Why Benchmark International?
You may be wondering, what it is that makes one M&A firm better than another, and does Benchmark International have it?
After decades of analysing and completing deals, debriefing with clients and acquirers, and examining the industry intently, we are comfortable stating that a sell-side M&A firm’s success comes down to three key traits:
- • Can they find the right buyer? Their funnel must be big enough and intelligent enough to respect your confidentiality needs while simultaneously finding that one right buyer who will pay top dollar, offer an attractive structure, provide a nice fit with your objectives, and have the wherewithal to get to a successful closing.
- • Can they work the buyers through that funnel with enough force and finesse to pique their interest, and convince them to not only take a look but also get excited about the opportunity? Can they get those potential buyers to then translate that excitement into an offer? They need to be able to achieve all this while keeping the buyer focused on the value-driving intangibles of your company and ensuring that they see the full value that your company would unlock in their hands.
- • Can they get the deal closed? Many deals are lost after offers are made and accepted. With value lying in intangibles and the resulting complexities that it creates, getting to closing involves crossing a minefield of potential deal killers and value reducers. Can they keep the buyer honest and squeeze extra value out of the finer points of the deal while still keeping the buyer moving forward diligently?
The Benchmark International process was built by answering these questions. We have the largest funnel, the strongest process, and the best methods of achieving a closing. That is why we successfully sell more than 100 companies per year, year in and year out. And here is how we do it:
We only do one thing: sell companies. We are not cross-selling any other services. Nor do we rely on any other lines of business when markets get tough or valuations get too high. Most importantly, everything we have built, everything we do, and one hundred percent of our time is dedicated to selling companies.
We set our engagements to align our interests with yours. If you do not have a successful exit, we do not have a successful engagement. We have no ongoing retainers. We do not pass incidentals off to our clients. Each Benchmark International team member working on your engagement has a personal financial tie to the success of your process. We know that success in our role requires that we have your confidence and trust. We have found that aligning our interests from day one is the best way to build that relationship of confidence and trust.
Many M&A firms represent sellers and, in separate transactions, buyers. Buyers tend to be repeat buyers. We are often approached by the buyer after closing a deal and asked about our ability to represent the buyer in future transactions. We decline. We do not believe that having one eye on the party across the table as a potential future client is a way to gain your confidence and trust. While many of our senior members have buy-side experience, Benchmark International is and always has been strictly on the side of the seller. If our engagement with you is going to lead to future engagements for us, it is going to be because you have recommended us to other successful business owners.
The lessons discussed above have taught us that specialisation is essential to managing that funnel perfectly. There are simply too many aspects to each and every company sale process, and these aspects evolve over time, to allow one or two people to truly master and then handle all those aspects. Many M&A firms are excellent at serving as “finders.” Others may be great negotiators. But, absent a high level of specialisation, they cannot optimally manage the funnel from start to finish. Your dedicated Benchmark International team will have outreach specialists, marketing strategists, accounting and finance associates, data room administrators, negotiators, and a director coordinating them all. Our high level of specialisation has allowed each player to master his or her role and enabled us as an M&A firm to build and maintain a funnel that is superior from start to finish.
Even world-class specialists require support. Subscriptions to global M&A databases, access to industry buyer lists and attendance of global buyer events, contacts at private equity funds, utilisation of well-defined and time-tested processes, use of best-in-class tools of the trade such as online data rooms and video conferencing suites, a collaborative professional environment, and frequent and open dialogue with an experienced senior management team. These are just a few examples of Benchmark International’s significant investment in the infrastructure that supports our specialists.
Because we are so focused on sell-side M&A and particularly on owner-operated companies, we understand that the company sale process is about far more than spreadsheets. We know that our clients have competing priorities. We understand that every company is a family company regardless of who is or is not on the payroll or share ledger. We are prepared for our clients’ priorities to shift as the process unfolds. Our process is flexible enough to handle all these issues, and our personnel are trained and ready to assist you in running the process, finding the buyer, and closing the deal that in each case is right for you.
Big funnel. Strong management of prospects in the funnel. And the ability to get to closing. This is why Benchmark International is the right choice for selling your company.