Merger & Acquisition Insights

Why Your Competitor is Buying the Company You Think is Worthless

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Spencer Tenney

Does the name Vera Coking ring a bell? She’s the stubborn homeowner who held her ground, unwilling to sell as a city sprouted around her. Even if you don’t remember her, there’s a good chance you’ll recall the iconic photograph of her family’s summer home, nestled in between the framework of a planned Atlantic City casino.

Mrs. Coking bought her Atlantic City home in the 1960s for just $20,000, a pittance by today’s standards – and while inflation and elbow grease surely raised the value over the years, the $1 million offer Mrs. Coking received, within ten years of the original purchase, had nothing to do with kitchen renovations.

While Mrs. Coking arguably held onto her property for too long for personal reasons, selling after Atlantic City fell into turmoil, several of her neighbors reaped the benefits of knowing the worth of their own assets, even if it wasn’t clear at first glance; for example, the nearby pawn shop owner who received $1.6 million, or the restaurant owner who negotiated $2.1 million.

Had it not been for their locations, and the intrinsic value of what could be, rather than what is, neither business would’ve drawn nearly the profit. You can most likely guess that pawn shop, and the restaurant were both demolished after the sale, in order to prioritize the space for businesses that were much more profitable than the resale of diamond rings and televisions.

Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “What does that have to do with me, or the competition the next town over?” The answer is – a lot. Maybe you’ve watched businesses around you decline over the past five years due to the introduction of TNCs to the market. It has affected bottom-lines throughout the world, but it doesn’t mean those companies are worthless. You may be overlooking the value hidden behind the books and physical assets.

Here are a couple of common scenarios that make transportation companies more valuable than meets the eye:

  • Location, location, location. Company A provides services to a territory that is the last piece of your puzzle. You’ve been growing for years, able to market to consumers in every zip code on the eastern side of the state, except for those included in Company A’s portfolio. It might make sense to acquire Company A in order to expand into the area. Not only does the takeover diminish the chance of additional competition stepping in, but it reduces your need to build a client base from the ground up.
  • Their mismanagement can be your gain. While it can be daunting to consider acquiring a business that has been plagued by maladministration, whether it be in their financials, staffing, public relations, or otherwise, you may want to consider it. Fresh, capable perspectives can help to turn a failing company into a stable segment within your high-functioning company.

If you’re considering expanding your business, contact the Tenney Group to discuss your growth strategy, and discover how you can lead your company into the future.

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    Category: Articles