When Takeover Targets Become Takeover Artists

Equity Values are Falling. Instead of Panicking, Why not Buy Out a Competitor?

by François M. de Visscher

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, family businesses usually think of themselves as potential targets, not acquirers. But now may be the perfect time to start thinking more like a potential buyer.

Several economic factors are converging to create a buyer’s market in the acquisitions arena:

  1. Valuations of private companies have dropped along with public valuations. When family companies see their own valuations diminishing, they often assume a defeatist attitude. It’s harder to create liquidity for shareholders. But the value of your competitors has likely fallen as well. That’s good if you’re a potential buyer. Instead of retrenching into a defensive posture, consider going on the offensive, by expanding or developing new lines and getting into new markets. Think of an acquisition as a different way to create value for future generations of shareholders.  More…