M&A Knowledge for the IT Services Business Community.

IT Services Acquisitions: Opportunity First with a Bit of Therapy

Information Technology (IT) played a big role in how companies large and small managed their way through last year’s unexpected sea change in business operations. Virtually overnight, companies with a handful of offices had to move their centralized operations to hundreds of remote, mostly residential locations while also keeping their data safe and secure. America’s 30,000 IT services companies, the outsourcers who manage information technology operations for their clients, made that happen.

Cogent Growth Partners, an 11-year-old buy-side intermediary, helps IT services companies grow their talent pools and customer lists through strategic acquisitions. These transactions usually require a healthy dose of what we call Transaction Therapy™ to get the job done. Cogent’s buy-side approach to helping both sides during a transaction, coupled with our “therapeutic” services, sets us apart from traditional business brokers, and everyone else in the M&A space.

Cogent’s team works directly with the principals throughout the entire lifecycle of the process, often providing “Transaction Therapy” to both sides to help them stay focused on the “opportunity” and why they should be doing the deal, or not, instead of getting stuck in minute details that really don’t matter in the big picture. Cogent has managed more IT M&A transactions than any single buyer or seller will experience, so we know well what should really matter to both sides, which makes us perfectly suited to be the voice of reason throughout the transaction.

Cogent dives deep to understand the “why” behind every potential transaction and what that means to each side’s customers, employees and vendors. We are buy-side focused and will still be working with the buyer after closing. In addition, we are going to be working with the people on the sell-side who are joining the team. Cogent is Transaction Therapist that helps everyone win. This approach is very different from business brokers who are just focused on auctioning a company to the highest bidder. For them, the deal is a one-off transaction, and they move on.

Cogent works with its buy-side clients to identify good companies with complementary talent pools and customers that might be interested in being acquired, if the fit is right and the opportunity makes sense. Then, we encourage both sides to focus on building a trust-based reciprocal relationship during the initial “dating” process. We take great care to make sure all of our clients have the right attitude, corporate culture and financial resources needed to be congenial buyers capable of making sure that any prospective seller’s management (and even the owners themselves), employees and customers, will be valued long after the deal is closed. Even when all of that is done, we’ll still be there to help! Cogent believes that both sides want to be sure the completed transaction creates a comfortable “home” for the acquired company’s management, employees and customers.

Our Transaction Therapy kicks into high gear when the buyer and seller start asking, “Are we making the right decision?” and “Have we missed anything?” among the myriad of other second guessing. We pride ourselves on balancing all the opinions from various advisors and legal counsel for our clients and the seller. Having closed more than 140 IT Services company transactions, Cogent knows how to help both sides answer those questions with utmost confidence. The parties quickly learn that Cogent-facilitated acquisitions are friendly and effective – not adversarial. In fact, Cogent’s extensive experience in the IT services space has enabled the company to “crack the code” on granular due diligence pre-LOI, as well as transaction analysis, confirmatory due diligence, transaction documentation and acquisition completion. We use our proprietary processes and tools, which have been specifically designed to enhance value for both sides – not just the buyer’s, to make good deals happen. Throughout the Cogent relationship, our therapeutic approach helps the buyer and seller stay focused on running their respective companies, rather than being consumed in the acquisition process.

All the work we do, the way we do it, pays off when the transactions close in eight to 10 weeks from the LOI signing – a stark contrast to the industry average of three to 6 months or more. The firm’s trust-based approach wins the hearts and minds of buyers and sellers no matter how much or how little therapy they require. Throughout the Cogent transaction process, buyers and sellers recognize that Cogent is much more interested in the matchmaking behind the deal than the numbers needed to make it happen. As a result, the majority of the firm’s clients come back to Cogent when they are ready to grow again, and the sellers say nice things about us and often recommend us too.

About Cogent Growth Partners

Cogent Growth Partners, LLC, a buy-side intermediary for mergers and acquisitions, taps into the growth opportunities found in America’s IT businesses. Cogent has brought buyers and sellers together for over a decade, closing more than 140 deals, and still counting. Cogent accelerates the M&A timeline using a set of proprietary tools and processes that enable buyers and sellers to stay focused on running their respective businesses, while Cogent does the heavy lifting. Anyone who wants to know why Cogent is different, need look no further than our business card: “Providing Transaction Therapy™ for IT Business Owners Since 2010.” For more information on M&A in the IT Services sector and buy-side intermediary services, please visit www.cogentmergers.com, email us at [email protected] or call 678-820-5288.

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