Woody Allen once famously had a character say: “A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” In our world, the same can be said of m&a negotiations. In other words: “Time kills all deals”. As an investment banker that has been involved with many mergers and acquisitions over the years – I’ve come to live and die by this mantra. We’ve seen it many times, the probability of a successful deal completion declines as time passes; if enough time passes before a deal closes, it will, most likely, die. So…
We are routinely approached by companies, shareholders and boards of directors telling us that their company was approached by a prospective buyer anxious to consummate a transaction. They may even have a non-binding indicative offer in hand – or expect one shortly. It can be exciting to have a sophisticated firm find your baby to be attractive – rewarding to be approached by a big potential buyer and it could be a load off your mind after years and years of hard work for a possible large payoff. But more often than not, we have found that one-off acquisition processes fail, or – at best – result in a sub-optimal deal. The examples are legion. The problems with these ad-hoc discussions are many.
With the advent of HTML 1 in 1993, which standardized the language used to create web pages, the potential of the internet became unlocked. With applications written in HTML combined with a viable connection (and authorization), suddenly anyone could access a treasure trove of information from anywhere on the planet – and sometimes beyond. (Think Hubble and the Mars Rover). With HTML, the internet effectively sped up the process of globalization to light speed. What would be next?
Our latest M&A update on the recent transactions and values in the seven separate sectors of the fintech market that we follow and sometimes lead is HERE.
Long before selling their businesses, owners start thinking: “What’s my business worth?” Or, if they are a buyer, “How much should I pay?” Bankers like to talk about the value of publicly listed companies based on their stock prices and some reasonable “premiums” above those prices. There is nothing wrong with this approach – but what is the right premium, if any, and how do you figure it out?