Issue: 32
MAY 2015
2015 M&A Source Spring Conference:
An Investment in the Future
John Howe, CEPA
M&A Source Conference Chairman


Capitalizing on the Recovery was the theme of the 44th M&A Source Spring Conference and Dealmakers Expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The four-day conference provided a range of insights and suggestions on how to be effective in the work of lower middle market mergers and acquisitions.

I define the word capitalize as "to treat as capital rather than as expense." For those participating fully, the week was an investment in the present and the future, offering insights across a diversity of topics with direct application to the profession.

Those who attended the conference were able to take in ten different workshops covering topics ranging from intergenerational relationships to how Boomers differ from Gen X and Gen Y. A fascinating Shark Tank discussion showed how four private equity groups viewed the same deal. Other sessions offered new graphic ways of presenting CIMs; how to create an automatic pipeline of deals; how two MBA students backed by search funds are looking for a company to buy and operate; how industry expertise often gives independent sponsors a leg up; what to do when you hit a speed bump on the road to closing a deal; how to work more effectively with private equity; practical ways to transfer ownership to managers; and what intermediaries can learn from MBA curriculum.

In This Issue

Case Study: Failed Deal - Loss of Trust

Joe Lindsey, M&AMI, CBI

Chairman of The M&A Source


Although I am reluctant to admit it, sometimes the deals I have been involved with don't make it across the finish line.  When a deal fails, that is an opportunity for me to examine my processes to determine where the train jumped the track.  What did I do wrong, if anything?  How can I improve and hopefully avoid duplicating the same errors?  Let's take a look at one such failure.

It's a Seller's Market Today But a Perfect Storm is Brewing for Most Business Owners
Gary Ampulski  PhD, CM&AA, CEPA
Managing Partner, Midwest Genesis


It is a reasonably well-known fact that about 8,000 baby boomers (people born between 1946 - 1964) turn 65 years of age every day over the next 14 years. But a lesser know fact is that, according to the US Census Bureau, 70% of all businesses (with more than 1 person on the payroll) or 4.2 million businesses are owned by people over 53 years old. What are the prospects for transferring those businesses when the owner is ready? The need to liquidate ownership will affect all of us, young and old, as the Boomers try to capture the wealth that they have created. And there is good reason to believe that there is going to far less of it than you might expect. In fact, the elements of a perfect storm are brewing.

 Click Here to Read More

Over Deliver
Russell Robb
Former Editor, M&A Today
Former Managing Director, Tully and Holland

Many years ago, I was in the process of being hired to value a consulting firm in which the owner/CEO was taking out over a million dollars a year in compensation.  The firm specialized in medical device compliance and regulatory issues mainly for the major companies in this field. Being a consultant, the owner kept asking me: "What's the deliverable?" What he really was asking me was to describe how the valuation mandate was going to be presented, e.g., the format, the processes undertaken, the methodologies, etc. Quite frankly, I had not been confronted or challenged in such a manner before. On the other hand, I felt the potential client had a perfect right to know exactly what to expect for the $15,000 our firm was going to charge for the valuation.

New Logo Available Exclusively to M&AMIs!

You asked, and we heard you! Over the past several months, M&A Source Headquarters has received several requests for a high-resolution M&AMI logo that could be used on your business cards, websites, and marketing materials. And now, the new high-resolution M&AMI logo is available for download!

Editor's Desk

As Chair of the Communications Committee and Editor of the BRIDGE, I welcome your questions, comments, suggestions, letters to the Editor, etc.  Our goal is to provide content that is relevant to our readers.  Your feedback will help us achieve that goal.

Members of The M&A Source are encouraged to submit articles for publication.
Mike Camerota,  M&AMI,  CBI 

Licensing Exemption Bill Update

We are at the tipping point!  Your action is critical right now! 


H.R. 686 is now active and is starting through committees.  The Senate version, S 1010, has been introduced and was assigned into the Senate Committee for Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs.  Both bills need co-sponsors and supporters.  


As a business or M&A broker, you will be explicitly exempted from requirements to register under federal securities law, subject to very realistic conditions and imposing nothing new on you that does not already apply today.  This requires passing the U. S. House Bill HR686 and the Senate Bill S1010. Hearings are starting now!


 Click Here to Read More

The Key to M&A Success:
Validate the Value of the Acquisition to the Buyer

Ron Stacey

Founder & Managing Director, Legacy Advisors


For an M&A transaction to close successfully, the seller should be able to show that the investment value to a specific buyer, or special-interest purchaser (with cash-flow-enhancing synergies), is greater than the value to the seller of keeping the business (without synergies). We call this difference in value an acquisition premium. In many cases, this premium can exceed 30% of the value without synergies. It is incumbent upon the seller to demonstrate to the buyer the business case necessary to justify the acquisition premium. Failure to do so results in a failure to close.

How Do You Grade Out as a Negotiator?
Michael Blanding
Senior Writer, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge 

Most negotiation training focuses on what happens before and during the talks. Michael Wheeler's new app, Negotiation 360, helps users improve their skills after the deal is completed.

We all know the feeling. After a hard negotiation we make the deal, put down the money, and feel excitement and relief that the bargaining is over. And then the doubts creep in. Did I get everything I could have? The truth is, it's very hard to know after we complete a negotiation exactly how we did.

Click Here to Read More

Certified M&A Professional Program Chet Walden Scholarship Winner!

The M&A Source's Certified M&A Professional Program is offered by the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. The inaugural five-day program, which was presented at the Coles College campus in March 2015, received rave reviews and was attended by M&A professionals from the United States, Canada and Africa. 

The curriculum, dedicated to privately held businesses, covered all phases of a successful M&A transaction - transaction validation and diligence; business valuation; financial analysis and tax planning; private equity funding; deal structuring and negotiations, and a special focus on best practices in M&A intermediation and consulting.

Welcome New 

M&A Source Members

Tom Shayoka
Susan Rosner
Ken Stein
Katherine Robertson
Geoffrey Veale

Bylaws Announcement 

This announcement is to inform the members of The M&A Source of an editorial change to the Bylaws of the M&A Source, specifically article 2.01 (d) regarding Life members.  Shown below is the original "Life Member" language.

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About Us
M&A Logo
The association is organized and operated to promote members' professional development to better serve their clients' needs, and to maximize public awareness of services performed by intermediaries and ancillary advisors who facilitate solutions available for lower middle market merger and acquisition transactions. 

The M&A Source was established in 1991 to address the challenges faced by merger and acquisition professionals. This international organization currently has more than 250 M&A dealmakers including intermediaries, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, financial planners and others involved in the M&A process.