What makes Eli Global So Unique? Part 2

Last week, we sat down with Kathy Million of the Eli Global M&A Corporate Team to talk about the unique ways that Eli helps company grow.

Here’s Part 2 of our interview.

Tell us how Eli Global approaches negotiations.

The M&A team typically works directly with sellers, and usually without an intermediary. This increases the importance of transparency, honesty, and relationship building.

This is a first time experience for many sellers; as a result, sellers may not understand the caliber of this process. This process must be thorough because we find out everything about their business, and a good amount about their personal life as well. To prepare sellers for the analysis of their business, we maintain exceptional communication with them.

Once areas for improvement are identified, the M&A team works with the seller on each item instead of sending them a checklist to fix themselves. It is important to us that problems are addressed as they come and not at the end of the negotiation. Transparency in discussion during due diligence is essential and is refreshing to sellers. Transparency does not always lead to closing a deal, as timing has to be right for all individuals involved.

Tell us about the relationships between Eli Global companies.

There is no corporate directive that forces companies to sell their products internally. There are, however, frequent occurrences that newly acquired companies can easily find partnerships or fulfill needs within Eli Global’s large portfolio of companies. These partnerships may not always be perfect, but they give those companies a larger network.

Just today I was able to connect a new company with a CEO that Eli Global has had in its portfolio for a long time. The fact that these companies could benefit from each other naturally, without being mandatory, makes the connection even more exciting.

Tell us how the Eli Global approach is different than competitors.

When speaking with sellers, it becomes quickly apparent when Eli Global is the fifth or sixth potential buyer with whom they have spoken. Sellers often have the same common experience with other people, but when our team speaks with them, they usually get a seat at the table because of our unique and different methodology.

Eli Global is so different for several reasons. We truly believe in our buy-and-hold business philosophy. In fact, we’ve never sold a business. Eli Global embraces the entrepreneur and wants them to stay involved. We are not going to change a brand. Sellers share that this is not what they are being told by other potential buyers. Other potential buyers are telling entrepreneurs they want to buy their company and transition them out in six months when they are nowhere near ready to leave their company. Having such a different structure from other companies allows Eli Global to excel.

Tell us what drew you to Eli Global.

Early in my career, I spent time as part of a large M&A transaction of one defense contractor buying another. It was an unpleasant experience because I saw and heard non-transparency behind the scenes. These conversations included executives telling the seller that everyone would be fine and that would not change their brand. Unfortunately, when the deal went through what the executives had said was not truthful.

After this experience, I was wary of M&A careers; I thought the M&A business was deceitful and played with people’s lives. My perspective changed when I spoke with an Eli Global recruiter that explained their methodology. This opportunity was refreshing and different.

This unpleasant, deceptive experience is something that sellers have also experienced. Some sellers have shared that they previously sold their company then bought it back because it was a bad experience that was not what they envisioned for their company. Eli Global aims to avoid these bad experiences.

Tell us why companies come to Eli Global.

CEOs, owners, and intermediaries may reach out to Eli Global or Eli Global may reach out to them. These people know that they are not ready to retire but acknowledge the fact that they have taken their company as far as they can without assistance. Eli Global provides the assistance they need to take their company to the next level without needing to retire.

Since we’re privately owned, we have flexibility in our deal structures. Due to this flexibility, sellers can be accommodated to their desires. A contract can accommodate a case where an owner or CEO would like to exit soon or several years after being acquired, but 85 to 90 percent of the time, owners chose to remain running their business.