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M&A continues to become more complex. M&A teams are leaning away from traditional methodologies and towards boutique M&A consulting firms.
FirmRoom, a M&A Science brand, utilizes technology, knowledge, and experience to create success within a wide range of M&A organizations and in this article, we have a closer look at the individual boutique M&A consulting firms.
A boutique M&A consulting firm is a group of advisors that provide specialized advice in a particular industry.
These are typically smaller firms than traditional investment banks, which can mean that each deal that they work on gets more personalized attention.They work on both the buy-side and sell-side, and provide advice for both sides of mergers or acquisitions.
For this reason, those who work at boutique M&A consulting firms are known as M&A advisors. Some responsibilities assumed by these firms include:
Boutique M&A consulting firms are generally contracted at the beginning of the deal process and have an active role throughout the entire process. They are paid via retainer as well as a success fee, depending on a deal’s outcome.
Utilizing a boutique M&A consulting firm can be helpful for any company looking to enter a merger, acquisition, or other transaction. These firms provide a team that is active in the market every day and is specialized, either in M&A overall or in a specific industry.
Boutique consulting firms have in-house business development people and skills. Further, if looking for a cost-effective solution, a boutique firm may be the right choice. Their compensation is based on a success fee with a nominal monthly retainer; in other words, the firm is only paid in full when a deal is closed.
Hiring an M&A advisor often costs less than hiring an in-house M&A professional, and can provide more specialized expertise from an experienced team.
Those in industries such as retail, life sciences, biotechnology, energy, and anything outside of traditional investment banking may benefit from the use of a boutique M&A firm as well.
Their highly-specialized expertise and focus on a smaller number of industries can be beneficial in industries that are lesser known in the M&A world. Consultants at these firms are well versed in their chosen industries and can provide insights that traditional M&A investment banks may not possess.
Hannover Consulting provides its clients with strategic advice focused on startups, company growth, raising capital, M&A, international expansion, and value maximization. They strive to help clients maximize the value of their businesses from planning and idea generation to acquisition.
Hannover offers a wide range of business finance and growth consulting services, including consulting on corporate finance, investment banking, project financing, international expansion, and M&A. They also provide strategic, financial, and process advice to directors and other fiduciaries in connection with transactions when there is an actual, apparent, or potential conflict.
Interesting facts: Hannover has experience navigating expansion into international markets, both from the U.S. and into the U.S.
Notable Deals: Summit Machine, Inc., Spear Imagine, Ductor; Flambeau, Vast Enterprises LLC, Sohniks Endoscopy, Inc., Albertsons, Thrivors, Orluck Industries, ASA/TySOL Inc.
Revenue: 1.41 billion EU ($1.5 billion)
Size: 11-50 employees
Perella Weinberg Partners works within consumer industries such as retail, food, beverage, and personal care products. They also work in the renewable energy sector. They focus on sell-side advisory, and assist clients to navigate company sales, corporate divestitures, carve-outs, and spin offs.
Perella doubles as an investment bank, meaning that they are well-versed in SEC regulations.
Interesting facts: Perella Weinberg’s divestiture into the energy sector, especially in their work with oil field services and petrochemicals marks it one of few M&A consulting firms to do so.
Notable Deals: Eutelsat merger with OneWeb, Quidel acquisition of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Baxter acquisition of Hillrom, Hella merger with Faurecia, Discovery merger with AT&T WarnerMedia
Revenue: $145.3 million
Size: approximately 600 employees
Loeb & Loeb provide clients with both buy side and sell side services, specializing in the legal industry. They assist with complex negotiations such as corporate takeovers, roll-ups, and stock purchases. Other services offered include corporate governance, brand protection, and cross-border discovery.
Their target industries are advertising, media, and entertainment. Loeb & Loeb represents both large, international financial institutions and smaller national and regional institutions.
Interesting facts: Loeb & Loeb has multiple practices working in industries such as intellectual property, investigations and compliance, litigation, privacy and data innovations, bankruptcy, tax, and trusts and estates.
Notable Deals: Vin Di Bona Productions, Buffalo Bills, ISMS Solutions, Embrace Change Acquisition Corp., Virax Biolabs Group Ltd.
Revenue: $10-40 million
Size: approximately 450 employees.
Clairfield focuses on middle market deals and specializes in sell-side advisory. This includes finding buyers and sponsors; executing LBO and MBO deals; joint ventures; and client valuations. They negotiate both domestic and international deals, and in recent years, have closed several notable international deals and made their name in the market. Clairfield has many senior, experienced advisors that are involved in each engagement, giving clients expert quality advice, guidance, and insight as well as efficient process management.
Interesting facts: Clairfield also represents family businesses or those in need of dept capital advising.
Notable Deals: BioRad acquisition of Curiosity Diagnostics, Rasa Floors merger with Saw Mill Capital, Quad-C acquisition of SEI Group, Doxim acquisition of Pinnacle Data Systems, Center Rock acquisition of Merit Distribution Group, Watkins Associated Industries acquisition of NOVA
Revenue: $5-30 million
Size: ~300 employees
Woodbridge has made a legacy for itself over their work in M&A for the past three decades. They specialize in sell side engagements for various industries pertaining to the outdoors, such as restoration, forestry, and waste management.
They pride themselves on their collaboration and free schools of thought, or being open to new ideas to achieve success for their clients.
Interesting facts: As well as consulting services, they offer management training, providing sellers with workshop experience on how to sell their companies.
