Ascend is a leading boutique M&A Advisory firm focusing exclusively on the middle-market. With a proven track record of closed transactions across the US, our extensive CPA knowledge and experience, along with our team of expert bankers and affiliates, allows us to generate successful outcomes for our clients.
Our focus is to stay TIME DRIVEN, identify the RIGHT BUYERS so we can generate the BEST OVERALL DEAL.
Our 150-day transaction process keeps deals from falling apart. Excess time kills most transactions. We employ a “Shark Tank” analysis, asking the right questions to generate a deep dive into the strengths and vulnerabilities of your company. This approach yields answers that prepares management for the diligence ahead, addressing issues timely and keeping positioning on track.
The “RIGHT” buyer is one that wants or needs your company strategically. Our ability to identify these buyers and engage them in a competitive bidding process is key to what sets us apart. Broad auctions cast a wide net that can lose many of the best buyers, waste time sifting through unqualified ones and risk confidentiality. Our job is to drop a targeted net into the “RIGHT” buyer pool facilitating the most advantageous match possible. These buyers can pay 25%+ more than other prospects due to their strategic needs and capabilities.
BEST OVERALL DEAL
Our valuation and deal terms strategies are designed to generate the best overall deal. Our extensive CPA experience offers us the unparalleled ability to identify and increase EBITDA add-backs most never see. We focus on maximizing cash proceeds in your pocket, while minimizing deal risk, through proper preparation. Structuring integral components such as working capital, escrows, advantageous tax positioning, rep & warranties and constructing back-end value opportunities, are all key to optimum deal success.
"Velcon Filters, an aviation manufacturer was initially sold to a multi-billion-dollar private equity group and then to a $15 billion strategic buyer. Our client retained 25% of the company in the original transaction (so they could have a second bite of the apple) and was bought out entirely in the second acquisition. Total sales proceeds to our client on these two deals exceeded $100 million. They received this amount because Ascend was able to increase their financial statement EBITDA almost 50% on the original M&A transaction and it withstood due diligence by KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm retained by the buyer."
"EcoInteractivea transportation technology company was sold to a large Private Equity Group for approximately 10 times EBITDA. We structured a transaction with this buyer to maximize value for our client. Thisincluded a one year earn-out which we were highly confident our client could achieve (and did). Ascend attended due diligence meetings (regarding financials, operations, and technology) in addition to daily client/buyer communications. Ascend’s targeted approach allowed this transaction to close in approximately 75 days from LOI. "
"Pumpman, a field services company in theindustrial water pump sector,was sold to a private equity group in the process of a strategic roll-up.Because we positioned our client as their platform, we were able to obtain a price 20%+ higher than what was offered from any of the other prospective buyers. Our client was amazed that we were able to find that “right buyer” who was willing to pay so much more than what consistently appeared to be top of the market. "
"Ascend sold Creditreport.com, a credit monitoring and financial services company Experian for over $220 million. Ascend identified Experian early in the process as a top prospect. We then worked with our client to create the business plan and the go forward projections, along with increasing the EBITDA from $10 million to $18 million by identifying a significant number of unique (previously unknown) add-backs. These addbacks withstood the scrutiny of Ernst & Young, a Big Four accounting firm retained by the buyer. "
"Micro Dental, then the second largest dental laboratory in the country, was sold to a Private Equity Firm. Prior to beginning the sales process, Ascend worked with Micro Dental for several years Value-Building and preparing them for a successful outcome. Ascend obtained eight strong prospective buyers. Seven of them submitted offers of $45 to $48 million, but we identified early on that 8th buyer who fell in love with our client. Because we identified that “right buyer” early, we were able to court them, giving them the attention and focus needed to negotiate the most optimum results for our client. The final transaction resulted in a sales price of $60 million, 25% higher than any other offer."
“CT, a performance materials company was sold by Ascend to DSM, a $17 billion European strategic, with upfront cash plus a potential earn-out for a purchase price of up to $80+ million. Our client’s recurring EBITDA was less than $2 million which made this valuation over 10 times upfront and 50+ times on the entire value amount. In order to achieve this, Ascend negotiated with some of the largest companies in the world, including Honeywell, Adidas, Nike, Milliken, 3M, and others from which we obtained several offers. We used the competition in the marketplace to negotiate the final deal. We also played a significant role in the financial due diligence process which allowed this transaction to be consummated.”
"CVPS is a Technology and Services company in the hospitality sector sold to the $2 billion publicly traded Japanese company, Amano, for approximately 8 times EBITDA.Ascend’s 50+ years CPA experience allowed us to provide the accounting support necessary to pull the CVPS division out of the company’s overall financial statements, while also identifying add-backs that allowed our client to obtain optimum value. This due diligence process was extremely detailed and arduous. Ascend was there to manage, support and have daily calls to successfully navigate our client through every challenge"
“BETA Fueling Systems based out of Reidsville North Caroling is an engineer and manufacturer of refueling carts, trucks, and tanks for both military and commercial sectors. They began in 1972. Ascend worked with Beta over several years to prepare it for sale. We were able to assist the management team in increasing EBITDA by over 200% during the prep phase. We ended up selling to an Australian strategic who needed to expand operations into the US. Between our advisory work and finding the perfect buyer, the ultimate valuation was over 300% higher than what was initial thought before bringing Ascend in. ”
“Ascend worked with Passion Parties, a women’s product company, for over two years to help them stabilize the company’s financial performance, while also identifying the most advantageous buyer in the marketplace, which was Pure Romance. We then worked with Passion Parties alongside Pure Romance to identify synergies both in the revenue streams and cost overlap. This allowed Pure Romance to see the immediate accretive value increase upon acquisition. This enabled our client to have a 50% larger purchase price than that from any other buyer/prospect in the marketplace, creating a win-win scenario for all parties involved. After a long courting period, Pure Romance acquired Passion Parties. ”
“Ascend assisted in the sale of Premier Sports Marketing to Outdoor Systems Inc, at the time the largest out-of-home media company in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Premier Sports Marketing was an industry leader in the design and management of advertising displays within professional and collegiate sports facilities. Some of the company’s clients included the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers, Ohio State University, University of Nebraska, Auburn University, University of Virginia, University of Louisville, University of Oregon, University of California at Berkeley, and the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons. We not only helped our client identify the perfect strategic buyer, we also worked with them for months before and during the transaction to help prepare proforma financial statements for five years prior to the sale and projections for three years post transaction, along with navigating Premier successfully through the due diligence process. Premier Sports expanded and complimented Outdoor Systems existing product line, while enhancing their ability to penetrate key demographics via these sports and entertainment venues. This resulted in the optimal synergistic fit and a remarkably successful transaction. ”
The Ascend team is comprised of our accomplished M&A professionals and an extensive network of affiliates.These include CEO’s, high level consultants, and industry experts located through the country allowing us to offer our clients more comprehensive industry knowledge and support.
Founder & Managing Member
Senior Accounting Advisor
W. Dale Behan
John Howard, II
IT & Web Consultant