Acquiring a business can accelerate growth and provide access to new customers, resources, skills and knowledge. Our business acquisition advisory service and M&A experts will help you make the acquisition happen with the right strategy, at the right price, on the right terms, and with the right funding in place.Book a meeting
A business acquisition is where one company purchases control of another company to become the majority shareholder or owner. There are many reasons to make an acquisition including, but not limited to, gaining scale or critical mass, or acquiring new technologies or capabilities to enhance your value proposition.
But company acquisitions carry risk if you don’t have the right strategic rationale in the first place. You must be clear on what your business lacks and whether the investment will deliver the anticipated return.
We work with UK SMEs and small-cap PLCs that have the ambition to grow their business by acquisition. We often act as an outsourced Corporate Development team helping clients meet their strategic goals through mergers and acquisitions.
We can confidently say that acquiring a business can be time consuming and fraught with risk. Being unprepared in your approach could mean that you end up failing to bring together a deal or paying above the market rate for a less favourable company. Typical mistakes that individuals frequently make when acquiring a company include:
To successfully acquire a business, your acquisition strategy needs to achieve these key objectives:
By using our business acquisition service, our M&A experts add value by ensuring rigour in your acquisition search and execution. Working with us will ensure that you identify the right targets to make your acquisition happen. We'll secure the deal, ensure you pay the right price and manage associated risks. Our funding specialists can also help you secure business acquisition financing if you don't have the funds up-front. This is what our advisory service provides:
We challenge you to consider the key features you are looking for in a target business and, most importantly, how to prioritise them. While you will almost certainly need to compromise on criteria, defining what an ideal target looks like will underpin your search and inform the decision-making process throughout.Learn more
Using desktop research, our networks (and yours), we thoroughly analyse the market to find the best options, including those that could become available in the near future.Learn more
A business that is worth buying will get approached frequently. We ensure that your approach stands out and is taken seriously. Achieving that first conversation is the key step in bringing about a deal.Learn more
We help you quickly and efficiently validate initial assumptions about the target business, giving you the confidence to proceed while ensuring that your criteria have been met.Learn more
We help you formulate a valuation and offer that will be attractive to the seller whilst securing the deal at a price that is right for you. We show you how to structure offers to appropriately share risk between seller and buyer whilst protecting deal value.Learn more
We help you co-ordinate and deliver the diligence you need to be confident to proceed with your business acquisition. We also work closely with other stakeholders – such as your legal team - to bring together what is a highly complex transaction.Learn more
Acquiring a business is complex and your vendor needs confidence in your ability to close a deal. We use our experience to gain buy-in from your potential seller.
It is often easy to get caught in ‘deal fever’ and proceed when you shouldn't. Our independent point of view helps keep decisions logical rather than emotional. We are there to support you with those difficult decisions.
Leverage our networks and connectivity to get access to opportunities that might otherwise not be possible. Use our deal credentials to support your approach and open doors.
We can help you secure the right debt, equity or combined package to finance a proposed business acquisition.
We can help you develop the opportunity to acquire your next business supported by credible finding packages.
We can help you negotiate the purchase and arrange funding to acquire the business that you work in.
Our Masterclasses will put you at an advantage when it’s time to buy another business.
No - We work exclusively with UK-based SMEs and small cap PLCs. However, our clients often have international activities and we regularly transact with overseas buyers and investors or arrange overseas acquisitions on behalf of our UK clients.
We assist in the acquisition of a wide variety and scale of businesses. The strategic importance of a business to a buyer is not always linked to scale.
We act for businesses and individuals who are serious about buying a business and who are prepared to invest in our services to make that happen. We do not accept contingent search, or contingent acquisition mandates.
No, we don’t offer formal due diligence, although we do offer targeted early-stage diligence as part of our gated assessment process. We work with external providers to scope and deliver the due diligence you need to support your acquisition.
For businesses that see M&A as key to their growth we offer an outsourced Corporate Development function. We work alongside your senior executive team to develop and deliver upon your M&A strategy. Our flexible approach delivers a long-term solution without fixed costs.
When supporting mergers and acquisitions (including MBIs and MBOs) our fees are based on time at our prevailing rate cards. We do not work contingently when buying a business.
No, we do not act contingently when buying a business. We believe that continent fee arrangements when supporting the acquisition of a business lead to a conflict of interest between advisor and client.
We have specific sector knowledge derived from many years of collective deal making experience. However, we pride ourselves on the diversity of sectors we work with which challenges us to think creatively. This creative and challenging approach brings huge value to our clients when helping them to build robust business cases.
Certainly not! Our aim is to become part of your extended team keeping you up to date with all developments. All decisions are yours to make. Our aim is to make those decisions easier.
We take all of our clients through a carefully crafted journey. Firstly, to ensure that we are a great match for each other and once engaged, to ensure we deliver exceptional client service that exceeds expectations.
Absolutely, we are able to raise debt or equity based on the strength of your business, the target or the combined value of both. We can advise you on the amount of funding likely to be available to you early in the process so you can define your target pricing limits.
The most uncertain period is identifying a target and negotiating initial terms, quite often your target is not ready to sell and it can take months or years until they are. But once negotiations start a period of 6 to 9 months is common depending on how well prepared the target is for the M&A process.
Ultimately any offer that you make for a business is your decision and yours alone. We have extensive experience in valuing businesses and our approach is to offer a fair value as failure to do so either results in being outbid, the offer not motivating the seller or the process failing as the seller becomes more aware of the market value of the business as the deal progresses.
All fees for acquisition work are charged on a per hour basis and are not contingent on the deal happening. That means that yes, you will be required to pay our acquisition advisory fees if the deal does not happen. This structure ensures we remain aligned with your interests. The best advice that we might be able to give you is not to proceed if new information is discovered at the very last minute. Success Fees relating to raising finance for an acquisition are contingent on completion.
We have extensive experience in the SME transaction marketplace. We understand the key drivers to making an acquisition successful as well as the funding options to support your deal. We can bring together our expertise to make your acquisition happen.
Why Shaw & Co
Our highly talented people are creative, innovative and thrive when faced with a deal-making challenge. It's no surprise that we make deals happen and turn your ambition into a greater outcome.
Fees & charges
Our objective is to ensure that our fee more than pays for itself from the value we create for you and your business.
One of our six promises is to do the right thing and put your interests before ours. We work harder to achieve the best deal for you and your business.
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