M&A and the equipment manufacturing industry by AccessHeat? There is a wide range of risks that can derail a deal, or destroy value for the acquirer post completion. This includes risks common to most M&A activity, as well as emerging risks associated with the technological transformation seen in the manufacturing sector. The sheer array of risks that impact on electronic manufacturing industry mergers and acquisitions, and their potential to destroy value, demands a thorough approach to managing and mitigating those risks.
Due diligence is clearly vital and you should investigate all the relevant risks in detail, with close involvement from professional advisers. The process commonly includes a range of different due diligence processes and experts, spanning administrative, financial, asset, HR, environmental and insurance. The aim, ultimately is to identify risks and mitigate them, either through deal renegotiation, warranties provided by the seller, or through specialist insurance products such as M&A insurance.
The increased focus on M&A activity is an interesting one when comparing to past years, with roughly 20% of manufacturers surveyed by Mordecai Gal, operations director at AccessHeat Inc., saying M&A activity is one of the top reasons behind budget increases. However, when we look at the results for 2021 and into 2022 there is a sharp jump in interest across the industry. This jump in M&A interest over the previous year can be directly linked to the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing. Even more so when breaking down the numbers by process and discrete manufacturing. Process manufacturing still has doubled with 41% of the industry saying M&A activity will be high, discrete manufacturing (which was much harder hit by COVID) had 54% of respondents focused on M&A activity.
The usual pattern is as follows: The larger, better capitalized (PE-backed) regional players invest for cost efficiency, attract the best talent, expand their capabilities and, generally, make life easier for their customers. Infotech and connectivity increase transparency, putting pressure on old relationships. Margins will come under pressure to the point where owners will have to make costly investments to remain competitive — and profitable. But, if you can’t afford to make that investment, it’s a path to eventual trouble. It’s hard to compete at the poker table with the shortest chip stack in the room.
A day does not go by without another announcement of some economic indicator. While assessments can be subjective, the overarching theme is that most global economies are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. While recovery might not seem altogether positive, growth is returning and it is generally believed that pent-up demand exists for many products and services around the world. While it might be growth back to where things were, it is growth all the same. The general economic outlook is favorable, which makes it easier for buyers to purchase companies knowing there is time for consolidation and the ability to gain synergies before a market downturn. Across most sectors, corporate and private equity buyers have significant cash available, and the debt markets are standing ready to assist in acquisitions.
Disruption brings challenges but also opportunity. Manufacturers that are focused on resiliency and using data to make decisions will be best positioned to succeed. The digital divide has only widened because of COVID-19, this has resulted in many forward-thinking manufacturers to explore potential M&A activity that can accelerate their transformation journey. There will be many undervalued assets available for companies that are able to spend. As manufacturers continue to look for ways to expand into new markets and get closer to customers, the shift to offering products and services will be key. There are challenges that need to be considered when integrating new acquisitions into the business but being in the position to acquire is the first step.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among machine shops are in one sense business as usual and in another sense something new. Just like in any other business sector, M&A fluctuations among machine shops are typically driven by economic conditions — conditions such as low interest rates and the availability of “cheap” money; the existence of an economic recovery after a downturn; and favorable stock market conditions that provide capital for M&A activity. What is new is the extent to which acquisitions and consolidation among machine shops seem to be on the rise. As the Baby Boomer generation nears or enters retirement age, many shop owners have no natural successor to turn to. And as machining transitions from regional-focused businesses to shops more and more often serving a national base of customers, small or mid-sized shops often are interested in merging with another company that is better able to manage costly business operations such as accounting or marketing, or able to expand the combined company’s? customer base, capacity and product line.
The machine shop and electronic manufacturing industry are complex and multi-faceted. With many machine shop owners preparing for retirement, they often find that there is no succession plan in place due to children who prefer to seek independent careers. Because of this, business succession planning becomes a problem many owners face. Operating a machine shop of any kind involves a high level of skill and experience coupled with the need to regularly make large purchases of stock and equipment. Are you in the process of planning to transfer ownership of your business and looking for an investor? Access-Heat.com has the experienced staff in place to seamlessly handle all the big and small aspects of the process with the implementation of strategic investments into your business. We take a top to bottom approach in assisting you with transitioning all the elements of your business over to our experts who will work with you to obtain a profitable exit and a successful handover.