Our M&A experience and expertise allows the owners and executives of small and middle-market companies to achieve their financial and business objectives from the sale of their company. Clients of Tobin & Company work directly with senior dealmakers with years of M&A experience. We are skilled at working confidentially and discreetly, and we have the experience, focus and ability to execute the most challenging M&A transactions.
How To Get Your Business Ready To Sell
Selling a business can be a long process that without wise guidance, can often be fraught with pitfalls and frustration. It takes six-to-18-months to sell a business unless you have enough foresight to assign a group of trusted advisors, plan the process, anticipate where the problems usually arise and know exactly what you’re looking for from the sale.
Five Questions To Ask Before You Sell Your Business
Many business owners started their business and have worked tirelessly to make it grow into what it is today. For these business owners, selling their company is not unlike driving away after dropping their youngest child off at their chosen university. Such an event magnifies a new stage of life . . . happy, sad, proud, uncertain – you get the picture.
Our process begins with a thorough analysis of your company, the competitive environment and the market in which it operates. Tobin & Company then identifies potential market opportunities to best realize client objectives.
We develop comprehensive, acclaimed marketing materials, including an Information Memorandum and an Executive Summary, depicting the company’s strengths and investment highlights.
Identification of qualified buyers
We resourcefully create a broad list of targeted buyers through our extensive knowledge and our databases of strategic and financial acquirers worldwide.
To execute the final sale, TOBIN works closely with our client to evaluate all viable offers. We represent our client’s best interest from the initiation of negotiations, through due diligence and finally to consummation of a transaction.
Through extensive industry research, broad, customized technology and a systematic approach to outbound communication, we effectively complement our clients’ corporate development efforts. We identify potential acquisition candidates in several industry verticals, access their decision makers, qualify their suitability as compelling targets and manage the transaction process. Our comprehensive, resourceful and innovative approach provides considerable value to clients desiring to increase growth and profitability and to build on existing corporate strengths and capabilities.
SELL-SIDE MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
What To Do When Unexpected Events Prompt a Company Sale?
The President and CEO of the 50-year-old, international manufacturer of thermal processing equipment, Thermcraft, Inc., had worked hard his whole life nurturing and growing the business started by his parents. Nearing 65, he had on occasion, flirted with getting things to sell the company so he could enjoy the fruits of his labor in retirement — travel with his wife Nancy and do the things he’d always wanted to do that a working life didn’t allow time for.
in 2016 before Tom received his diagnosis, he had hired Bill Thomson, a business manager and confidant he’d known for 10-plus years through professional channels. The two had a trusted relationship and had discussed what was to become of the business. Bill came in, primarily, to help Tom get Thermcraft, Inc. credentials in order, for a sale. Progress was slow because business was good.
But sadly, Tom Crafton died April 28, 2020, having lost his fight to beat leukemia.
Historically, sell-side mergers and acquisitions seek one thing above all; the highest sale price possible! For Tom it had never been just about money, he had been adamant in his desire to maintain the values and principles behind Thermcraft. Bill and Nancy were looking for a special combination of talents. In carrying out Tom’s wishes it was critically important that any investment banker Bill and Nancy selected understand the company philosophy.
“We interviewed several large investment banking and accounting firms, but we weren’t well taken with their approach,” Thomson remembers. “They were telling us what they were going to do, which of course worked for them, but they weren’t listening to us.”
Then Wells Fargo recommended three other firms that might be a better fit.
Tobin & Company, the firm that had produced the corporate valuation to prepare the company for sale, appeared on the list. The process took a while but once they had listened to presentations, Tobin & Company stood out over the others.
“We just had a tremendous connection with Justine,” Thomson remembers. “She and her team were such a pleasure to with work that suddenly we realized the decision to hire her as our financial counselor for the sale of the Thermcraft was a no-brainer!”
Tobin & Company provided other attributes that Thermcraft sought as well, including knowledge- and experience-based competence, first-hand Wall Street experience, and a flexible payment program.
“Justine didn’t present a take-it-or-leave it approach like the larger firms . . . she expressed a desire to learn the nuances of our situation and work together with us, which is what we wanted,” says Thomson. “And she was flexible, with a personalized, customized approach to sell-side merges and acquisitions. That’s exactly what we wanted and needed.”
Importantly, Nancy liked that Tobin & Company was woman-owned.
“Selling Thermcraft was easier knowing it was going to a company that respects our history and values,” Nancy Crafton says. “Tom would be happy to know there is a bright future for Thermcraft.”
In the final analysis planning for unexpected events, however uncomfortable it may be, is critical. Having a current corporate valuation, no older than 36 months, helps ease transitions when unexpected events intervene.
Beyond the numbers, a clear understanding of common philosophies and goals leads to a better deal for all parties. That’s why an investment banker, such as Tobin & Company, that takes time to listen and acts with judicious enthusiasm can make all the difference – felicitously and financially.
Money is of course an essential ingredient for a successful merger or acquisition. It’s how most people evaluate success. But as has been said over the eons, sometimes “Money isn’t everything!” For some owners of family-businesses, leaving a legacy of an enduring foundation of values and principles like integrity, honestly, passion and caring is just as important!
“We interviewed several large investment banking and accounting firms. They were telling us what they were going to do but they weren’t listening to us.”
BUY-SIDE MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Boutique feel, specialized attention, translates to better value
St. Louis-based Cass Information Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CASS) is the nation’s leading provider of invoice payment, expense management and information services. The company holds the core competencies of data acquisition, data management, business intelligence and financial exchange.
Cass wanted to expand its services portfolio, grow its revenue base and solidify its customer list through acquisitions. For many years the company had tried to acquire businesses on its own, but without success. The public company could not recruit its stable of middle market investment banks to help with the process because acquisitions that it sought were too small for these institutions.
Tobin & Company, as part of due diligence for an unrelated telecom project, reached out to Cass Senior Vice President Mark Murray. From that single interaction, Murray was impressed with TOBIN’s boutique approach, specialized attention, responsiveness, and market knowledge.
“TOBIN was doing a sell-side offering in the Telecom Expense Management sector and I was impressed by their practical experience,” Murray said. “Cass was in a similar niche and needed sector expertise so TOBIN’s experience was a definitive factor for engaging the investment bank.”
Cass Information Systems hired TOBIN to assist in its search for acquisition candidates.
TOBIN began the engagement with a comprehensive introduction and review of the entire marketplace. Over the nearly two-year engagement, TOBIN uncovered 60 different industry verticals for Cass to invest in and identified and contacted more than 350 companies, arranging meetings with more than a dozen different acquisition candidates. Although a deal was not completed, Cass management rated Tobin’s execution throughout the process superb.
“The Firm generated lots of ideas that allowed Cass Information Systems to continue down the road in-sourcing companies to buy,” said Murray. “With TOBIN, we never felt that the integrity of the transaction process was compromised just to get a deal done.”
Ultimately, Murray and Cass management overall believe the small boutique investment banking Firm best met their needs. Rather than going to a big investment banking Firm and being shoved into a pre-packaged concept most convenient to the bank, with a small boutique investment banker they gained specialized expertise along with a customized solution. It turned out to be the best solution for Cass!
“Clearly we needed a lot of support with the engagement. We were not your run-of the mill bank holding company. We were looking at very specialized issues. You all did quite a good job.”
Senior Vice President
Cass Information Systems, Inc.