Retained Seller

  • 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

    Sellers Should Get What They Deserve

    In my 25-year career as an investment banker, I've represented both buyers and sellers of mid-market businesses ($10MM - $250MM of value) in a broad spectrum of industries. Buyers, be they corporations, Private Equity Groups or venture capitalists are sophisticated, experienced and objective. They leave no stone unturned in their single-minded pursuit of the best-possible price and they usually get it.

    Sellers in this size range, however, are a much more diverse group. While they are generally skilled leaders and savvy business owners, they are rarely experienced in the M&A world, and are hardly objective about the businesses that many have spent lifetimes building.

    Selling a company for the best possible price is usually just one of a seller's primary goals. That desire to achieve several goals combined with no experience crossing swords with buyers in the M&A world result in many sellers leaving closing tables with far less than the best possible, or what I call "outrageous" price. (An outrageous price is at least twice the prevailing average industry multiple.)

    Level The Playing Field
    To level the playing field I wrote Sell Your Business For An Outrageous Price. I want both buyers AND sellers to get what they deserve so it only seems fair to show novice and experienced sellers how to play the M&A game as skillfully as professional buyers.

    The first challenge for sellers is to reach the closing table. Reliable statistics are hard to come by, but there's some indication that around 60 percent of businesses put on the market fail to sell. So, I created a four-part Proactive Sale Process with two straightforward goals: maximize sale price and minimize the opportunity for a sale to fail to close.

    Step One
    In the first step, we assess the company and the owner for sale readiness and perform a valuation including both analysis and intuition. Since most deals in this market segment fail due to the gap between the buyer's and seller's interpretations of value, this step is critical. Owners also complete a sale-readiness assessment that covers everything from their exit goals, family issues and their advisors to the company, its competitors, competitive advantage and potential buyers.

    Step Two
    All owners have looked for events that an applicant may have not disclosed, but few know how to uncover a company's inefficiencies, waste, mismanagement or unnoticed opportunities. In this second step, that's the type of buyer due diligence I prepare sellers to undergo.

    Step Three
    In the third step we look for the company's competitive advantage: that not-always-obvious product the company makes or service it provides either better or more cheaply than does its competitors over time.

    Step Four
    Finally, we gather intelligence about potential buyers in the marketplace: competitors, verticals, industry players and adjacencies. Once we complete the Proactive Sale Strategy outlined here, owners decide whether to pursue an Outrageous Price using the Outrageous Price Process.

    The success of that Process depends on the presence of Four Pillars rather than on a strong M&A market. In addition, I've used it successfully in all types of industries so check out my book or visit to see if your company is a candidate for an Outrageous Price.

    Kevin M. 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" recently published by AMACOM

    deal team

    Clayton Capital Partners Clayton Capital Partners Clayton Capital Partners