Case Studies

Client: Business Process Outsourcing Company - SEA “Advisor to Seller”

Opportunity: The owners had been approached by a private equity firm and signed an LOI but when the deal fell through in due diligence, the owners approached SEA to run a full competitive process. Their objectives were to find a partner that would support operations and accelerate growth through M&A while allowing them to maintain a meaningful amount of ownership in the go-forward business.

Process: Given the size and uniqueness of the product offering, the business represented a strategic platform opportunity for private equity companies with experience in the industry. The process produced over 50 signed NDAs and 20 offers allowing the owners to select the best partner for the business.

Outcome: The deal closed for 50% more than the original private equity offer. The owners of the business maintained meaningful ownership and are continuing in their roles as leaders of the company. They are excited to partner with a firm that will help them grow through M&A as well as support operations.

Client: Calibration Services Company – SEA “Advisor to Seller”

Opportunity: Owner got an unsolicited offer to purchase his company from a competitor with a similar company culture for less than he thought his business was worth.

Process: The outreach to strategic buyers expanded the scope of interest and generated over three dozen NDA’s.

Outcome: Owner sold his business for more than double the amount of the unsolicited offer from his industry peer.

Show More

Timeline: Engagement to Close – 6 months

Overview: Owner was unsure about selling his calibration scale business, with a food and beverage niche. Owner had been contemplating a sale for years. His parents founded the company and he and his brother had worked for the company since graduating from high school. Owner’s parents were no longer living, and Owner was considering his son taking over the business. That didn’t come to fruition, so he had no one to take over the company. Owner got an unsolicited offer to purchase his company from a competitor with a similar company culture for less than he thought his business was worth.

Owner’s corporate attorney encouraged Owner to talk to SEA to confirm the company value and discuss options for selling the business. Owner engaged SEA to sell his business, as he liked the SEA process and core value propositions to help him transition his business, maximizing value, while protecting his family’s legacy and his valued employees.

SEA Process: SEA provided Owner with a projected range of value which exceeded what the Owner thought the business was worth. The Managing Partners also visited the shop (during COVID) for more context and to get to know the Owner and key employees better. Owner had a strong bond and kinship with his employees, many of whom lived in the same community. He was very committed to them and was concerned about his Director of Operations and General Manager’s future with the company.

Owner was ready to sell – he provided 3 years of financials, was current with technology/equipment, had a great reputation, a tenured staff and an attractive incentive plan.

SEA built a prospect list that went beyond the obvious prospects the Owner thought could be interested and conducted outreach to over 135 prospective buyers. The outreach to strategic buyers expanded the scope of interest and generated over three dozen NDA’s. SEA and Owner engaged in SEA’s 2-step process with a series of twenty 30-minute calls and a release of company information to 20 prospective buyers. Owner appreciated the opportunity to vet the candidates in advance. 

The introductory calls led to 18 interested parties and ultimately 13 IOIs/Indication of Interest. SEA and Owner reviewed the IOIs and selected 6 finalists. SEA drove the buyer selection process creating a basis for comparison of the offers. Post management meetings, SEA set a deadline for LOIs. Owner had 2 weeks to decide between 5 offers. During that time, he visited the top prospective buyers in person. SEA remained focused on Owner’s top priority to protect his legacy and his employees and frequently communicated with both Owner and Prospective Buyer’s on LOI addendums to satisfy Owners goals.

End Result: Owner agreed to a sale with a company that had a niche in Pharma, but was not established in Owner’s region. SEA recognized the strategic buyer’s desire to expand their corporate footprint to a region with several Pharma headquarters. Owner sold his business for more than double the amount of the unsolicited offer from his industry peer.

Owner was able to both operate his business and pursue his hobby of hiking the Adirondack’s during the pre-sale process due to SEA’s continuous guidance. He and his wife were able to retire and recognize their goal of travel, while being assured that their employees were secure in their roles at the company. As part of SEA’s Pay it Forward program, which matches client’s contributions to the charity of their choice, Owner elected Mirror of Hope Foundation to be the recipient, of which his wife was a founding Board Member.

Client: FDA Regulatory Consulting - SEA “Advisor to Seller”

Opportunity: Owner was looking for a lifestyle change – to retire at age 65, for more time with family. Owner wanted to protect her sister’s role, who was a key employee and minority owner.

Process: The strategic buyer process yielded 25 NDA’s, 5 management meetings which the Owner participated in to determine companies with a culture fit.

Outcomes: Owner sold her business for twice what she had been offered and her sister received a 20% raise to continue to manage and grow the company.

Show More

Timeline:  Engagement to Close – 10 months

Overview: Company specialized in managing the FDA approval process for international (Asian and European) pharmaceutical companies, looking to enter the US market.  Owner was looking for a lifestyle change – to retire at age 65, for more time with family. Owner wanted to protect her sister’s role, who was a key employee and minority owner, post-sale as well as her long-term employees. 

