun Microsystems to integrate hardware and software and H-P acquiring EDS to capture more consulting and professional services revenue, along with buying 3Com to capture more customers.  […]

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These are tough times for the legal profession.  Here in Washington, DC, one of the lawyer-capitals of the world,  it’s difficult to go a block without running into a recently graduated law student who’s looking for a job.  In these tough times, many law firms, large and small, are looking for a way to grow […]

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