Notable Deals: Citta Brokerage, L&M Marine, LandCare Associates, USBid, Inc., Scentsicles, LEAPROS Workforce Solutions, AVS Video, TranSmart Video, Global-Tek and Machining Technology
Revenue: $1-10 million
Size: approximately 100 employees
La Piana focuses on non-profit M&A by taking the traditional structure of M&A and creating a framework by which charitable organizations and foundations can engage in mergers and acquisitions while focusing on the social service side.
They work with clients in strategic alliances, restructuring, and inter-organizational collaborations. Charitable organizations, foundations, or title holding trust corporations are well served by La Piana.
Interesting facts: La Piana was the first boutique consulting firm to delve into non-profits.
Notable Deals: AARP, YMCA, ACLU, Build It Green, ASPCA.
Revenue: $500K-$1 million
Size: 36 employees.
Sica|Fletcher is ranked number one in lower middle market M&A advisory, and was founded in 2014. They work across a variety of industries with a small staff, bringing expertise to close more deals than firms twice their size. Sica|Fletcher works with both sell-side and buy-side advisory, as well as offering strategic consulting. They help clients by advising them through three stages of execution; charting the ideal course, offering guidance on developing options, and negotiating the optimal deal.
Interesting facts: The owners, Mike Fletcher and Al Sica, are included on each deal that they make.
Notable Deals: Risk Strategies acquisition of Standard Pension Services, LLC, Choice acquisition of Schlather, relation acquisition of Weller-Anger & Company, LLC, One80 acquisition of 1800 MD and NaviGo Health, highstreet acquisition of Donnely & Sproul
Revenue: $1-30 million
Size: 30 employees
Sun Mergers & Acquisitions is a full service M&A advisory firm specializing in all aspects of the confidential sale, merger, acquisition, and valuation of privately held mid-market companies. They focus primarily on the sale of entrepreneurial owned, privately held companies. Their network of strategic acquirers, financial buyers, and private equity firms enables them to target qualified premium acquirers that will recognize strategic value in companies. As stated on their website, the goal is to identify multiple interested parties to provide options, avoid dependency on any one party, and provide increased negotiating leverage.
Interesting facts: Sun Mergers & Acquisitions was named one of the top 20 Investment Banks by Axial.
Notable Deals: Paywire, Superior Manufacturing, East Rutherford Roofing; National Health Career Associates; Adco Chemical, ICAS Computer Systems, Inc.; US Datalink, Denville Scientific, Inc., Ferranti Steel
Revenue: $3-$75 million
Size: approximately 25 employees
M+A Squared is a boutique advisory firm specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions at the intersection of technology, media, communications, and life sciences. They maintain relationships with corporate leaders and private equity firms to utilize to their clients’ advantage.
The firm is made up of entrepreneurs with advanced experience in international deal making, and focuses on relationships first. M+A Square works in both buy side and sell side advisory, as well as private and public companies.
Interesting facts: Consultants from M+A Squared are located internationally to provide expertise from a variety of backgrounds.
Notable Deals: Hungry Marketplace (Washington DC) acquisition of Ripe (New York), Cprime (US) acquisition of Archer (Ukraine), CAC (Japan) acquisition of Mitrais (Indonesia)
Revenue: $17 million
Size: less than 25 employees
Fultonbridge is a boutique M&A consulting firm that provides services to the middle market on an international level, including mergers & acquisitions advisory and capital raising transactions. The leadership is made up of professionals with decades of industry experience.
They work with clients such as private business owners, large corporations, private equity firms and financial investors, and early-stage entrepreneurs. Fultonbridge prides themselves on putting their clients’ goals first and tailoring their solutions for each business they work with.
Some of the industries they work with include fitness clubs, home furnishings, publishing, aerospace and defense, agricultural equipment, chemicals, manufacturing, environmental technology, telecommunications, and software, among others.
Interesting facts: Over half of Fultonbridge’s assignments are with repeat clients.
Notable Deals: Astec acquisition of Con-E-Co, JPW Industries acquisition of Edwards, AFI Partners, LLC acquisition of Waterloo, RFE Investment Partners acquisition of SPX Precision Components, Boart Longyear acquisition of Eklund Drilling Company
Revenue: $5 million
Size: less than 25 employees
Blackcastle is an M&A advisory and business consulting firm with extensive deal making and business strategy experience. They aim to assist management teams in achieving a successful transition of their business. Blackcastle has worked with hundreds of clients in a wide range of industry segments, including architecture, engineering, construction, business, distribution, healthcare, HR Services, logistics, manufacturing, water/wastewater, software, and more. They work in both sell-side and buy-side representation, assisting with M&A from start to finish, corporate development, exit planning, strategic planning, and professional development services.
Interesting facts: Blackcastle offers coaching services for firms looking to improve financial performance, strengthen sustainable growth processes, and develop top-down leadership.
Notable Deals: RTM acquisition of BRiC Partnership, LLC, banko design acquisition of Eleni Interiors, Ardurra acquisition of Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, IMEG acquisition of Mendenhall Smith Structural Engineers, IMEG acquisition of MSA Engineering Consultants
Revenue: $2-$100 million
Size: approximately 25 employees
With the rapidly growing number of boutique M&A consulting firms, the future of M&A seems to be changing to a more specialized, more all-encompassing methodology.
Global leaders in Fortune 1,000 companies, Silicon Valley start-ups, PE firms, investment banks, and government agencies trust our M&A virtual data room to streamline their deal-making processes. Discover how can we streamline yours!