A Summit of Acquisitions
What is the process of identifying a potential acquisition?
Bennett: Acquisition candidates generally come from three sources. First, at SBM, we have a business-development team in place whose time is dedicated to looking for good fits to the business, generating interest and cultivating relationships. Secondly, our experienced management team has developed its list of good add-on acquisition candidates. … Third, we work closely with the investment-broker community, who have their ears to the ground and routinely provide intelligence on companies that they consider good fits for our business. We’ve used all of these resources during our recent acquisition activity.
You [Reilly] commented that Summit “… will continue to make follow-[up] acquisitions as appropriate to support our growth strategy.” Can you be more specific?
William Reilly: While we do not want to telegraph our moves to the marketplace, Summit Business Media is in a growth mode. Growth will come from both organic growth and strategic acquisitions like the Agent Media transaction.
Are there any specific attributes that you look for in a company when evaluating a potential acquisition?
Bennett: Obviously, the industries served need to be able to provide good growth opportunities. Another important factor is how the businesses have performed in down markets. Finally, we like businesses that have good processes in place and display disciplined reporting procedures.
What other kinds of companies are you on the lookout for these days?
Bennett: We are very disciplined in our acquisition approach. We feel there are solid opportunities within the markets we currently serve. Having said that, we also need to be opportunistic and look for companies that meet our acquisition criteria, but may be outside of our immediate market sweet spots.
Where would you like Summit to be in five years?
Bennett: Our goal is to build SBM into a $500 million-plus … media company by adding to our financial services, insurance and professional services assets, acquiring quality assets in non-related industries that share similar traits, diversifying revenue streams with increasing contribution from electronic, database and event products, and efficiently managing the businesses.