Having an independent mergers and acquisitions adviser who combines a hands-on approach with global reach could go a long way
“Mergers and acquisitions is a people’s business, which is why companies seeking advice should look for a personal touch.”
So says Ronny Grosman, managing director of Blackwood Capital Group, the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) boutique that specialises in cross-border M&A and corporate finance advisory.
“Many boutiques offer international market access through membership networks which include advisors abroad – but it does not always mean that the person you are speaking to in the UK has on-the-ground experience in your target country,” says Grosman. “This sets us apart from other M&A advisory firms.”
While Blackwood has grown since opening its London office in 2002, the partners deliberately choose to stay involved in all transactions, from beginning to end.
“The partner that the client speaks to initially stays with the deal throughout – not something usually seen from bigger M&A firms and banks, where you may find your deal is farmed out to more junior staff,” says Thomas Kardos, co-head of Blackwood.
The firm’s stated aim is to deliver high-quality, independent advice unencumbered by external influences. “Our objective is to create lasting client relationships that generate repeat business,” says Kardos.
Both operating partners have worked for bulge bracket investment banks (Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Brothers) and have wide experience in a variety of industries globally.
They have worked in offices in London, Frankfurt, New York and San Francisco which, combined with the fact that they speak six languages between them, helps them to understand the nuances of local cultures.
Blackwood has worked with large multinational corporations, such as Adecco, for which it completed transactions in four continents, while in the mid-market it has recently advised family-controlled Groupe CRIT on the acquisition of PeopleLink in the US.
It has also worked on transactions including the acquisition of former Rexam subsidiary Petainer by two UK private equity funds (for which it also arranged debt financing) and provided advisory services for Coffeeheaven relating to its acquisition by Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee.
Blackwood operates out of its offices in London, New York, Frankfurt and Zurich.