At Rockworth, our main focus is advising on the sale of privately-owned businesses.
We work on a small number of deals at any one time. This allows us to give every project our fullest attention and commitment, and every client the close support and quality of service they expect.
Our clients come from a wide range of different industry sectors, and every transaction we work on has a unique set of priorities and objectives. We generally advise businesses with EBIDTA of between £1m and £20m. But we encourage companies of any size to contact us for an initial conversation.
We support our clients at every stage of the transaction process, always working in close collaboration and providing trusted advice, grounded in on our decades of experience as a lead advisory firm.
Maximising value is a top priority for any deal. But it is rarely the only factor to consider.
It is important to set clearly defined strategic and personal exit objectives from the start.
This can shape the rest of the transaction process, helping to ensure the structure and terms of the final deal are properly aligned with shareholder goals.
Prior to approaching buyers, we will build a detailed understanding of your business. We do this through a combination of in-depth conversations and rigorous financial and commercial analysis.
The result is a clear and compelling narrative about the business’s past, present and future, underpinned by solid evidence and well reasoned assumptions.
This phase also helps us to define the potential universe of buyers – those organisations which will see most value in your business’s potential.
During the research phase, we use our networks, proprietary database and third-party tools to identify credible buyers.
We look beyond the obvious to identify buyers who will see the most value in your business. Depending on the profile of your business, the list of buyers could include both financial acquirers (including private equity) and trade buyers from relevant industries both in the UK and overseas.
The final step of the research process is to review our full list with our client – making sure we capture their expertise and filter out any companies that should not be approached due to commercial sensitivities.
At this stage, we begin our initial approaches to potential buyers, exploring their acquisition strategy and gauging the extent to which your business could be a suitable target.
Confidentiality is crucial. We take a strict and controlled approach, only revealing the name of your business to serious buyers who are prepared to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.
Unlike many other corporate finance advisers, we also protect your business by not circulating detailed Information Memorandums. Instead, we invite interested buyers to meet with you and your management team as soon as possible.
You will only meet with parties who have been pre-qualified by Rockworth as credible buyers. Following these meetings, buyers can request the data and documents they reasonably require, in order to help them put a value on the acquisition.
Robust and intelligent negotiation can make a significant difference to the final outcome. At Rockworth, we draw on both technical knowledge and practical experience from 20 years of transactions to make the most of the negotiation phase.
Our goal is to maximise the headline value of the deal, as well as ensuring the structure and detailed terms of offers received are closely aligned with shareholder objectives.
Once a preferred offer has been finalised and signed, we continue to work alongside the seller throughout the due diligence and completion process.
Until the transaction is completed, our role is both project manager and problem-solver. We keep all parties focused on achieving an efficient completion, and we step in to find solutions to whatever challenges or disagreements may occur during the final stages of the transaction.
We often work with clients who are planning to sell their business in the medium to long term.
Preparing for an exit over a three to five-year period can bring real opportunities to significantly increase the sale value of the business. It also allows for the identification and resolution of any issues within the business that have the potential to slow down, or even derail, the eventual transaction.
We can work with you to analyse and optimise the aspects of your business that affect value – factors such as strategic positioning, succession planning, cost control, and growth forecasting. We can also review areas of your business such as record keeping and management reporting, making sure that a future acquirer will be able to access the historic information that they will expect to see.
There are various other ways we can support businesses, and we would always encourage potential clients to get in touch to discuss how we might work together. Some examples of other services we provide include:
Buy-side mandates – for companies seeking to build value through strategic acquisition, we offer market mapping, deal origination, valuation and transaction management services.
Fundraising – we offer advice for companies seeking to raise finance from sources including private equity funds, venture capital and corporate venturers, family offices and venture debt providers.
Share Purchase Agreement review – when a seller has accepted an unsolicited offer or managed a sale process without a corporate finance adviser, we can step in to advise on and negotiate the details of the Share Purchase Agreement.
Valuations – we can provide an objective view on what your business might be worth if you took it to market today.
Rockworth has access to capital for investment into smaller businesses. Our investment approach is to support founders who have a clear intention to exit at a future date, at a significantly higher valuation than they could achieve today.
We typically aim to make minority investments in companies with EBITDA of up to £1m. Depending on the business’s needs, our investment can be used to finance growth plans, de-risk the founders’ position, or a combination of the two.
We are not a venture capital firm and we do not restrict our investments to companies aiming for exponential growth. We are primarily interested in established, profitable businesses seeking capital and support in order to build value and achieve a solid exit in the medium-term.
We are highly engaged investors. We will take a seat on the board, providing strategic advice to support sales growth and improve profitability. We will also help lay the foundations for a smooth, successful and well-timed exit.
When the time comes to sell, we know the business inside and out. This puts us in an ideal position to manage the sale process for all the shareholders.