Acquisition vs. Advisory
– An Executive Summary –
Acquisitions. I specialize in acquiring and advising distressed and underperforming companies, ranging from $20 million to over $1 billion in revenue across a diversity of industries, including retail, distribution, wholesale and manufacturing, and covering the gamut from consumer products to apparel.
On the buy side, I began acquiring distressed companies in 1997, including Kmart Canada (a $1.2 billion Canadian big-box retailer), Gemini Industries (a $160 million Philips-branded distributor of consumer electronics), GPX Inc. (a $180 million private label consumer electronics company), AmerTac (a $60 million branded distributor of lighting accessories), and Northern Reflections (a $100 million, 150-store Canadian womenswear retail chain). All of these companies, except for Northern Reflections, were sold to strategic buyers after a successful turnaround. I continue to be a principal shareholder of Northern Reflections to this day.
Most of these acquisition opportunities come from “being in the right place at the right time.” I often hear from professionals (fund/investment managers, attorneys, accountants, financial planners and advisors, bankers) who become aware of a distressed situation and refer them to me to provide a solution. I also frequently hear from senior executives and board members involved with a distressed business who have a pressing interest in a management buyout or friendly restructuring.
Advisory Services. On the advisory side, my approach is very different from a typical consulting engagement. First, I work personally with only a limited number of distressed or underperforming companies at any given time. Second, it is an immersive, collaborative and highly motivating process that includes in-depth interviews with all senior and second-tier executives and results in a detailed strategic and tactical plan to deliver quantifiable and measurable short-term results. In many cases, I am asked to stay on for an additional period of time to implement the plan so owners and management can stay focused on running their business. As you can read elsewhere on this website, I offer three levels of service to match the degree of severity and any budget constraints.
Depending on the specific transaction, I offer both referral fees and partnership interests to those who bring opportunities to me.
Separately, I am also an active speaker for various business associations, deliver online webinars talking about the 10-Step Process I use to return companies to profitability and positive cash flow, and am often invited to speak at private company client events.