Gavin Weigh was the CEO and founder of RapidBlue Solutions. They were based in Helsinki and provided retail analytics. They were purchased by Chicago’s ShopperTrak earlier this year, in a deal Corum was thrilled to be able to assist. He had some words for us at our last webinar.
“At the end of 2012, RapidBlue was approached by a large market research firm who had a great interest in our technology platform and the business that was built around it. It became clear to us quite quickly that we would be attractive to a multitude of different companies in different industries.
With this in mind, we approached Corum, who helped us build an auction process, a secondary process around how to navigate through, not just due diligence, but also through receiving successful offers. We followed Corum’s process around building an auction for RapidBlue. This involved a series of approximately 20 management presentations to a variety of companies including IBM, WalMart, and Microsoft.
ShopperTrak quickly, for us, became the most attractive company, as they are a direct industry leader. We found that our original possible acquirer came in with offers that were not as attractive for us as some of the others we received later.
So, we went forward with ShopperTrak and we entered into due diligence. It took approximately two-and-a-half months. There were very limited delays and I think both parties feel afterward that the process was relatively smooth. I would put a lot of that down to us having a clear template to follow provided by Corum and also by ShopperTrak having their own process.
My advice to any CEO going into or considering going into an acquisition process is to engage in an auction. If you are attractive to one industry player, there is a high likelihood that you will be able to engage several other players who will be interested in acquiring your firm and ultimately receive better terms. Focus on maintaining normal business and insure that your books remain healthy. It’s one less thing to worry about. If business is growing and the sales are coming in, you will find that due diligence and the whole acquisition process is perhaps a less stressful event.”