The Ideal Acquisition Candidate

An Open Letter to Clients and Prospects

For over 25 years, I have been in the business of acquiring and advising distressed and underperforming companies, as well as helping companies prepare for private equity, debt financing or strategic sale.

I’m often asked what kinds of acquisitions or advisory projects I look for, so here is a high-level perspective:

Acquisition Candidates

  • Corporate Orphans.” An underperforming (or unprofitable) subsidiary or operating division of a much larger public or private parent company whose owners are motivated to get the business unit off their books (and avoid a potentially embarrassing sale process).
  • Retail, manufacturing or distribution companies.  We have especially deep experience in apparel, consumer products generally and consumer electronics specifically.
  • Minimum Revenue: $15+ million (no maximum – I’ve owned and operated companies with revenues over $1b)
  • Historically healthy and profitable, but for any number of reasons is now underperforming or losing money.
  • Unhappy lenders or investors, often facing a substantial write-off, but willing to consider staying on board during a turnaround to recoup their losses.
  • Balance sheet with tangible assets (including receivables, inventory, equipment, property)
  • Frustrated management team who believe in the company, but are no longer getting the support, guidance and encouragement they need to succeed
  • High Risk Profile.  I am especially comfortable with characteristics often shunned by investors and lenders, such as high leverage, high concentration of customers or suppliers, highly seasonal, etc.
  • International sourcing/supply chain a plus.

Advisory Services 

All of the characteristics listed above, but an advisory client must also be ready and willing to make difficult choices.  This is a highly collaborative process, but once strategic decisions are made and a turnaround plan approved by ownership, the new game plan must be put in place quickly and aggressively, with a sense of urgency and relentless focus on results.

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