Business Tip Image by Pete Linforth from PixabayThis is the 51st in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed. Enterprise Times recently spoke to Mark Bloomer, the UK Managing Director of Arribatec, a Unit4 and Rambase partner. He spoke about how Arribatec has evolved recently, aiming to function as a coordinated global group rather than the separate group of entities it came into being as. Bloomer himself joined the company after it acquired Integra (a Unit4 partner). I asked him if he had a tip for business leaders looking to sell their business to a larger partner organisation.

Mark Bloomer, the UK Managing Director. Arribatec
Mark Bloomer, the UK Managing Director. Arribatec

“It depends where they’re coming from. They’ve got to think about what’s right for them. People’s motivations for doing that, are very different. We had two motivations in the UK. One was, we’d reached a plateau where we felt that to do more, to serve customers better, there needed to be an investment in things like product development, selling, and partnering. We could have tried to do some of those things organically, but selling to a bigger group made a lot of sense. The next step in expanding in the UK and serving our customers better was most easily served by joining a bigger group. For us, we’d reached a natural point where that was a question of how do we serve customers in the UK market better, and joining a big group was the answer. Our motivation was from that point of view. Obviously, business owners all have their own motivations.”

With hindsight, anything to add?

Would you do anything differently during that transaction?

“No, I don’t think there is because, in the Unit4 space, there are a limited number of players. We had some awareness of most of them already. We could have gone down more than a broker marketplace; really look for the highest bidder in a range of tech companies. What we wanted to do was serve our end customers. And to find somebody to work with well, where we felt they were a really good match to our own ethos. We’re not a massive company, and we all know each other. Many of us have worked together for years. What we were looking for was to find a home that we were really comfortable with, a company that we were comfortable with.

“That cultural fit was really important for us. It didn’t make sense for us to go out to business brokers. It made sense for us to talk to some of the existing players in the marketplace because, for Unit4, that’s not a huge market. We knew most of the players. We’ve been around a long time. We had an idea of some of the companies that we might want to work with.”

When you say brokers, do you mean going for an investment or PE money?

“There are various brokers out there who will sell your business. Put together prospectuses and go out and try and drum up business amongst their customer base. They will have a big database of tech companies interested in expanding and the areas they want to expand in. There are quite a few out there, quite niche operators, small operators who will do that for you. We came across several but decided that wasn’t really the way for us to go.”

So, you want to be CMO, some advice.





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