BenderBrandwijk helps owner-managers of SME companies to get more out of their business. We do so by providing the following services:
- Sparring partner: Faster insight into what needs to be done
- Organisational diagnosis: Discover unexploited business opportunities and tackle risks
- Company valuation and value growth: Find out what your company is worth and how you can make it more valuable
- Change of company ownership: assistance when buying and selling or merging companies
Mergers and Acquisition
The acquisition process
Selling, but also buying, a company is hardly an everyday task for most entrepreneurs. So it is important to involve experts who not only have the right legal and financial expertise, but also have personal experience of sitting at the negotiating table, both as a buyer and as a seller.
Which is why we say that entrepreneurship unites us.
In addition to all the business aspects, BenderBrandwijk has intimate personal knowledge of the emotions that can play a role in this process. Transferring the company is often a much more sensitive issue for the seller than for the buyer. What will happen to the company’s staff? Is the objective to sell the company for the best price or does the entrepreneur want to pass on the company as part of his legacy?
René Bender and Cees Brandwijk are both entrepreneurs with a family tradition in business and qualified legal and financial experts. They have a broad knowledge of how things work in business and are also well-informed in the area of banking and accountancy. During the past few decades, they have acquired a wealth of business experience, not only in the Netherlands but also far beyond its borders.
Business case: ICT business in the metal machining industry
The company’s owner-manager was unable to carry on running his business for medical reasons (stress). This situation required a special approach to the task at hand:
- because of his illness, the process had to be as stress-free as possible,
- the entrepreneur attached particular importance to the ramifications for his staff who had kept the company afloat for years in spite of limited (digital) guidance,
- the entrepreneur had a related activity that he would be able to continue after his recovery.
The acquisition process was supervised closely by BenderBrandwijk to protect the entrepreneur as muchas possible. The employees were happy with the way in which the entrepreneurhad treated them and looked forward to the new situation with great anticipation. The entrepreneurdid not have to stay on because BenderBrandwijk found several parties who were prepared to pay the completeacquisition amount without demanding the entrepreneur’s presence during a transitional period.
“The questions Bender Brandwijk asked me and the support I was fortunate enough to receive led to a very successful transfer of the business to a strategically attractive company with offices in 16 countries. BenderBrandwijk succeeded in finding 6 candidates and only proposed 2 to me. There was a click with both even though they were totally different. BenderBrandwijk went to great lengths to protect me from stress and achieved a very good acquisition price.”
We run through the following phases with a selling party:
- Non-binding intake interview in our office.
- Review of the situation and determination of the conditions that apply to acquisition opportunities.
- Valuation, which is approved by the customer.
- Preparation of an (anonymous) profile, non-disclosure agreement and a detailed information memorandum.
- Decision regarding the acquisition period and creation of a long list and short list of possible candidates.
- Agreement of a Letter of Intent (LOI).
- Finalisation and coordination of due diligence and drawing up the sales agreement.
Expansion through acquisition
By acquiring the right activities, many successful entrepreneurs have not only succeeded in boosting their business and profits but also made their company more valuable in the longer term.
As entrepreneurs who have also achieved growth by acquiring companies, we are capable of rapidly recognising good acquisition opportunities on your behalf and reaching a good deal.
You know exactly where you stand with us
As entrepreneurs, we also always want to know what our maximum cost is likely to be. Which is why BenderBrandwijk works with a ‘fixed’ price during the various phases. This price is calculated as an estimated number of hours, based on our experience in the sector. In the final phase, we charge the fixed price plus a success fee.
Calculating a fixed price for fulfilling an acquisition assignment is not as simple because these assignments generally involve ‘consultancy hours’ and achieving a successful close is hard to predict. However, BenderBrandwijk can make firm agreements with you based on a step-by-step plan.
Is the company ‘ready for sale’?
Sometimes, the expected price appears not to be achievable (in the short term). In cases like these, we help the business owner to prepare the company for sale by enhancing its value. Click here for Value growth & exit strategy.
Business case: From a planned joint-venture to a full acquisition
Initially, BenderBrandwijk was asked to manage a joint-venture between a consulting organisation and an education and training centre in the contact and call centre market. This new partnership was intended to create an expertise centre offering a complete range of services.
The two owner-managers obviously each had their own vision, which led to differences of opinion in a number of areas. During the negotiation process, the market conditions changed to such an extent that BenderBrandwijk asked both parties to reconsider the basic idea behind the collaboration and their personal interests as owner-managers.
As a result, one of the owner-managers offered to sell his business in its entirety to the other party, subject to a realistic acquisition price. The end result is a company that offers its customers a broader range of services and benefits from clearly defined leadership within the company. The other entrepreneur is satisfied with the sale of his business, which, in spite of the crisis, still had significant value thanks to this collaboration.
“BenderBrandwijk’s idea of progressing on from an intended joint-venture to full acquisition of the company, their valuation and their supervision of the process resulted in a situation and acquisition that were acceptable to both parties in an extremely challenging market.”
“Get more out of your business!”
In many companies, money and energy leak away undetected. Something that once worked well can become an obstacle as time passes. Consequently, successful entrepreneurs look critically at every aspect of their business at regular intervals.
BenderBrandwijk uses a pragmatic model for organisational diagnosis that is based on long-standing experience. Your company is analysed in the following areas:
- environment: market and strategy,
- the organisation culture,
- human resources,
- primary and secondary processes
- and the key figures within the business.
The next step is to identify the interaction between these areas and propose concrete improvements together with a pragmatic action plan. You can implement the recommendations without modification and get immediate results.
Achieve and maintain profitability
At BenderBrandwijk we use a practical approach to convert strategy and recommendations into profit more quickly and, above all, to maintain this level of profitability. This method requires us to jointly identify the goals of the business, following which we decide which resources need to be deployed to achieve these goals. We measure the progress of this strategy to allow timely corrective action if required.
