Understanding Business Owner Objectives
We invest significant time to acquire a deep understanding of the goals and ambitions of the business owners. These include strategic and financial as well as personal objectives. We will structure a transaction to take these goals and objectives into account.
Discussions with the proprietors of an enterprise are completely confidential at all times. We enter into a non-disclosure and a non-circumvention agreement for their proper protection and that of the the enterprise itself. This covers our discussions as well as all sensitive commercial and financial information provided to us.
Only after a proprietor concurs on the likelihood of a transaction being successfully completed is any further disclosure permitted. This is made only with the proprietor’s approval and is limited to a small circle of requisite accountants, lawyers and bankers, etc, who are required for successful completion of a transaction.
Staff and employees within an enterprise are only involved on a ‘need-to-know’ basis and otherwise are not involved unless agreed by the proprietor. In this way the utmost confidentiality can be maintained, without disruption to the business, allowing unimpeded completion of a transaction. In some cases key members of management are involved and therefore aware of matters, again generally on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Each transaction is executed as quickly as practicable having regard to the commercial circumstances. This helps maintain confidentiality and protect the goodwill of the business but is also simply the most efficient way to transact. It also helps minimise transaction costs for the business owner as well as for incoming stakeholders.
We adhere firmly to the process of developing heads of agreement once transaction terms have been agreed between all parties concerned. Heads of agreement, properly constructed, incorporating the appropriate level of detail, identify not just key commercial matters – such as price and payment terms – but also material process issues. We believe that it’s prudent to utilise them as both a checklist and a process map for a transaction.
This approach also provides advisers with detailed guidelines and concise instructions thereby minimising advisory fees.
Continuity of Business
Business goodwill and staff/employee morale are critical for any business. This is why we do not like to make changes in a business in the way that private equity investment managers often do.
Speed of Execution
Speed of execution helps maintain business goodwill and staff/employee morale. We aim to transact as quickly as practicable, having regard to the practicalities of any given commercial circumstances.
We acquire or advise on opportunities with a view to the long term. We are not subject to any arbitrary requirement to divest our holdings within any given time frame – if at all.
Our philosophy is to ‘hold’ rather than ‘sell’ – we focus on opportunities suited to that philosophy.