36 percent of middle market companies struggle to find the right partner when it comes to pursuing deals. Most acquirers begin their search by looking at a list of for-sale companies only to come away from the process empty-handed and disappointed. Many for-sale companies are on the chopping block for a reason. They may be […]

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Not finding the right company to acquire is the top challenge for middle market companies seeking to grow through mergers and acquisitions. According to Capstone’s survey of middle market executives, 28% noted lack of suitable companies as the strongest reason for not considering acquisitions as a tool for growth. Finding the right company to acquire […]

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How many companies do you need to look at to do a deal? This is a common question we get from clients. Experience tells us you need to look at about 100 companies in order to execute one deal. That doesn’t mean you go through formal due diligence with 100 companies, but you do need […]

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When contacting an owner about acquisitions, don’t be surprised to hear “no.” Most owners, when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” business will automatically refuse simply because it’s unexpected. Remember, for an owner focused on running the day-to-day operations of his business, this offer is coming out of the blue. There are, of course, a number of […]

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How can you tell a good company from a bad company? A lot of CEOs say that they trust their gut when it comes to acquisition targets, but unfortunately instincts and opinions aren’t enough. We need facts and metrics. We need real tools to generate quantifiable data about the companies we’re considering. M&A is a massive […]

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Strategic mergers and acquisitions can be a powerful tool for growing your CUSO, but much of your success depends on finding the right partner. How can you identify the right partner for growth? The best way to begin your search is to identify the ideal markets in which to grow your organization. Once you have […]

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How do you go about finding companies to buy? Do you begin your search by contacting a list of usual suspects? Rather than falling back on the usual suspects, consider using a truly strategic approach to finding the right company to buy. A demand-driven approach to picking acquisition targets will help increase your chances of successful M&A. […]

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“Insanity,” Albert Einstein said, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” An executive once told me he unsuccessfully had been trying to grow his company through acquisition for the past five years. For one reason or another, the acquisition candidates brought to him weren’t right. Either they didn’t […]

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“Keep your pipeline full,” I often tell clients when speaking about their acquisition prospects. By this I mean that in pursuing M&A you should research 75 to 100 companies. That’s a lot of companies and research, which of course you must record in an appropriate manner. How can you keep track of all your data? […]

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By John Dearing, Managing Director McKinsey & Company recently published an article on using M&A as a tool to give your company a competitive advantage. The article addresses some key aspects of M&A we find important at Capstone. You should develop your strategy first when approaching M&A and always have a full pipeline of acquisition […]

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Acquiring the right company is the key to acquisition success. Your target should fit into your company’s overall strategic vision and add value to your business. To determine what this company looks like and to find it, develop prospect criteria. Keeping in mind your business strategy, sit down with your acquisition team and write your […]

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As I head off to celebrate July 4th with my family and friends, I’m reminded of what we call “brother-in-law” companies.  In some ways, the close relationship between family members can resemble the relationship between a buyer and an acquisition prospect. These “brother-in-law companies” are prospects that a CEO believes are a great deal because […]

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I was on a call with a prospective client when he asked a question I frequently hear: “Will we get a list of companies we can look at to acquire?” It’s a common misconception that your objective in hiring an M&A consultant is a long list of for-sale acquisition prospects. I strongly caution against this […]

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Before you enter negotiation with an acquisition prospect, there are six key questions you and your acquisition team should answer: 1) What is the “big picture”? The key here is to have just one strategic reason for acquisition that you developed at the beginning of the acquisition process. 2) What elements of the “owner’s equation” […]

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When approaching negotiation for an acquisition, it’s essential to establish the right mindset from the start. You should strike a balance between negotiating firmly on the one hand and protecting your relationship with the acquisition prospect on the other. Any potential deal suffers tremendously when the parties become combative. You can be a tough negotiator […]

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Personal connection matters, especially when it comes to the first connection with an owner of an acquisition prospect. This first connection is a decisive step.  Handled correctly, it can initiate a positive relationship that may eventually lead to union. Handled poorly, that one phone call can terminate your opportunity to buy. When initiating contact with […]

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Let’s say you have identified a specific company as a prospective acquisition. To get to know that company, you must do primary research, not just secondary (online or library) research. This involves getting on the phone and talking to people who deal with the company on a regular basis, and eventually to the principals themselves. […]

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If you have started to look at individual acquisition prospects, you may be wondering, why use a prospect funnel? That’s to say, why pursue lots of possible acquisitions, rather than focus on just one? I have frequently been approached by clients after a deal suddenly fell through—a deal they had been working on for months […]

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When you’re on the path of acquisition, there’s a shift that happens when you turn from the bigger strategic questions to looking at individual prospects.  Now you’re dealing with real companies and real people. At this point, I have noticed that acquisition teams tend to become much more emotionally involved—sometimes to the detriment of the […]

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