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Gloucestershire Business News

Randall & Payne's acquisition masterclass

Following Randall & Payne's recent acquisition of Gloucester-based Little and Company, Punchline editor Mark Owen caught up with two of their partners to talk about the deal and acquisitions in general.

Little and Company's office on Park Road, Gloucester, will remain in use for six months, after which the 14-strong team will join with the 50-strong existing Randall & Payne team under one roof at Chargrove House on Shurdington Road, Cheltenham.

Tim Watkins, managing partner of accountants and business advisors Randall & Payne, said: "Obviously it means a lot. It's going to boost us up to 65 people. We've known Simon and his team at Little and Company for some years. We know they've got a very good list of clients, very good staff and they've got some specialisms."

Ollie Newbold, partner and head of corporate finance at Randall & Payne, added: "We particularly take the view with this acquisition that it was predominantly about making sure the culture was a strong fit and the team were going to fit with the way that we work.

"Having been in discussions with Simon over a number of months we felt as though it was a team we could work with extremely well.

"Fundamentally it's making sure cultures are aligned and the businesses are going to work really well together. The key thing is to keep your feet on the ground when you are looking at the numbers and not to get carried away and be prepared to say no to a transaction if actually it doesn't start to feel right."

Ollie said that during a two-week consultation period Tim had got to know the staff pretty well and "got his head under the bonnet" to get a feel for who they are and how they operate.

Tim added: "They are a great bunch of people over there and we're really looking forward to having them over here in due course."

Asked if they would do it again, Tim replied: "Yes, certainly we would. But let's get this under our belts first. Like any other business, we keep our eye open to situations and so forth and if we feel there's something right for us we'll do it."

Randall & Payne's top tips for acquisitions:

With more than 50% of acquisitions failing, Randall & Payne's knowledge and experience will ensure that you are in the best position for success.

The firm has supported numerous clients through their acquisitions and its transaction process has been developed to give you complete peace of mind at every step. They like to think it's a blueprint for success as it has achieved an outstanding completion record.

A typical acquisition process adopts the following approach:

  • Valuation
  • Negotiations and agreeing heads of terms
  • Due diligence
  • Arranging finance
  • Managing the deal

Completion does not, however, mean that the acquisition will prove to be a success. It is estimated that more than 50% of acquisitions fail and of this 50%, the majority of failures are due to an unsuccessful integration.

Integration planning considers some of the non-financial aspects such as:

  • Cultural compatibility
  • Human resources
  • Management and key staff members
  • Geography
  • Systems and processes
  • Capacity of the acquiring company
  • Strategic direction of the target

After considering these, Randall & Payne suggests that you put together an integration strategy which demonstrates to all stakeholders in the target company that you have taken control from day one and put the time and effort in to make it work. By doing this, you will reduce uncertainty which can often lead to the 'you and us' attitude which can be detrimental to success.

An acquisition strategy may take the following form:

  • One Week Plan - Communicate with all staff in order to reassure them and ensure that all questions are answered.
  • 3 Month Plan - Implementation of new systems and processes and/or human resource changes.
  • 12 Month Plan - Implementation of strategy and development of the combined entities.

Randall & Payne's service does not stop on completion. They will support you through the integration process in order to ensure that your acquisition is a successful one.

If you are considering acquiring a business in the next few years, get in contact with Ollie Newbold for a free consultation, call 01242 776000 or email oliver.newbold@randall-payne.co.uk 

For more information on Randall & Payne visit www.randall-payne.co.uk 

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