Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) have become a big part of smaller defense companies. Traditionally, only the bigger companies were buyers. That’s becoming less and less true. M&A will impact your small or mid-sized intelligence or defense company regardless of your size. You’ll find yourself on the buy side or the sell side, or even both at times, during your tenure running the company.
The High Stakes Partners team has been on both sides of this matrix many times. Simply put, we’ve worn your shoes no matter where you land. We’ve bought companies, we’ve built and executed Exit Plans needed when selling companies, and we’ve helped to facilitate every step of the process along the way. If you’re considering approaching any of these activities, reach out to us. These aren’t skills you inherently pickup as you run your company. There are entirely new lexicons and things to learn when you enter these processes. Understanding the pitfalls that can cost millions of dollars, and many sleepless nights, will give your company a valuable stepping stone in the defense mergers & acquisitions journey. We can be that safe person to talk that helps answer your questions, teaches you valuable insider information, shares lessons that have been hard learned, provides tips and tricks, and even introduces you to additional key experts when you are ready to execute.
Below are some key things we are used to helping with on the sell and buy side of defense M&A.
- Formulating Exit Plans that are deeply informed by your personal goals. These are typically closely held companies, so you, as an individual owner are very important to that plan.
- Help you understand different vehicles at your disposal for exiting once you have a plan, even if it is years from now. (Strategic Buyers, Private Equity, Other private investors, other companies, and ESOPs are a few of the vehicles)
- Help you understand the drivers of enterprise value. What is your company really worth on the market? What things can you do to increase that value? Each vehicle also carries its own valuation attributes that will drive that market value.
- What does your company need to do to be prepared to enter into any of these different kinds of processes? What will it cost to get ready? What will it cost to actually accomplish it?
- What external experts are needed to make sure you get through this as smoothly as possible?
- What are the various types of things buyers looking for in a defense company? Hint: It’s not usually what you think. Some things are obvious, but many of the important things aren’t. These can be the things that make or break a good deal.
- What can you as an owner expect at various stages of the process? What will your team need to expect?
- What if you’re not ready to exit ,but want to “level up” personally and bring your company to the next level?
- Understanding some of the players and their roles in this space. For example
- Help you understand why you want to do an acquisition. Provide a third-party view of the strategy to red team it.
- Act as your on-call expert that can help you with the vernacular and processes that may be foreign to you.
- Aide in developing a framework for a process if your company isn’t used to buying other companies. We can help bring the best practices of larger companies into your procedures.
- Identification of the pipeline of companies to look at if you don’t already have a candidate.
- How you should value these candidates? What attributes will raise your enterprise value the most?
- What is needed for diligence? What’s needed to get to
- How to close the deal? Often companies get to the 5-yard line just to have the deal fall apart. Why? Small company M&A is difficult and full of potholes. We can help you understand how to get over the end line.
- Prepare for integration. This is such an underestimated task that, if not done properly, can lead to the investment not panning out.
- How does your new acquisition play into your own exit planning?
Take Your Defense Business to a Higher Level
These are just a few examples of areas where we have helped companies properly prepare for and execute on the buy or sell side of defense mergers & acquisition. However, every situation is unique, which is why its valuable to have someone on your side who has worked through the myriad of unexpected situation that can arise in these dealings. If you are considering buying or selling in the small to medium defense contractor sector and are looking for someone that can help you connect the dots and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, give High Stakes Partners a call. We’ve been there, and we can help you put together a plan of attack.