James is a founder and Senior Partner at GRAPH. He has more than 17 years’ experience in strategy consulting, having served clients throughout Europe, North America and Asia. READ MORE
Winning in the Swing States – Commercial Due Diligence Lessons from Political Strategy
This Thursday, 650 constituencies will go to the polls for the UK elections. But in all likelihood, the election will be won and lost in just 100 or so key marginal seats (or “swing states,” for US readers) - constituencies where the winning margin at the last election was less than 5% of the vote.
Maximising the Effectiveness of Early-Stage Commercial Diligence
We’re seeing a pronounced shift - from clients across the Private Equity landscape – towards conducting more, and earlier, “pre-deal” commercial work.
Assessing the Impact of Cyclicality in an Investment – a Voice-of-Customer Informed Diligence Approach
Goldman Sachs recently forecast that US growth will slow “significantly” in 2019. And with the US economy now in its second longest period of growth since WWII, it would be surprising if there wasn’t a decline at some point in the coming years. Given that context, it’s no surprise that more of our clients seem increasingly keen to understand how a prospective acquisition would perform in…
An Alternative Approach to Capturing the Potential of IoT Investments
Judging by my recent conversations with clients, it seems that IoT (and more broadly, Industrial Tech) is a focus for both corporate and PE investors right now.
Commercial Diligence Tips for Tech-Enabled Service Businesses
Many recent PE deals have targeted businesses that apply technology to help customers streamline processes which have previously been manual and “paper-based.”
Three Key Steps for Crafting a Robust Value Generation Plan
Value creation ("Value Gen") isn’t easy right now. Average transaction multiples are at their highest level in 10 years. More and more prospective targets have already been through multiple rounds of PE ownership, with the “easy and obvious” value improvements already made. Fewer proprietary deals seem to exist.
A Commercial Due Diligence Perspective on Buyer Power
Everyone will be familiar with the concept of “Buyer Power” as described in Michael Porter’s famous framework. Indeed, almost all commercial due diligence exercises include some examination of TargetCo’s customers’ purchasing power – more specifically, the customers’ ability to apply pressure to lower prices or drive improvements in product (and service) quality, features and…
In virtually every CIM and VDD doc that I read recently (for B2B business, at least), an early page highlights a set of corporate logos of the target company’s key customers. Logos for large, well-known businesses are great; logos for significant and “cool” customers – those that are recognized as movers and shakers – are expressed boldly to help create “lift.”
Available Market Size
Why Large Markets Can Sometimes Feel Very Small (and why Addressable Market is insufficient) We’ve written before about the need to clearly define markets to inform accurate sizing. But even with the clearest possible definition, one other piece of analysis is critical, and is often overlooked – quantifying what we like to call the Available Market Size.
Many Private Equity deals involve a “platform and add-on” play – predicated at least in part on “bigger is better”. Among the various benefits of consolidation, some of the most commonly cited value gen opportunities relate to bundling and cross-selling. Just this year, we’ve worked on deals from building products to processed meats where this has been a key part of the investment…