Acquisitions – What We Are Looking For and Why?

6th April 2021

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Acquisitions have been a useful strategy both for Elite’s business operations and the businesses we have acquired. From adding to our product set and expertise to increasing our client base and being able to offer a wider variety of services – it is invaluable.

Acquisitions have been a useful strategy both for Elite’s business operations and the businesses we have acquired.
 

Why consider selling your business?

There are a variety of reasons why selling may be the best step for you and your business. You may want to sell to  de-risk and enhance the value of your company. Maybe you’re looking to retire in the near future and want to pass your company on to someone else who can continue to further its success? Selling your business to a knowledgeable buyer may provide the resources to develop your business and take it to the next level.

As a business owner, you will have had to make loads of difficult decisions, but deciding to sell your business can be the hardest and one of the most stressful. You’ve put a lot of care, effort and money into your business, it’s only right to seek the right buyer. Handing over part or all of your control to the acquirer is a huge leap of faith that will naturally cause some anxiety. Of course, the ideal situation is being able to trust that the buyer has the best interests of you, your employees and your business at heart and they have the skills to ensure a smooth process.

At Elite, we treat our acquisitions with the upmost care, understanding and precision. The ideal situation for us is creating an agreement which suits both parties. From initial discussions, agreeing an offer and signing the final paperwork, we want to support you every step of the way and ensure you know that we care about your business as much as you do.

Elite are not looking to buy just any business. Selection is based on a variety of factors that complement Elite both strategically and culturally. However, what exactly are we looking for and why are we looking for these specific factors?

We have completed several successful acquisitions over our 20-year history, so we have plenty of experience and know precisely what we need. We’ve broken down what features Elite look for in potential acquisitions and explained why they are important to us as a buyer and to you as a seller.

 

Relevant Sector

Just like Liam Neeson in the film, ‘Taken’, we have a particular set of skills. When selecting potential acquisitions, we are looking to expand, develop or add to this skill-set and knowledge, so the sectors we are particularly interested in are IT and Communication.

Examples of businesses we would be interested in acquiring include:

  • Microsoft providers
  • Managed self-service providers
  • Cloud applications
  • Virtualised infrastructure & Cloud Solution providers
  • IT managed service providers
  • Network, collaboration & security solutions providers

If your business is based in the communications sector, we are interested in any of these specialisms:

  • SIP & VOIP
  • Mitel Resellers
  • Reseller of business mobile services
  • Gamma resellers
  • Connectivity providers
  • Hosted voice and telephony

 

Beneficial Product Set

So now that we have established the importance of the sector of a potential acquisition , let’s look at products. When selecting a potential acquisition, we are looking for a product-set that is beneficial. Does it fit in with the services we already provide, such as business mobile? Does the business offer new technology or a service that would make a good addition to our existing solutions? Maybe the acquired product-set could expand or add further facets to our own product-set. If it is beneficial to us and our services, we are going to be interested.

We pride ourselves on being able to offer complete solutions from mobile phones and security to cloud services and business broadband, all under one roof. Naturally, it is in our interests to acquire businesses who also offer complete solutions. This means integration between Elite and the acquisition is more effective and successful. Elite is customer-focused, which means we want to provide our clients with the ability to access a range of products and services from one account, with great on-hand customer service. It’s important that any acquisition fits this strategy and focus.

 

People make the business

A business may have the best products and services on offer, but there is one factor that is responsible for ensuring its success – its people. We have a fantastic team that are skilled, creative and experts in their field, which is why we are able to provide an excellent experience for our customer. However, in order to grow we need more amazing people and that is what we are looking for in our acquisitions. Gaining essential employees with particular skillsets and inheriting management teams with technical minds is so important to us in a potential acquisition. If you’re looking to still play a role within your company that’s great, but if you are looking to retire after the acquisition process, it important that you ensure you have a strong management team to take over the day to day activities.

Elite are proud of everybody who works for us and we view employment as a two-way street. In order to have the best people working for you, you must be the best company to work for. Ensuring our employees feel valued, appreciated and rewarded is at the heart of our operations and this is extended to every single employee we gain through an acquisition. Not only are we looking at the skills your company can provide, we are interested in your ethos regarding your employees to ensure it fits with our own.

 

Client retention

As we grow, Elite want to continue to strengthen our customer base, this means we also take the customer experience, retention and timeline of a potential acquisition into account. We’re looking for a customer base with minimal churn and successful client timelines, with customers who are on long-term contracts (such as 3 or 5 years) being especially beneficial. Why is this important? Revenue that is contracted to the business through successful accounts, plans and contracts with customers is more reliable than ad hoc sales. It shows you have a great customer relationship, which is something, as a business, we are passionate about. It also means cross-selling products and integration of products and services is more effective.

 

Our Process

As we mentioned at the beginning, we have made several successful acquisitions (17 in fact) over our 20 year history, so our methodology and process is tried, tested and proven. It is designed to make the journey and integration as simple as possible. Selling your business can be a worrying process, but rest assured we will support you every step of the way. We have a 6-step process that involves:

  • The initial review – to evaluate your business, its fit within Elite and determine a valuation
  • Formal offer – a genuine offer of what we think your business is worth determined by the information disclosed by you and the discussions we’ve had during the initial review of your business
  • Heads of Terms – we place great emphasis on this step, in order to ensure creating the sale and purchase agreement as simple as possible
  • Due diligence – Working with you, your advisors and members of your team, we work to validate the information previously provided by you and gain a complete overview and understanding of your business, its needs and commitments
  • Sale & Purchase Agreement – Framework from the HoT and findings from the due diligence process will help to produce the final SPA document
  • Integration into the Elite Group – we will discuss how we plan to integrate your business into ours during the due diligence process and we will provide a clear pathway for integration

What makes Elite different?

Elite have an expert acquisition team who take the time to understand you, your business and your exit requirements. Our experience and knowledge ensure a smooth process, as well as the ability to successfully integrate people, products and processes within our company.

We have a faultless acquisition history and we have always paid on high valuations. Elite understands that selling your business is stressful enough, so we won’t play hardball with you during negotiations or back you into a decision you are not happy with. You are in control and if there is anything about us that you don’t like or you decide we are not the right buyer for you, you are free to walk away at any point.

Our inclusive approach ensures that we keep you constantly updated and the post-acquisition plan is documented and agreed with you. We want to make sure that your customers, suppliers and staff are fully incorporated into the acquisition plan and cared for, both during and after the process.

Now you know what we are looking for in a potential acquisition, if you’re looking to sell your business, why not get in touch with us? You can find out more about our acquisition approach and how it could benefit you and your business.

 

Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and unified communication services to organisations seeking Business MobileCloudNetworkingConnectivity, and Telephony solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group can power your unified communication solutions,  call us or request a quote today.