Owner received an unsolicited bid from a domestic company worth half of the company’s value in cash and restricted stock.  After meeting with the competitor, Owner was not comfortable with the cultural fit and how her employees would be treated post sale.  Owner was concerned that her business was too small to generate higher offers and attract international buyers. Owner’s “Trusted Advisor” attorney referred her to meet with SEA to discuss her options.  SEA determined that the company value was double what she had been offered.  

SEA Process: SEA prepared a strategic approach to generate interest from potential buyers worldwide.  Initial outreach process included 130 companies. The strategic buyer process yielded 25 NDA’s, 5 management meetings which the Owner participated in to determine companies with a culture fit.  Owner received 5 offers. The ultimate buyer was a European company with offices in Boston and Washington, DC, that was looking to increase its US footprint.  

End Result: Owner sold her business for twice what she had been offered and was able to keep the fish tank from the office!  Owner’s sister received a 20% raise to continue to manage and grow the company. The Owner retired to her farm while her sister continues to operate the company in the US.  The company has continued its growth, independent from the buyer.

Client: Life Science Services Company – SEA “Readiness Roadmap”

Opportunity:  Owner wanted to exit the business, but recognized the business was not in a solid position to withstand pre-sale due diligence. 

Process: SEA advised consolidating financial reports, switching to accrual-based accounting, revenue reporting by client and market segmentation for performance evaluations more attractive to prospective buyers. 

Outcome: Owner sold the business for over 3 times the value prior to beginning the Readiness Roadmap process.

Show More

Timeline: Readiness Roadmap kick off to sale of company – 10 months

Overview: The company, with offices in the US and Europe, provided technical consulting related to meeting strict requirements of the highly regulated Pharma industry.  The company was doing $2 million in annual revenues.  Owner wanted to exit the business, but recognized the business was not in a solid position to withstand pre-sale due diligence.  Owner was referred by a past client of SEA.  SEA conducted a preliminary assessment to identify facets of the business to be addressed to maximize business value. SEA determined that the company’s current worth was not enough to meet the Owners financial needs.  The goal was to double the company’s value prior to going to market.  

To achieve that goal, SEA recommended their Readiness Roadmap process to improve upon in three key areas – sales and marketing, financial reporting and executive leadership.  

SEA Readiness Roadmap Process: Company lacked a sales strategy and marketing objectives. SEA advised establishing measurable KPIs, sales pipeline report, clearly defined market segmentation and documented sales process for onboarding new hires and internal accountability. Existing financial information did not provide details of profit and revenue. SEA suggested Owner segment by client, by market and revenue.  SEA advised consolidating financial reports, switching to accrual-based accounting, revenue reporting by client and market segmentation for performance evaluations more attractive to prospective buyers. Owner was involved at an operational level vs strategic level.  SEA recommended the leadership team delegate responsibility and step away from day-to-day operations and focus on strategic plan. 

End Result: SEA’s Readiness Roadmap guidance to create sales process, refine reporting, address operations to accelerate growth met the Owner’s goal to sell within a year. Owner sold the business for over 3 times the value prior to beginning the Readiness Roadmap process. The strategic buyer has continued to scale the business.

Client: Direct to Consumer Building Products – SEA “Advisor to Seller”

Opportunity:  Owner was contemplating a sale and SEA determined based on his commitment to EOS platform of strategic planning and execution –  that he was ready to sell.

Process:  SEA approached 238 prospective buyers, generated 44 NDAs, conducted 17 :30 calls with Owner, 4 IOIs, 4 management meetings, and multiple LOIs. 

Outcome:  Owner sold his company to a strategic buyer backed private equity firm interested in accelerating growth through a new distribution channel for cash and an equity stake in the new combined company.

Show More

Timeline: Engagement to Close – 8 months

Overview: Owner had built a specialty building products manufacturing company selling directly to the consumer, achieving over $20 million in annual revenues in 10 years. Owner was introduced to SEA by his Vistage Chair initially to help acquire a new business line.  Three years later, after proving a consistent, reliable sales and marketing and engineered product approach, Owner was contemplating a sale.   

SEA Process: SEA determined that Owner was ready to sell, based on his commitment to EOS platform of strategic planning and execution.  Owner’s business approach, powered by EOS was a good fit with the SEA deal process and objectives because the company had: 

  1. Products that were a highly tailored niche  
  2. Operations that were streamlined with a competent management team, not reliant on Owner 
  3. Sales and Marketing that proved repeatable, scalable, systematic and were attractive to buyers 

End Result: As Covid spread in the US SEA approached 238 prospective buyers, generated 44 NDAs, conducted 17 :30 calls with Owner, 4 IOIs, 4 management meetings, and multiple LOIs.  Owner sold his company to a strategic buyer backed private equity firm interested in accelerating growth through a new distribution channel for cash and an equity stake in the new combined company. The ownership interest in the new company is expected to yield Owner over 3 times the value of his business within 4 years. 

Strategic Exit Advisors