Situation

The founding partners of a well-established Mid-Atlantic branding and design firm asked us to develop a succession plan, hoping to pass the torch to their senior management team. After placing a value on the business, we explored several funding options for the MBO—and, after several presentations and iterations of the plan, the partners and the management team concluded that, given the pressure the deal would place on future cash flow, and other factors, it would be in everyone’s best interests to seek an outside buyer. The partners provided us with a list of who they thought were logical buyers in their field.

The TobinLeff Solution

We advised our client to “think outside of the box,” and cast a wider net to make a true market for their business. We then drafted a prospectus, which positioned the agency as a strategic play for the right buyer, focusing on their unique service niche rather than just the numbers, and identified over 200 target companies. As a result, we received 23 serious inquiries, met with 8 different companies and received 3 letters of intent, then closed a deal with one of the nation’s largest independent public relations agencies. The merger has exceeded the expectations of both sides as the result of the cross-selling of their respective service offerings.