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Quickest Deal Ever?

29th September 2013 -

Royal Mail Deal Already Done!

It only seems very recently that plans to privatise Royal Mail were aired publically, though it has, of course been touted about for a long time. On September 27, the dreaded Peston, in his BBC column, stated that shares would be available “within a few hours”. Is this one of the quickest big deals ever? We’d be interested to hear your comments.

About once a year we do what I’d describe as a “one hit wonder”, a deal quickly flipped to the first, maybe even only enquirer. My personal record is about 5 weeks from getting the mandate to completion, in this case I hadn’t even written the profile, but I knew enough about both parties to realise there was a deal to be done. We have a large database of people on the other side and, as part of our own due diligence before commencing, we will often speak with several of them to get an impartial view on a potential engagement. The benefits are obvious, and that’s also why we go to lengths to understand buyers objectives, needs, skills & knowledge. This sometimes involves the rapidly dying art of picking the phone up and talking with people, and we are also partial to meeting face to face. We don’t do a vast amount of buy-side work but we are exposed to slow, often automated and non personal responses & poorly written memos that don’t really help. And this from agents who presumably have taken money from the clients to do a job.

We really think we’re different at Isis Business Brokers. We take a smaller number of mandates, and only when we’re very confident of success, and work each on very hard. Engagement fees are nice, but barely cover the office expenses, so we have to succeed to earn a wage. We also put our client at the heart of what we do, not our own P&L, and only when we can satisfy both will we take some money off them.

The Royal Mail deal is a bit outside our normal deal scope but do contact us if you’re thinking of buying or selling a business now or in the near future.