Retained Seller

  • CO192: Experiential Marketing Agency that works with national and international companies, Brands and Products to drive Behavior-changing results and specializes in the Design and Execution of live events, field marketing, sponsor activation, digital media, exhibits and environments - $40MM Revenue - $3.2MM EBITDA.

  • CO212: Leading Publisher of Instructional Content for Musical Instrument Playing.

  • CO215: A Niche Fabricator of Heavy Steel Process Equipment for the Petrochemical and Steel Industries - $17.7MM Revenue.

  • CO218: Manufacturer of Stone Veneer for the Residential and Commercial Markets - $19MM Revenue - $3MM EBITDA.

  • CO219: Provider of Freight Unloading and Related Warehouse Management Services - $13MM Revenue - $1.5MM EBITDA.

  • CO221: Manufacturer of Automated Electrical Testing Solutions - $16.4MM
    Revenue - $3.1MM EBITDA.

    Retained Acquisition Searches

  • CO62: Specialty Contractor Seeking add-on Acquisitions.

  • CO138: Kansas City-based Private Investor Seeking to Acquire companies Headquartered within 50 mile radius of Kansas City.

  • CO161: Leading Provider of Service Station Fuel Delivery Systems Seeking add-on Acquisitions with revenues of up to $10MM.

  • CO201: Manufacturer of complex, engineered components for the Aerospace, Defense, First Response, Safety, and Medical markets Seeking Acquisitions with revenues up to $15MM. Aviation control systems and/or products regulating the flow of oxygen are of particular interest.

  • CO203: Privately held manufacturer and marketer of highly recognized Laundry, Household Cleaning, Air Care, and Lawn & Garden branded products Seeking Acquisitions with revenues up to $15MM.

  • CO225: Major Global Manufacturer of High-end Substrates for Consumer Packaging Seeking to expand presence in North America. Interested in any business with High-end products or services to the Global Packaging industry.

  • CO226: A North American Leader in the distribution of Electrical, Communications, Data Networking and Security products Seeking further expansion in North America. Particularly interested in Electrical Distribution businesses with strong emphasis on Industrial markets.

  • CO227: Global Leader in the Chemical Distribution industry is Seeking to expand their product and service capability in North America. Interested in a broad spectrum of distributors of Chemistry and related products and services.
    deal team

    Does Competitive Advantage Matter?

    Recently I met with another business owner who was unable to identify her company's competitive advantage. While owners usually have some inkling about why their customers choose their product or service over their competitors', they are much better prepared to talk about plans for growth, profitability or managerial issues.

    When owners enter the mergers and acquisitions world, however, they must know what their companies' competitive advantages are because it is a prime determinant of how buyers assess value and therefore the price they'll offer for a company.

    Competitive advantage in this context is a topic that usually captivates owners' attention.

    But competitive advantage should intrigue not just those owners who are ready to sell or recapitalize their companies. The sooner that all owners identify their companies' competitive advantages, the sooner they can work to strengthen and protect it. In the M&A world, the more robust the competitive advantage, the more likely it is that buyers will pay a premium to purchase it.

    What your company does differently or better than its competitors can take many forms: reputation, platform for add-ons, distribution chain, control of primary input source, proprietary knowledge, etc.

    The process of pinpointing a competitive advantage begins with an owner's usually intuitive answers to a series of detailed yet wide-ranging questions.

    The process is similar to one a physician might use to diagnose a condition or disease: Start with general questions and follow up with increasingly more precise ones.

    The next step is to determine whether the advantage is one that the company – especially under new ownership – can sustain over time.

    Business owners should then formulate a strategy to showcase that characteristic to entice a buyer to pay top dollar for the privilege of owning the company.

    Buyers best appreciate the value of a competitive advantage in one of two ways: in the amount of pain they can avoid or the amount of gain they can achieve in acquiring the company's competitive advantage. The greater the amount of pain or gain the competitive advantage inflicts or offers, the greater the buyer's willingness to make lucrative purchase offers. That's leverage.

    In today's M&A marketplace, business owners' ability to extract a maximum purchase price from a buyer has much to do with matching a company's advantage to a buyer's needs. Owners who fail to understand that link leave thousands, if not millions, of dollars at the closing table.

    Kevin Short is managing partner and CEO of Clayton Capital Partners, a St. Louis-based investment banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions. He is also the author of "Sell Your Business For An Outrageous Price" to be published in September 2014 by AMACOM.

    deal team

    Clayton Capital Partners Clayton Capital Partners Clayton Capital Partners