We relocate to an acquired company to join the remaining senior management team in an acquired firm. This differs substantially from the vast majority of private equity groups in the market. We do fewer deals and work side-by-side in operating roles with the management team. This enables us to invest in situations with a current or projected management vacuum — e.g. an owner-operator who wishes to retire shortly after sale or an estate/probate sale.
We invest in companies where we can obtain a controlling interest and assume day-to-day management. We focus on smaller (<$20 million total enterprise value) businesses in the industries we know best. While a number of situations may lead to a good investment opportunity, we believe our unique resources position us well to invest in any of the following:
- Leadership succession opportunities where an owner/operator is looking to transition to a new role or retire
- Companies that are currently underperforming, thereby requiring capital and/or management leadership
- Divestitures, carve-outs or spin-outs
In searching for acquisition candidates, Phoenix Strategy relies heavily on investment bankers, business brokers, accountants, lenders, and attorneys to help us find good investment opportunities. We enjoy positive and mutually rewarding relationships with these intermediaries, and we work hard to be considerate, confidential, and responsive.
Phoenix strives to be as transparent as possible through the acquisition process. We understand how difficult a sale can be for existing owners and other stakeholders. Once we have learned of an opportunity and come to understand it at a high level, we will make a preliminary indication of our interest and inform the seller, or intermediary, as appropriate.
We then initiate in-depth due diligence, including conducting market research; assessing business and market conditions, management, products, competition, customers and vendors; developing financial models; and benchmarking performance against industry peers. Phoenix Strategy's evaluation of an acquisition candidate is on a confidential basis and takes into account issues such as employee welfare and an owner's tax planning.
Following detailed due diligence, Phoenix will negotiate investment terms, develop a financial and ownership structure, contact potential lenders (as, or if, needed), and submit a letter of intent. After mutually agreeing on the terms of the transaction, the final step is documentation and funding of the transaction.
After the transaction is complete, Phoenix Strategy works to smoothly transition the existing owner with minimal disruptions for customers, employees, and suppliers. Our management team takes over day-to-day operations of the business, and members of the investor team actively participate on the Board of Directors or as informal advisors to the company.