GNC Group, is an execution focused management consulting firm headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with offices in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. GNC Group’s DNA is in the retail sector, but is increasingly engaged in non-retail work, particularly in associated sectors. GNC Group has deep industry based experience in all aspects of the retail value chain. GNC Group engaged Equiteq to run a full sell-side process after an unsolicited approach by one of the Big 4. As a result of the Equiteq led process, the firm merged with Grant Thornton Australia, after identifying them as the best fit for their growth plan.
The client’s situation
The shareholding management team of GNC Group were successful in growing their company: revenue growth increased by over 60% per annum over the last two years, with a solid range of blue-chip clients and high-quality consultants.
The company had developed a successful business model and good penetration of the market in Melbourne since its inception in 2010. Nationwide and South East Asian clients supported the opening of two new offices in 2016 in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.
Because of their success, GNC Group received an unsolicited approach from a Big 4 accounting firm, at which point the shareholders appointed Equiteq to assist them in navigating a sale process.
A traditional, full-sale process was run in conjunction with managing the unsolicited approach. Equiteq were able to build the sale documentation very quickly and market GNC anonymously to potential buyers. The process was structured in order to cast the net as wide as possible, contacting international and local buyers. During exclusivity with Grant Thornton, the aim was to reduce the deal workload of management, to enable them to deliver their sales and profit targets.
Shareholder exit goals & deal rationale between buyer & seller
The GNC Group shareholders wanted to accelerate their next phase of growth. By merging with Grant Thornton they gain access to their back-office and shared services, their support and training capability and their high-quality talent pool, bringing an even stronger offer to their clients. For Grant Thornton, merging with GNC Group was a perfect opportunity for its strategic development, allowing them to accelerate and extend their growth advisory capabilities that complement its traditional accounting, auditing, and taxation work.
How did Equiteq deliver value to the client?
• Equiteq took full ownership of the sale process, allowing the shareholders to focus on delivering their sales and profit targets.
• To kick-off the document preparation, Equiteq ran a 1-day Valuation and Market Risk Assessment (VMRA) workshop to identify and anticipate any potential issues.
• Throughout, Equiteq filtered and centralized the needs of the different shareholders into one coherent message to help both parties find the appropriate valuation level.
• To reduce the deal workload from the shareholders and to satisfy the buyer’s need for information to complete due diligence, Equiteq managed the information sharing between the advisors of multiple teams within Grant Thornton.
• Equiteq managed discussions and maintained deal momentum throughout the process which limited deal fatigue and ensured completion.
Read the press release on this deal here.