Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity: what are they looking for and what are their long-term strategies?

Financial Advisory

21 April 2022

AcquisitionBusiness ModelClient acquisitionFinancial AdvisoryM&AMeeting of MindsMergerPrivate EquityWinning Advisers

Expert: Keith Hare, Head of Corporate Development, Benchmark Capital. Facilitator: John Chapman, Consultant, Catalyst Partners


  1. Selling your business is a big, complex and potentially confusing decision so it is vitally important to thoroughly prepare and plan for the event
  2. It cannot be over-stressed how much time and effort needs to be put into the planning and preparation of an effective succession plan
  3. There are a huge number of acquirers in the market, so it’s very important that you understand their strategy and long-term plans


24 out of 34 private equity backed acquirers have been in place for less than 2 years and will therefore be keen to grow very quickly through acquisition and sell their interest in the next 3-5 years. How comfortable are you with selling your business to someone who will then sell it on within the next 3-5 years?

Spend time researching the market, identify and understand the attributes of a business you would be comfortable selling to, and then plan and prepare to ensure your business is as attractive as possible to your preferred acquirer. 

Key takeaways:

  • Lack of client disruption and cultural alignment are the two key factors that any seller should be looking for in an acquirer
  • Acquirers are looking for well run, profitable businesses with great client relationships, a strong team and a low-risk culture
  • To give yourself the best possible chance of finding the right acquirer, ensure your business has these attributes