Faced with slow sales, the Nordstrom family is exploring taking the iconic department store private. It’s no secret that despite the strong economy, the retail industry has been hit hard and the rise of ecommerce has impacted brick and mortar stores across the world. Department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears are struggling to […]

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JAB Holding Company announced it would acquire Panera Bread for $7.5 billion to further its presence in the US fast-casual restaurant market. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2017. The acquisition also gives JAB access to Panera’s experienced management. Chief Executive Ron Shaich and the management team will continue leading Panera after the […]

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There’s a myth that acquisitions are only executed by huge, publicly-traded, Fortune 500 companies, but that’s simply not the true. In reality, there are many acquisitions conducted by small and middle market firms that are private transactions and are not reported to the media. There are many reasons to consider acquisitions, regardless of the size […]

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Remember that just because a deal is announced, it doesn’t mean it will go through. A record number of M&A transactions announced in 2015 have been cancelled bringing the total deal value down from $4.374 trillion to $78 billion. Unfortunately cancelled deals mean a lot of time, resources and effort were wasted putting together these […]

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For an owner of a privately-held company, the business is their baby and using hard-nosed tactics to negotiate for the lowest price is ill-advised. The human factor cannot be overlooked when pursuing M&A and establishing trust with an owner is critical. Buying a privately-held business is not like buying a car where you can negotiate the […]

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When you’re pursuing an acquisition, making meaningful connections with the right people at the right companies can be challenging. Who is the right person to contact? How can you go about contacting them? And once you do get in contact, what do you talk about to capture their interest? These questions are I frequently hear […]

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Family Dollar and Dollar Tree finally have reached a deal to merge for $8.5 billion. This merger comes after months of negotiations between Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Family Dollar and Dollar Tree originally came to an agreement last July, but Dollar General quickly stepped in with a higher offer. Interestingly, although Dollar […]

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With a 70% failure rate for acquisitions, it seems like the odds are against you from the beginning. Before you get scared off, however, let’s take a closer look at what that 70% means. The 70% failure rate is mainly based on large, publicly traded transactions because large transactions must be reported to the SEC, […]

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I’m frequently asked about the “right” price to put in the letter of intent. As you will know, the LOI is an important milestone in the M&A process, because it establishes a “gentleman’s agreement” before the formal deal is settled.  You have yet to compete due diligence at this stage, and figuring out the right […]

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Sprint has dropped its bid to acquire T-Mobile due to regulatory pressure. Large, public transactions must be reported and should be regulated by law, of course, but this is an unfortunate setback for Sprint. After investing resources putting together the deal and lobbying for months, the company must walk away from it because of external […]

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Facebook announced it will buy WhatsApp for $19 billion on February 19, 2014. There is no way that I can, in any credible means, justify or explain the purchase price because it’s absurd in my opinion. WhatsApp has no advertising revenues and charges each of its 450 million active users a yearly fee of just […]

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“Hello, I’d like to buy your company.” If this were the way I began my phone calls with owners, none of our deals would be successful. Speaking with owners, particularly of privately held, not-for-sale companies, requires the right strategy and approach. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression and your goal in […]

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Do you work with your family? Navigating business politics and family dynamics can be tricky, especially when it comes to succession planning and determining the future of your business.  Below are some key areas to focus on when it comes to selling or transferring ownership of a family-owned business to the next generation. Valuation Make […]

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According to Business Valuation Resources, new analysis shows time needed to market and sell a privately held business is 211 days, up from 200 days in previous analysis. Todd Nelson, Capstone Valuation Advisor, weighs in on these observations: “There are many variables that impact the time it takes to complete a private company sale. Those […]

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At the beginning of April, American Greetings announced it was going private after being publicly traded since 1958. American Greetings has seen increased competition from both traditional competitors, like Hallmark, and from new competition, like social media. Here are the top three strategic advantages I see for American Greetings going private. 1)      Shed Costs Going private the […]

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