Selling your consulting firm?
You may have been approached by a strategic buyer or investor interested in acquiring your consulting or IT services firm, or you may have reached a point in your firm's lifecycle when you are ready to realize its value. You and your fellow shareholders will want to ensure the best outcome personally and collectively for the business.
What might be driving your decision?
There are likely to be a number of important questions, challenges and opportunities on your mind, such as:
- Maximum Valuation – what is the art of the possible and how can it be achieved in a sale process?
- Optimum Timing - Am I making the right decision to sell now or sell later?
- Right Strategy – I want to be well informed on options to deliver shareholder objectives
- Best Buyer – Should I go narrow or wide to find the best buyer for the firm?
- Least Risk – I want to execute a sale process that will complete as expected
- Preferred Terms – I want maximum value up front and great earn out conditions
What's the process?
These are the three stages to an Equiteq sale process and what they achieve:
Note: If you are selling to a single buyer, not all of these stages and steps will apply
Prepare – Create the environment for a premium valuation
- Identify and mitigate risks to price diminution and the probability of completing successfully
- Identify the buyer categories, synergy characteristics and target acquirer list
- Create the value propositions and materials that will excite those buyers
- Optimize EBITDA figures to maximize the valuation potential
- Compile the evidence, content and data that supports the story
Engage – Attract a wide pool of hungry buyers
- Increase buyer choice
- Execute synergy arguments and business cases with buyers
- Enhance price through competition with shortlisted bidders
- Lock value into Heads of Terms with the preferred bidder
Deliver – Defend value through due diligence and close
- Maintain price agreed once into exclusivity with a single buyer
- Negotiate detailed earn-out and commercial terms
- Tightly project-manage through to completion of the agreement
How do we make a difference?
Half of what we do in a sale process will be consistent with traditional M&A houses. However half is unique. Selling a consulting firm is unlike any other type of business, with many nuances that make profound differences. The assets in a consulting firm are largely intangible and most of the value is in the future profits relating to revenue you have not yet sold or generated. It therefore requires deep skills and buyer knowledge to translate what would normally be seen as a high risk acquisition into a compelling value proposition to a buyer. Preparing and selling consulting firms is our day job and yours is running your business, together we will make a good team.
Why use us?
Equiteq’s deep domain expertise in consulting sector M&A translates into superior valuations and better deal outcomes. With most of our fees contingent on successful completion and the deal terms agreed, we multiply the value of our fees many times over. When we meet, we expect you to rightly challenge us hard on how we outperform the industry and deliver at least 50% more value than non-specialist alternatives.
We have sold for premium value numerous consulting firms. For more, see our deals.
- Global Intelligence Alliance Group (GIA) is a Finnish strategic market intelligence and advisory group, formed when a team of market intelligence specialists, management consultants, industry analysts and technology experts came together to build a powerful suite of customized solutions ranging from outsourced market monitoring services and software, to strategic analysis and advisory. Equiteq acted as lead advisor on the sale of GIA to M-Brain. GIA’s unique, high quality services generated significant interest in the business, particularly from overseas acquirers. However, it was another Finnish company M-Brain which ultimately provided the most compelling deal. The combination of two businesses creates a group with complementary global operations and substantial future growth opportunities.
- ACE is an international development consulting business providing economic and project management consultancy to governments in emerging economies, primarily financed by development-aid funds such as EuropeAid and the UK’s Department for International Development. The tight measurement and management of the business, combined with their sector focus, created the revenue growth and acted as an attractive target for potential acquirers. Equiteq acted as the lead advisory on their sale to AECOM Technology Corporation.
“This process started with a consulting project during which Equiteq helped our management team to identify the value growth levers for our business. Looking back, the decisions we made at that time proved to be highly valuable and we were able to boost our profit growth significantly. This had a major impact on the way we presented the company in discussions with prospective acquirers and ensured we achieved a successful outcome for all shareholders.”
Markko Vaarnas, CEO, GIA
“We first met Equiteq several years ago when they brought a relevant and potential acquisition to us, so with their sector knowledge they were the obvious partner to work with once we came to launch our own transaction process. I am delighted with their approach and the outcome, where we have secured a deal that is to the benefit of all ACE’s stakeholders; management, staff, consultants, customers, donors and shareholders.”
Antonio Bonet, Founder and CEO, ACE