Business case: International trading company steers a new course and gains breathing space
The Executive Board has managed the company for more than two decades. An international wholesaler that holds its own stock and operates in a highly competitive environment. The hectic nature of daily operations prevents the Executive Board from distancing itself enough to reflect on the business. Defining a good strategy, the Executive Board members’ personal performance and the company’s future are not given adequate attention.
BenderBrandwijk performed an organisational diagnosis that resulted in an immediate reduction in the requirement for working capital. By choosing its markets selectively, the company became more effective.
“Analysing every area of our company led to immediate changes to our range and a reduction in the number of inventory items. Loss-making activities are now being phased out and our attention is mainly focused on profitable activities with significant future potential. Bender & Partners, as an expert outsider, has really opened our eyes. “
Interview in Bizz magazine, business magazine for entrepreneurs:
Business case: Healthcare provider gets diagnosed
A private company in the healthcare sector has grown strongly in recent years. While the revenues increased, everything seemed to become more and more difficult and complex as the company continued to expand.
The direction of the company was analysed in consultation with the owner-manager and re-determined in a concise strategic plan. The procedure was supervised by BenderBrandwijk and led to the following results:
- a greater spread of sales across the market,
- improved quality of service provision
- and a high degree of computerisation.
This put the company in a better position for further growth.
“We continuously analyse people’s situation and give them direction in their lives. Analysing the organisation resulted directly in recognition of the new direction the company needed to take. In that respect, you could say that we were the patient for a while, on BenderBrandwijk’s psychiatrist’s couch”.
Value growth & exit strategy
“What’s your number?” This is a question that entrepreneurs occasionally ponder. Sometimes fleetingly, during drinks with fellow entrepreneurs, sometimes more protractedly during a short holiday. But how do you know if this number is realistic? How do you know whether your way of doing things is the right approach for getting the most out of your business at the time of a possible sale?
At present, many entrepreneurs are surprised by a lower number than they had imagined. In many cases, the business is potentially much more valuable. But a number of things have to change well in advance in order to realise that potential value.
A valuation of the company is generally only drawn up if there is a direct requirement for doing so; such as a potential purchaser who comes knocking on the door, or when a lender gets involved, or when the business needs to be sold. Regrettably, the entrepreneur is often confronted by a (much) lower value than he had imagined and there is little or no time left to work on increasing the company’s value.
BenderBrandwijk advocates continually working on increasing value by adopting the unusual approach of having your life’s work valued at a time when there is no immediate reason for doing so. This process clearly identifies the factors that generate value – or adversely affect value – and offers you the opportunity of working to increase the value of your company during the coming period.
We arrange a quarterly meeting with you in order to critically monitor the extent to which the forecasts have been achieved and the identified improvement actions implemented. This ‘dashboard’ puts you in control and shows you the effect of your actions on the value of your company.
This approach allows you to prepare effectively for a purchase or sale of (parts) of your company.
Business case: Printing works under pressure
The printing industry is a cut-throat industry. Increasing overcapacity in the market made it very difficult to run this company in the graphical sector profitably. The valuation also revealed that the company had hardly any inherent value.
Even so, the company’s design services, production capability and trading activities in gift packaging and flexible packaging for the food and non-food industry might be of interest to a strategic partner if the organisation could be made to perform better. With BenderBrandwijk’s assistance, the company reorganised and closed loss-making departments. In this new form, the company was now an attractive acquisition candidate for other parties in the industry.
“A smart way of getting more out of your business quickly”
An owner-manager who regularly discusses his/her vision and ideas with an experienced sparring partner achieves better results.
After discussing a vision intensively with an experienced former entrepreneur, you will find it easier to share it convincingly with the rest of the team. Ideas are more sharply defined, transformed into concrete action more effectively and lead to faster results.
BenderBrandwijk offers this sounding board service for owner-managers. The result: you gain valuable insights faster in the area of strategic decisions, commercial policy, organisation-related obstacles and financial issues.
BenderBrandwijk has more than 15 years of expertise in sparring with owner-managers. In our own careers as a business owner-manager, we have personally experienced just how valuable a sparring partner can be.
Business case: Engineering company returned to sustainable profitability
The company was not profitable enough due to inadequate manning. Discussions took place with BenderBrandwijk on various measures related to:
- appointing adequate management,
- improving internal production and administrative processes,
- strongly increasing customer focus
- and expanding the service offer by setting up an assembly department for finished products.
The result was a sustainably profitable business.
“As a director, all your attention is devoted to running your business and you are often not sufficiently able to recognise and implement real changes. BenderBrandwijk supported me by providing practical ideas and important insights during an extended period. This led to a broader base and a strong foundation for our company, which achieves healthy financial results. Something any entrepreneur welcomes”.
Business case: Focus brings purposefulness to service-oriented consultancy business
The owner-manager’s range of tasks is so extensive that he is constantly overburdened.
Thanks to BenderBrandwijk’s experience, the entrepreneur has been able to:
- improve the focus on company operations
- increase the level of attention for customers and spend more time on customer acquisition
- and get a firm grip on product development.
The opportunity of discussing unusual business problems assisted the owner-manager in implementing solutions.
“The questions BenderBrandwijk asks me and the guidance they provide in the background help me set my priorities more effectively. The increased focus on the things that are truly important has brought a new purposefulness to the company and freed up time and energy for new developments”.
Business case: Sparring brings better results for Online Content Management company
Intensive sparring inspired the founder of a web company to make a change at Executive Board level and look selectively at his customer and product portfolios. The new division of tasks and sharper focus led to a great appreciation of the company’s customers and better company results.