We work with owners and management teams, advising them throughout their business journey, including raising finance, making investments, MBOs and ultimately selling.
Here at Meridian, our “next step thinking” approach is all about providing focussed guidance as deal strategists, project managers and transaction negotiators, based upon our technical knowledge of various types of transactions and years of deal experience.
To advise you on best outcomes, we need to understand all aspects of what makes your business tick - not just the numbers!
A management buy-out (MBO) is a life changing opportunity; where appropriate we will personally invest alongside you
This type of transaction can provide you with the potential to achieve the twin goals of owning your own business and enjoying financial rewards, far more than those available as a salaried executive. Advising management teams on this complicated process is a core skill for Meridian and our team has successfully delivered many transactions of this type. In fact, we undertook our own MBO in 2008 so we really know what we are talking about and can completely empathise with the process!
The process will require a lot of time and energy, which can detract from the day to day running of the business. We want you to maintain focussed on running the business, leaving us to negotiate with the vendor (which has the added benefit of de-personalising the process), research the potential funders, negotiate with these funders and achieve the best investment structure for you and your management team.
We offer specialist knowledge and resources in the following areas;
- Preparation of Business Plans and Financial Models
- Sourcing the finance
- Structuring the transaction
- Deal strategy – leading the negotiations
We are focussed on delivering the best possible outcome for your MBO and if we feel that we can assist at board level following the transaction we may consider alongside investing by mutual consent. Our blend of experience and negotiation skills ensures that we are well positioned to also deliver significant tangible “added value”.
You will only sell your business once appoint the experts
Selling your business
Headline valuation is obviously key but the terms of the sale, structure of the offer and the overall deliverability need to be carefully considered and planned. All too often a buyer will potentially have differing views on your requirement to stay in the business going forward and these also need to be addressed early on.
Appointing an adviser early should enable you to continue to focus on the running of the business as opposed to the running of a sales process. A good adviser should help steer you through the process, helping you to prepare your business for sale, present it to potential purchasers and represent you in all negotiations. This should de-personalise the discussions and ensure the debate around value, deal structuring and deliverability remains at an arm's length, removing any emotion from the process; particularly if you are contemplating selling to your management team.
At Meridian, we are hands-on advisers. With your help, we aim to gain a deep understanding of your business and its market. This knowledge ensures that we can carry out a carefully targeted search for the right buyer. Once we have researched the market, we then agree a marketing strategy, distribute information on a controlled and confidential basis, assess potential purchasers’ financial and management status and negotiate offers. We understand the commercial sensitivity of placing your business up for sale. Our methodology is to employ a “targeted” approach to potential acquirers rather than approaching every single company in the sector, without undertaking detailed research on their financial ability and motivation to acquire your business.
Once your buyer is identified, we manage the correspondence and negotiations with them which will result in a signed offer agreement known as a "Heads of Terms". After agreeing the Heads of Terms, we manage the due diligence and legal process to completion, all the time providing hands on support, conducting the negotiations on your behalf.
We also work with businesses that have already received an offer and even at this late stage, we can offer significant input and value around improving terms and overall deal deliverability and structure; we have numerous examples. Our execution expertise ensures that the deal is completed in a smooth and timely manner.
Meridian has great access to some of the most successful entrepreneurs and high growth companies in the South of England
Meridian often invest in engaged client businesses across a wide range of sectors that fit our criteria. Our aim is to add value and expertise to companies and assist them through applying our “next step thinking” in achieving their growth objectives, with the ultimate goal of assisting with a profitable exit at the right time.
We typically invest between £50,000 and £500,000 and focus on backing dynamic and proven management teams. We do not ask for any control in the business and usually take a minority stake.
Meridian have an enviable track record assisting in the delivery of significant shareholder value by becoming more involved and gaining a more in depth understanding of your business. Don’t take our word for it, we have several early and late stage companies, as well as investments that we have exited that demonstrate that working with Meridian has been game changing.
Current and previous investments include: 23.5 Degrees, Base4, Blis, Cega (sold to Charles Taylor plc), C&S Associates, Diametric, Dream Doors, FourTees, HCR (sold to management), Keystone, loveholidays (sold to Livingbridge PE), Mailock, Newswhip, Processflows (sold to Konica Minolta Inc.), RMA (sold to NTT Inc), Stormagic, Stewart Signs, Zenergi (sold to August PE).
There are numerous funding structures; our expertise is in helping you find the most appropriate solution
Our team has considerable experience in banking and venture capital, having been directly responsible for structuring debt and investments. This provides our clients with direct banking credit committee knowledge and insightful views on VC investment criteria, including charges, portfolio dependencies and sector preferences. We only approach funders who have a proven appetite and with whom we have developed long term relationships. We also run Meridian Growth Capital, an early stage technology fund and our own portfolio of investments, so we regularly assess funding opportunities from an investors’ perspective.
Whether you require capital to fund expansion, strengthen the balance sheet, make acquisitions or to de-risk with shareholders taking cash “on the table”, Meridian have an extensive network and access to finance. Through our strong relationships and understanding of key finance providers including banks, private equity / venture capital, high net worth investors and specialist commercial finance houses, we can help by providing the following services;
- Advising on funding sources and negotiating the best deal
- Covenant setting and testing
- Debt advisory
- Writing business plans and preparing detailed financial models
We undertake all the meetings with you and the comfort that you get is that you have the experienced bankers on the team dealing with the banks and successful investors dealing with the investment providers. We speak your language but crucially we understand the right questions to ask on your behalf.