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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As a consultant, I frequently hear the question, “How do I find good acquisition prospects?” Executives can be overwhelmed by the number and variety of potential companies.  It can be challenging to prioritize your search. This month, I will be leading a webinar “Discovering Prospects” on Thursday, March 21 at 1:00 pm EDT.  I will […]

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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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John Dearing, Managing Director of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Analyst Bob Kwaja. You’ve formulated your acquisition strategy.  You’ve assembled your growth team. You’ve researched and selected the top markets for growth.  Now, let Capstone show you how to find the best acquisition targets in those […]

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