Professional services business
In 2009 Oasis were asked to conduct a high level business review by the two founding owners of a Professional Services and consulting business that had been running for 12 months in an emerging sector. The business was doing $1M in sales, but the owners saw an opportunity for significant growth with the right strategic input. Their foremost concern was implementing a scalable organisational structure to facilitate their rapid growth while managing costs efficiently and the need to secure capital and funding.
Oasis M&A conducted a high level strategic and tactical business review developing a series of findings and recommendations regarding organic growth options. The shareholders reviewed and subsequently adopted our recommendations.
An initial recommendation was to form a management board to formally develop and guide company strategy and to provide cost effective ongoing support and governance for a young management team. Initially this consisted of the two founding owners and Oasis M&A CEO Michael McGrath, and over time grew to a board of six with two Non Executives including Mike McGrath from Oasis.
A further recommendation was to recruit a Finance Director and Administration resource to improve the quality of financial reporting, freeing up management to focus on what they were best at strategy and execution. Later reviews and recommendations dealt with the organisational design at various stages of growth.
Over the next 5 years, the business experienced rapid organic growth. The governance input from Oasis M&A helped mitigate significant growing pains, guiding the business to become a significant player in the business niche. Within two years the business began to make profits of 18% on revenue of C$3M. At that time it became clear that an acquisition of another interstate business which had exposure to a new but strategically important service area would be very complementary. An opportunity was sought and a target business eventually acquired. At the same time the business invested in further capability which again had a significant benefit and was part of the well-developed strategy for growth. The business then made a further smaller acquisition which doubled the size of the consulting division, whilst this was somewhat opportunistic the majority stake in the target company was secured without the need for any cash consideration and the business was strengthened through increased capability and expertise.
The business had now achieved a significant presence in an emerging sector and was raising the bar on where is wanted to play and was tendering for very large multi-year contracts but presented a potential balance sheet risk to certain Tier one companies. The board decided that fixing the balance sheet to allow it to be competitive might be important and Oasis were asked to help develop a range of exit options.
A strategic acquirer was identified and a transaction was eventually completed with an ASX listed group. Within 6 years the business had grown to from $1M revenue of $25M and the consideration paid by the acquiring party recognised the future potential of the business to them paying 12.5 times future earnings. It solved the balance sheet challenge in the business as it tendered for increasingly larger projects, the strategy was vindicated as within six months of the sale management secured a significant international contract which would not have been possible to fund without the exit. The management continue to lead the business with little day to day interference from the acquiring board.