Evolution Capital has been providing premium corporate finance advice exclusively to ICT business leaders for nearly twenty years. With a client list of over two hundred well-known businesses in the industry, the market has changed dramatically since the company’s inception. However, the fundamental values upon which the enterprise has been built have changed little. The company has worked hard to create a unique proposition in the busy advisory field through building expertise and specialism to differentiate their service offering from the competition. They have underpinned a successful blueprint for transaction completion with a detailed process of preparation and planning enabling them to achieve a number of industry ‘firsts’.
Nigel Cook, Evolution Capital’s founder and MD, explains:
“When I created the company nearly two decades ago there were a host of business advisers selling companies like commodities but no-one was creating any value in these organisations as part of the disposal process. Subsequently, exit prices were not as high as they could have been and little thought was applied to building or finding hidden value prior to the sale. Twenty years on and the same advisers are still churning businesses without doing the analytical spadework to uncover the intrinsic value that can be converted into significant worth. Our approach typically manifests itself in higher sale prices. When I started the business I wanted to share with our clients the values of structured preparation, teamwork and integrity – all backed up by a team of market experts. It took me a while to find the right people and finesse a process to meet our goals but I can honestly say that we have achieved what we set out to do.”
Evolution Capital set out its stall to achieve outstanding transactional outcomes for its clients. There is no secret to how they do this other than create a defined process that prepares businesses for the best results by unlocking any hidden value in the organisations they represent.
Mike McKewen, a co-founder of ACS group, said “The team at Evolution Capital took us out of our comfort zone and questioned our existing processes and methodologies. It highlighted what we needed to do to exit the business at the right price.”
Today, ICT businesses are a lot more sophisticated than they once were. However, the fundamental prerequisites of preparation and planning remain constant. Technology and communications have evolved at such a pace that vendors’ business models have to be flexible and agile. The demand for good M&A consulting is as high as it has ever been but expectations are equally elevated. A good business disposal or acquisition depends on finding the right buyer for the right seller and Evolution’s reputation in the market is founded on concluding successful transactions. It is a holistic process and one that starts and ends with a proven approach.
Setting realistic expectations and delivering on their promises have defined Evolution’s success. Time is taken preparing their clients and analysing fundamental processes - a methodology that has taken years to evolve. It is an established process offering a high level of surety in the subsequent transaction.
The company depends on a deep level of expertise from within the team. A key member of this team is Duncan Gregory, Transaction Services Director and an expert corporate finance advisor.
He says,“After working in Corporate Finance for one of the big five consultancies for ten years I learned how transactions complete, or more importantly why they don’t complete. Too often the methods used to value businesses lack an accurate methodology and I quickly deduced that a broad range of multiples with no exact science behind them delivered poor results and failed transactions. Once you start analysing the fundamentals of a business such as the quality of contracts, the spread of revenues over the customer-base and the accuracy of the management accounts you can start to define where the opportunities are to increase value. It doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes the information is not always available but once you have it you can then start to look at increasing value, adjusting the EBITDA and applying higher multiples. Tracking wasted cost, reducing efficiencies and taking out one-off costs all have an important bearing on the big picture. Once our recommendations are applied, a leaner profit base complements a higher quality of earnings and we can determine greater business value.”
Evolution believes they provide their clients with a unique proposition to uncover hidden value in their business and they are completely focussed on helping them achieve it. They have been providing a fully managed service offering spanning two decades and are one of the few business advisors to provide such an extensive range of expertise. They know the market, the vast majority of potential acquirers – and importantly they know exactly what the buyers are looking for. The company manages all the aspects of an effective transaction enabling and enhancing offers. It is a bespoke process that requires careful supervision to avoid any disruption to the business during the engagement. However, providing so many successful outcomes needs complete focus, great attention to detail and plenty of good market intelligence.
The last word goes to another client Rob Lamden, founder of Between the Line Communication’s who said, “Evolution Capital identified a few potential problems at the beginning of the sale process, which did indeed occur, however the firm’s tenacity at working through these issues was exemplary. The team managed a difficult situation with great sensitivity and ensured the deal got done.”
Although the marketplace has changed significantly, the fundamentals of best practice and good advice have remained constant and the company continues to provide its clients with exceptional transactional outcomes. Entrepreneurs looking for advice and guidance on any element of business acquisitions can book a virtual ‘one-to-one’ with one of their experts here.