SI Partners’ Paul Allen and Julia Vargiu hosted our Changing M&A Landscape breakfast briefing for entrepreneurs and founders in London, discussing the findings of SI Partners' global research.
The research into the creative M&A landscape revealed a disconnect between what creative businesses think buyers want, which growth strategies are prioritised by agency leaders, and what acquirers look for.
The purpose of the talk was to reveal the criteria used by acquirers to assess creative businesses and explore how creative businesses can grow by design to hit the growth targets required by today’s buyers.
Paul, Partner at SI Partners, shared the findings from our Buyer Seller Disconnect report, which you can also download here.
Paul, examined the implications of the research findings for agencies in the creative sector, revealing the different aspects that drive premium value.
One of these drivers is profitability. Acquirers look for businesses hitting the 20% profit mark. Businesses with a proven record for achieving 15% growth year on year are also an attractive proposition to acquirers.
He also discussed what agencies believe buyers prioritise and what they actually prioritise. It is widely believed that the most important priority is fame and reputation, along with profitability and growth, however, acquirers regard the client portfolio, leadership team and offer as key value drivers. These aspects should not be neglected by those looking to achieve a maximum value in sale.
Julia, SI Partners Director, Australia, discussed how to create a virtuous cycle of growth and what it takes to hit the growth and client spread acquirers look for.
She placed an emphasis on achieving not just growth, but quality growth. Whilst agency leaders are often focused on growth with regards to profitability and clients rarely do they harness growth to drive other important aspects such as culture and a committed incentivised leadership that builds a succession plan.
Download SI Partners’ Buyer Seller Disconnect report here.