How do you find acquisition targets?

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    How do you typically do to find acquisition targets? One way is of course through your network of co-workers and M&A advisors, but beyond that to find privately owned companies that are not officially for sale?


    Most of them go through proprietary search cold calling and meeting CEOs in various conferences.

    Sean Mullin

    Agree – or using industry databases like hoovers, SP Global IQ, local business registries, etc.

    Po Huang

    Go through a list of competitors, suppliers, and customers and perform market analysis, product analysis, and using industry data such as using industry databases like SP Global IQ, stock market data..etc.


    I am just starting, so I can not speak from experience, but I am listening to podcasts in my field of search (ex. machinery, SME, logistics) and it is a starting point to hear about interesting targets.

    Wilhelm Lee

    Sometimes they are seller driven. For example, they want to spin off non-core divisions. Or perhaps the parent is short of cash.


    You could contact a data broker and ask them to compile a list of companies in a particular sector, at a required revenue size and location. Once you have that list, write to the owner or make a call. Good post question, thank you.


    The best way to approach the list of targets is to know your industry very well. This should provide a handful of target buyers, who are either in your space or are in a parallel space.

    You can then consult with a paid advisor, who is working mainly with organisations in your sector. This will provide a fresh approach, with ideas for potential acquirers outside of your immediate vicinity.

    Kate Powers

    It is also helpful to look at precedent transactions on Pitchbook.

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