Equiteq helps the owners of a leading US financial consulting firm achieve excellent value and synergy potential

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CMF Associates provides transaction and transition-focused financial, operational, and human capital solutions to private equity firms and their portfolio companies across North America. The CMF shareholders initially engaged Equiteq to determine their potential market attractiveness. Equiteq was eventually hired as exclusive sell-side advisors for the transaction process, which led to a successful sale to publicly-traded professional services firm, CBIZ, Inc.

The client’s situation 

Having served over 135 private equity funds across more than 500 portfolio companies, CMF was widely recognized as a trusted advisor to private equity clients. The CMF shareholders saw evidence of consolidation in their space and while the private equity market was still growing, wanted to capitalize on this growth as a part of a larger organization, with scale. 

We were highly impressed with Equiteq’s knowledge of the consulting sector, their understanding of the value drivers for service companies and their approach to understanding and marketing our business. Equiteq provided the right advice at the right time during the process; our initial decision in selecting Equiteq was validated throughout the transaction. We recommend Equiteq for any founders interested in understanding how to proceed with a transaction and ultimately how to get one done.

Thomas Bonney Founder and Managing Partner, CMF

Our approach

Initially, Equiteq conducted a comprehensive strategic review to determine a potential enterprise value and level of market demand for CMF. Equiteq ran a structured process designed to target the ideal buyer groups and create positive competitive tension. Through this broad competitive process, Equiteq was able to solicit strong final bids with value and terms that got the deal done. 

Shareholder exit goals & deal rationale between buyer & seller 

The owners’ motivation to sell was primarily driven by their desire to partner with a firm offering additional resources, relationships, complementary services and national reach, to develop their business into the leading consulting firm to private equity. In addition to forming a potential growth platform, the CMF shareholders looked to de-risk their investment. The new entity formed in the acquisition offers promising cross-selling and synergy opportunities to the joint CBIZ CMF operation. 

How did Equiteq deliver value to the client?

  • Equiteq leveraged its market insight and buyer coverage model to identify the ideal partner that would guarantee strong valuation and growth potential.
  • The firm prepared marketing materials that would strategically position CMF in an attractive manner to the wider buyer universe.
  • Equiteq created significant competitive tension and solicited final proposals from multiple interested parties. These bidders included private equity-backed strategic acquirers and the publicly traded professional services firm, CBIZ.
  • Equiteq provided CMF with the appropriate recommendations throughout the sensitive negotiation stages of the process. This ultimately led to a successful sale with favourable terms that exceeded initial client expectations.

Read the press release on this deal here.

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