Benchmark International Closes 14 US-based Deals in the first half of 2017

Following on last year’s impressive 26 closings, Benchmark International’s US offices represented sellers on 14 transactions in the first six months of 2017. This was due in no small part to a 30-day span in which Benchmark International closed ten deals globally, with six of those being for US-based sellers.

Benchmark International’s US sellers were spread across a number of states with multiple deals closing in each of Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia. Nine buyers were strictly strategic (aka trade) buyers and an additional four were strategic buyers backed by private equity funds. Transactions were evenly split between stock and asset deals.

This success and year-over-year growth can be attributed to a range of notable factors including:

  • Benchmark International’s global reach. Though the transactions were heavily weighted toward domestic buyers over this period, the Benchmark team handling the sale of a US-based manufacturer of network connectivity equipment reached all the way to Sri Lanka to identify and procure Orel Corporation as the buyer of this Miami-based client. “Getting the right buyer with the right deal requires looking under every rock, without limitations. That’s what we did here. Buyers from other countries can pose unique challenges but the right buyer is the right buyer regardless. You just have to make sure they get an invitation to the party,” commented Tyrus O’Neill, the director who led the deal.
  • Benchmark International’s understanding of deal urgency. “Time kills all deals” goes the adage. Benchmark facilitated the closing of a fairly sophisticated transaction within 60 days of the signing of the letter of intent. “That may not sound extraordinary but when you are dealing with a multi-jurisdiction, vertically-integrated target company and complex family dynamics; this is no small accomplishment. There a thousand reasons a deal can die and I’m not going to let time be one of them,” said Dara Shareef, the director who pushed hard to make this timely closing a reality.
  • The team’s unconventional extra effort from top to bottom. When no customary buyers could meet the needs of Benchmark’s client Bold Staffing Solutions LLC, Luis Vinals, the associate handling buyer outreach on the engagement, dug a bit deeper and found a non-for-profit buyer that proved to be the perfect fit. After the closing, he said, “When I came up with the idea, I couldn’t find any record of Benchmark facilitating a sale to a not-for-profit but we ran a legal check and my director then gave me the go ahead to make the introduction and deliver the pitch. Knowing that my unusual idea led to the client’s success was a truly rewarding feeling and I believe that shows how vested the whole team is providing a satisfying result to the client.”
  • Capitalizing on trends. At the firm’s annual global conference in 2016, Benchmark’s directors and management team noted both the increasing presence and the high certainty of close offered by an emerging form of buyer, the private equity backed strategic buyer. The firm’s outreach efforts then placed greater emphasis on identifying and building relationships with these acquirers. As a result, a third of US buyers over last six months resided in this category. As Graham Woodard, the senior associate on two deals involving hybrid acquirers, summarized, “These buyers represent the best of both worlds. As strategics, they can quickly and often painlessly get a grasp on the seller’s business, greatly reducing stress and time to close. As a financial buyer, they have both the funding and the sophistication to act efficiently. Overall, they take a great deal of strain and risk out of the process for the seller.”
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