David Wyeth

Growth Partner, Exit Specialist

An experienced Growth Partner providing professional advice and support for clients who wish to grow or re-structure their business by sale or acquisition.  David works with a wide range of businesses but has a particular focus on the digital sector including Information Technology, Telecoms, Marketing, Communications, Recruitment and Consulting.  The typical business size is £0.5m to £25m revenue.  Having worked in the IT and Telecoms sectors for many years, he is able to apply this experience to businesses in these and related sectors.  David has extensive experience of business planning for growth, providing advice and support for business growth, exit planning, preparing businesses for sale and company sales and acquisitions.

David has 27 years general business advisory and specialist Mergers and Acquisitions experience gained with Barcroft, The Difference Corporate Finance and Alaris Corporate Finance.  Prior to that, he worked in the Private Equity industry for seven years with Baronsmead (now Livingbridge) and has nine years’ experience of the IT and Telecoms industry with the PA Consulting Group and Imperial Software Technology.

He is flexible working either alone or as part of a team.  He typically develops a long term relationship with a client to assist their growth.  He takes an innovative approach to company sales and acquisitions, focussing on seeing projects through to completion, and is used to building consensus among shareholders and between buyers and sellers.

Recent projects include:

  • Company Sale – The sale of a successful Agile Consultancy to the UK arm of an Indian IT Services Company. The sale enabled the Consultancy to overcome the constraints of its size and the lack of a development capability that were limiting its growth.
  • Business Sale – Due to changes in the marketplace, the owners of a business that designed and built retail kiosks for a number of major retail chains believed that the business would perform better if it was part of a larger group. The business was sold to a larger German company which operates in the same sector.
  • Acquisition – The acquisition of one of the top 10 UK Teacher Recruitment businesses for an Indian IT Company that wanted to gain critical mass in the Education Sector in the UK.
  • Exit Planning – For a Microsoft Dynamics Partner, a review of the growth potential and valuation range was carried out for two scenarios to assist the owners in making a decision regarding the future of the business.
  • Exit Planning – The CEO of a private company, focussed on distribution and supply chain logistics, required a quick high-level review and indicative valuation so he could decide on the time-frame for an exit for the business.
  • Business Start Up – Advising a successful team, which develop prototype business systems for future digital transformation strategies, on setting up their business and establishing an appropriate set of corporate relationships.

Case Study

Background: This Indian company had a focus on the education sector providing IT systems and services to schools, colleges and other educational establishments. They had established itself first in India and then in the US through a number of acquisitions. The company opened an office in the UK and built an initial base by acquiring three small businesses. However, in reviewing its international strategy, the Directors concluded that, although they had built an initial presence in the UK education sector, the UK business was below critical mass.

Challenge: There were a number of constraints including the typical valuation multiples for IT service companies and the resources available to make acquisitions. The challenge was to devise an acquisition strategy that satisfied these constraints.

Solutions: A number of sectors were analysed in terms of availability of suitable acquisition targets, client bases, revenues and valuation ranges. The opportunities realistically available were reviewed and the proposal made that the Company should acquire one of the leading UK teacher recruitment businesses. This proposal was agreed by the Directors.

The top ten UK teacher recruitment businesses were analysed and five were identified as potential acquisition targets. Four of the targets indicated initial interest and meetings were arranged between the Directors and the key representatives of these targets. Following these first meetings, further discussions were held with three of the target companies and eventually one was selected as the preferred acquisition target. Following negotiations on price and other factors, the business was acquired.

Benefits: This acquisition gave the Indian company critical mass in the UK, improved access to the UK education sector and a UK management team to meld all the UK businesses together.

Testimonial

Media 5 designed and manufactured retail kiosks for a number of major retail chains and IT vendors. Due to changes in the retail market, it had become clear that the business needed to be part of a larger organisation in order to continue its growth. We appointed David to handle the sale of the business as we realised that having an independent person to handle the sale process would allow the Media 5 management to continue to concentrate on the business and would encourage potential acquirers to take the sale process seriously. The objectives were to achieve a good price for the business and a continuing role for the management team as well as meeting a critical deadline for disposing of the warehouse lease. David worked very effectively with the management team to achieve a successful sale to the German company Pyramid GmbH within the required timescale meeting all the objectives.

Graeme Derby
Director Media 5 Solutions Ltd

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