What we do
Our corporate finance team is recognised as one of the most experienced and largest in the North West market. With a respected track record of supporting owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs, we can help you to realise your goals.
We are well versed in preparing businesses for sale and have extensive experience when it comes to identifying exciting acquisition opportunities to drive growth. So whether you are looking at your next acquisition, want to maximise the value of your business ahead of sale, or need support to guide you through your future growth strategy, we are here to help.
The extensive network and contacts that we have built over the years in the corporate finance sector mean that we are able to introduce you to the right lawyer, advisor and funding provider for you and your business.
And as a full service accountancy & advisory firm, we are also able to offer you wider specialist services, such as corporate and private client taxation, meaning we can support you in every aspect of your next transaction.
Helping you plan the growth of your business is a fundamental part of our relationship with you. Making major changes through acquisition, entering new markets or sectors, or investing in new technologies and skills can often fast-track your route to greater profits and boost your organic growth.
We will develop a strategic approach that will underpin your buy-and-build plan. This means setting out a clear set of acquisition criteria and commercial drivers, so you can identify the best targets for your business. With our extensive contact database and focused research, we will open new doors of opportunity, supporting you from initial interest to detailed negotiations, right through to making a formal offer. We also provide advice on the valuation and structures of any deal, working closely with our corporate and private client tax experts, to understand the implications from a corporate and shareholder point of view.
With our network of funding contacts and wider skills in detailed financial modelling, you will have a clear proposition with which to raise finance and carry out due diligence. You will also receive advice on transaction support, to supplement your own commercial review of the target business.
Supporting you throughout the process, we will work with your legal team and advisors to manage the deal through to completion.
Selling a privately-owned business is often a “once in a lifetime” event. In fact, the value of a sale can make up a significant part of the shareholders’ personal wealth. So to maximise the value to shareholders, it is vital to adopt a clear approach to any disposal which is why the process often starts months or even years ahead of the transaction.
Our focus is on gaining a clear understanding of both shareholder ambitions and the underlying value of the business. This is why we will work with business owners and management teams well in advance of any planned exit. First, we pinpoint a set of key value drivers designed to attract buyer interest. These can cover a variety of attributes, from products and markets, to people and skills, to operating infrastructure and processes.
Preparation is the key to maxmising the value of the sale. So in advance, we will advise on potential value ranges. We will also identify potential acquirers for your business which allows us to create a focused sales memorandum, clearly laying out details of the opportunity and its target audience. When appropriate, we can also explore UK and overseas markets, through our extensive M&A contact database.
Leading negotiations with interested parties, we will ensure the best overall outcome for your business. From headline price consideration, structures and commercial terms, to tax implications and planning opportunities for the vendors – we will work closely with your legal team and advisors to manage the entire deal.
Strategic business planning
To grow to their full potential, every business needs a suitable and sustainable funding platform. A decade of changes in the economic climate has brought about a plethora of funding products. Assessing which one is right for your business can be a complex challenge. Traditional bank debt has eased, while new equity funders have entered the SME sector seeking out businesses with high growth potential. A larger variety of asset-based lending is also available, with a new “alternative finance” market now established.
To make the most of these new choices, a clear business proposition is key. Not simply through a concise Funding Document or Business Plan, but a robust financial forecast model too. Funders need to quickly and easily understand your business, its financial needs and ability to service a funding package. All with enough headroom to deliver on its business plan, whether through enhanced working capital or more structured long-term capital funding.
With a wide range of contacts with all the key providers in the SME market, we can help you assess the most appropriate structures available. Critically analysing and negotiating funding offers, we also identify the best funding partners for your business.
Headline rates will play a big part in your decision. Yet covenant structures, long-term working relationships and the alignment of interests are often far more important in securing the right funding package that will see your business reach its full potential. In every stage of the process, we will be on hand to help you achieve your ambitions.
Business planning can be interpreted in many ways. To us, it means helping you define clear objectives and develop a step-by-step plan to get you to your goal.
Plans can focus on everything from building maximum capital value and exit strategy, to developing next generation skills, to retaining family ownership. They can also include buy & build strategies, investing in new products or markets, changing structure to attract outside investment or to allow shareholders to realise value.
A business planning review is typically structured around five key areas:
- Business strategy
- Products, services and markets
- People, skills and organisation structure
- Business processes and infrastructure
- Financials and funding
We work with businesses throughout their lifecycle. Many come to us with a clear vision and commercial strategy but operational pressures often mean they lack the time and resources to focus on planning. We help them identify the challenges ahead, consider the viable options and put a clear plan in place that is aligned to their sector, resources and relationships with their customers and suppliers.
Financial forecasting models are often used to assess future trading performance and funding needs. A variety of software is available, either as standalone products or bolt-on modules to an existing accounting package. They tend to either be industry-specific or aimed at a certain size and structure of business. Both have their off-the-shelf limitations, which has seen many businesses developing their own spreadsheet-based forecasting models.
Developed over years by multiple authors with little formal training, forecasting is unlikely to be robust enough to provide accurate decision-making data. Our best-practice approach is based on rigorous ICAEW standards with all our experts trained in the “FAST” principles, which not only cover the design of forecasting models, but also how they are used within the business. This gives you a strong foundation on which to make decisions, rather than inaccurate information that experience tells us can lead to catastrophic error.
Transactions can be stressful and challenging for your business. But with careful planning, we can help you to overcome the hurdles that always seem to arise. Working with business owners, management teams and funding providers, we provide due diligence and transaction support across a broad spectrum of business decisions.
Acquisitions, management buy-outs and buy-ins, equity and debt fund raisings, restructuring, bid support and even selling: they all rely on a planned and targeted due diligence process. After all, a transaction lacking the proper management and support can compromise the value and objectives you are looking to achieve.
Clearly identifying potential risks and key issues, we will guide you through the entire process so that nothing is overlooked. Throughout your due diligence, you will also benefit from our wider expert advisory services, such as strategic corporate and private client tax planning.
Here is a selection of our recent transactions (to abide by client confidentiality, we aren’t able to announce all the deals we work on)
Acquisition of Metflex Holding Company Limited by Freudenberg Group
Management buy-out of Flock Development & Research Limited
Management buy-out of Fruitapeel Limited
Management buy-out of Metamark (UK) Limited
Acquisition of Stirling Lloyd PLC by GCP Applied Technologies Inc.
Sale of TF Solutions Limited to Travis Perkins Group
Management buy-out of Amberleigh Care Limited
Financial due diligence on the acquisition by Sudlows of Progressive Network Solutions
Development capital – Tudor Contract Cleaners
Development Capital – East Coast Concepts
Sale of Engage Services Limited to Marston Holdings Limited
Due diligence & transaction support – Elitetele.com
Acquisition of Cleanex Support Services by AM Support Services Limited
Management buy-out of Central Power Services Limited
Sale of Pure Asphalt Company Limited to IKO PLC