Corporate Finance in Atlantic Canada

Commentary on corporate finance issues for small- & mid-market private companies in Atlantic Canada

Archive for August 2011

Game developer sells to EA

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http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Business/2011-08-19/article-2716708/Electronics-Arts-purchases-Charlottetown-video-game-developer/1

Industry giant Electronic Arts is acquiring Charlottetown, PEI-based Bight Games.  Bight is a mobile video game developer, best known for its cellphone game Trade Nations.  The deal is expected to close the end of August.

Written by Dan Jennings

August 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Demographic suicide in Nova Scotia??

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson/how-to-stop-demographic-suicide/article2134211/

As only John Ibbitson can write, check out this (at first depressing) article that begins by comparing Nova Scotia’s abysmal immigration track record to that of Manitoba.  At least the Globe & Mail story then goes on to describe the more recent efforts of government to improve the province’s intake (and retention) of immigrants.  As the story says, without immigration, Nova Scotia is doomed to be an “economic backwater” (to quote Peter Moreira’s book) of rising health care costs from an aging population.

At least some folks are trying to change things.  Check out this company that specializes in helping UK residents emigrate to Nova Scotia (UK2NS):

http://www.uk2novascotia.com/index.htm

Apparently, they’ve found a statistic that shows Nova Scotia is the warmest Canadian province overall … it must be because the other provinces have even colder large northern areas (like Ontario and Quebec)!

Nevertheless, don’t let the weather hold back immigration …

Written by Dan Jennings

August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

Posted in CF Musings

Vended laundry equipment deal

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/idUS185356+18-Aug-2011+MW20110818 

Privately-owned Coinamatic has announced a deal to acquire Halifax-based Venda Wash on August 31.  Coinamatic is Canada’s largest laundry route operator while Venda Wash is the largest such operator in Atlantic Canada.

Another example of a strategic buyer consolidating an industry (see my earlier posts on the topic) …

Written by Dan Jennings

August 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

Is your business ready for sale?

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No, I’m not trying to get you to hire me to sell your business … “ready for sale” does not mean “up for sale”.  I regularly advise entrepreneurs on preparing their business for succession or sale, whether or not they intend to hire me as their M&A advisor.

When you’re preparing to sell your house, real estate agents will tell you to do some basic maintenance, etc in advance in order to best prepare your house for viewing.  Well, there is a similar (but somewhat different) process for your business.

Many business sales don’t happen on a pre-planned timeline … you’re approached by a strategic buyer with a great offer, you suffer a health scare and start thinking about selling, etc.  My point is that because many entrepreneurs don’t dictate the timing of when you sell, you need to be prepared in the event that it happens whenever it does … next month, next year or in five years.

Adding non-owner management, appropriate maintenance /capital spending, and owner-manager tax planning … these (and more) are all things you should be considering when you contemplate the answer to the question “Is your business ready for sale?”

Written by Dan Jennings

August 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

Posted in CF Musings

Trucking deal

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http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Parkland-sells-long-haul-capress-367150682.html?x=0

Nova Scotia’s Seaboard Liquid Carriers (part of the Shannex group of companies) is acquiring two Alberta-based long-haul trucking operations (Petrohaul and Wiebe) from Parkland Fuel (TSX:PKI) for $23.5 mil.

Written by Dan Jennings

August 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Find someone else to run your business … and watch it grow in value

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http://www.builttosell.com/blog/2011/08/03/quantitative-proof-of-what-makes-your-business-sellable/

The author of the above blog writes about one of my most common messages to small business entrepreneurs — if you want someone to pay you a big price for your business, then show potential purchasers that the business can run (and is running) without your day-to-day involvement.

The above survey of over 300 entrepreneurs finds that over 70% of entrepreneurs believe their businesses would survive but be hurt (either a little or a lot) by a 3 month absence of the owner.  So the author says … to sell your business, you have to figure out a way to get someone else to be able to run it.

Good advice that sounds vaguely familiar!

Written by Dan Jennings

August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Posted in CF Musings

PEI call centre company sold

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http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/hinduja-global-solutions-acquires-canadas-online-support-inc-for-78-million/articleshow/9476365.cms

HGS of India has acquired PEI-based On-line Support, a contact centre provider with sites throughout Canada, for $78 mi cash.

Written by Dan Jennings

August 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm