Insights & Info

Insights > Synergistic Acquisition: What You Need to Know about Optimal Buyers

Synergistic Acquisition: What You Need to Know about Optimal Buyers

By Generational Equity

optimal buyers

The sub-title of the press release said it all:

“Purchase Complements Company’s Portfolio of In-home Covers with Outdoor Product Line”

The operative word above is “complement.” If you look the word complement up in the dictionary, it means:

Something that completes or makes perfect: A good wine is a complement to a good meal.

The quantity or amount that completes anything: We now have a full complement of packers.

Either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart

I took the liberty of bolding the last definition because I believe in the realm of M&A activity and buyer motivations, it sums up what a complementary acquisition is. In a win-win scenario a buyer will find a seller that creates a new entity comprised of the best of both prior companies. This is what synergies are really all about.

In the transaction I am referring to, a portfolio company of Guardian Capital Partners (GCP), Sure Fit, acquired a company named Patio Armor. Patio Armor offers covers for patio furniture, barbecue grills, and other outdoor products. Sure Fit is a provider of slipcovers and home solutions and has been owned by GCP since a buyout in December 2009.

Complementary and Synergistic are Synonymous

If you visit their respective websites you will see why this deal is truly “complementary.” Sure Fit primarily manufactures slipcovers for indoor furniture. Patio Armor does the same but only for exterior furniture. So in one transaction, Guardian Capital Partners has combined two entities into one with a perfectly synergistic product and market fit. This is how Hugh Rovit, CEO of Sure Fit described it:

"The Patio Armor brand will immediately strengthen our portfolio of solution-oriented covering products for the home. This acquisition is an excellent fit with our stated growth strategy to expand our category leadership position through both organic means as well as synergistic, bolt-on acquisitions that (a) expand our product line with complementary brands and categories, (b) increase and extend our market penetration and (c) provide for sourcing, operational and distribution synergies."

Note the three areas emphasized in their acquisition plans – product line expansion, increased market penetration, and new sourcing/distribution opportunities. Normally if you can obtain one of these in an acquisition you will be happy. In this case it was a home run as the new entity will expand Sure Fit into new products and markets and provide new sources of goods.

These are synergies that many acquirers can only dream about. It would be a safe bet to assume that Guardian Capital Partners looked at hundreds of acquisition targets before settling on Patio Armor. And they must literally have been salivating as they went through due diligence and realized the extensive synergies that they would be able to obtain through this acquisition.

Your Company Could be “Complementary”

The key takeaway here for you if you are considering the sale of your company is this: Realize that in order to get optimal offers for your firm, you will need to clearly understand what motivates individual buyers – what they are looking for – and how your company can match those needs. This is not easy to do. But Generational Equity has written a whitepaper on the subject of buyer motivations and synergies. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

Another issue to consider is this: Many of you don’t have faith that there are buyers out there interested in your business. You simply don’t realize how the “off-balance sheet” assets that you have can be leveraged to create a win-win scenario for you with the right buyer.

If you would like to learn more, I would invite you to attend one of our free M&A workshops. While there you will be able to explore in depth about why your company might be a good acquisition target and the steps you will need to take to ensure you close an optimal deal when you sell. 

And remember, there are hundreds and hundreds of buyers out there just like Guardian and Sure Fit. You just might be surprised who might be interested in your company.

© 2011 Generational Equity, LLC All Rights Reserved

Make an informed decision

The best decisions in life are informed decisions. We release educational business insights like this every week. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the latest news, views and analysis.


Success, you have been added to our list.

Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.
Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.
Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.
Pete L.
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!
Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.
Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.