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.
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
GreenWizard, Inc. Search for Buyer Turns Up Unexpected Success
When the U.S. Green Building Council established the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard, better known as LEED certification, there was no single-source location to find all building materials, and the value they carried (i.e., Gold, Silver, or Platinum) toward formal LEED certification. Enter GreenWizard, Inc., a software start-up, formed to make accessing greener products, and constructing greener buildings, easy. Like most start-ups, the owners had a great idea but were cash-restrained. After six years of operation working with hundreds of manufacturers, signing up tens of thousands of products, Green Wizard’s owners decided to investigate whether an opportunity existed to sell the venture.
Having previously had less than stellar experiences with traditional mainstream investment banking Firms, management was looking for a special kind of Firm: one with a Wall Street background and elite investment banking experience, but also one that listened, understood business from an entrepreneurial perspective, and had proven success. The Firm they selected also needed to be small enough that GreenWizard didn’t get lost in a forest of larger enterprises.
“We spoke with a number of Firms and when we met with Tobin & Company, things just clicked,” says former CEO Jerry Lepore today. “Justine Tobin was the right person for a company like ours – straightforward, efficient, and honest – I think that’s ultimately why she left Wall Street. Very early on in our search process it became very clear to me that she was not just trying to get a contract – she wanted to help us.”
Tobin & Company identified several dozen potential buyers and narrowed that number down to four solid best-fit suitors, who each expressed strong intertest in the company. However, Green Wizard’s debt load prevented a deal from being made. The company did what it set out to accomplish; it went to the marketplace to see if any buyers existed and at what price. Because of its performance with Green Wizard Tobin & Company was appointed by the South Carolina bankruptcy court to work with the buyers it had previously sourced to acquire the company assets. Underwriters Laboratory (UL), one of the original four finalists, acquired the assets and continues to operate them today.
Regardless of the many reasons why companies seek mergers and/or acquisitions, one reason that is rarely discussed is the valuable information, feedback and market signals that are all uncovered by a well-planned and executed process. Sometimes the result of the exercise may not be what management had ultimately hoped, but the insights gained are valuable to the future of the endeavor. In this instance, the outcome of the engagement allowed customers to continue to benefit from a product they valued, in the hands of new ownership.
“Very early on in our search process it became very clear to me that Justine was not just trying to get a contract – she wanted to help 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.