THE VALUE CREATION JOURNEY

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Foundation

Vision

Forum helps its clients identify strategies to accelerate their Value Creation Journey and maximise value for all stakeholders. The route may include organic growth, operational improvements, acquisitions, divestitures, or a combination of these. Being exceptionally client centric, we analyse a client’s objectives, we validate their plans, and we advise them on how to optimise outcomes.

Ensuring all stakeholders understand and commit to a shared vision provides a firm foundation for the Value Creation Journey. We use our deep sector knowledge and operating expertise to help clients develop compelling value propositions for potential investors and buyers.

Forum:

  • Offers strategic planning guidance
  • Benchmarks vision against industry parameters
  • Evaluates strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
  • Brings fresh perspective to identify alternatives
  • Advises on long term succession planning
  • Delivers tax efficient solutions monetising assets
  • Underpins it efforts by building strong relationships
Strategy

Financial targets and key operating metrics need to be articulated to pace the Value Creation Journey. Successful growth companies are disciplined in driving their day to day activity to achieve these milestones: their drive for scale is relentless.

Reporting and budgeting need to be robust to capture current and targeted KPIs. Benchmarking against historical performance is essential to driving operational improvement.

Forum:

  • Helps to exploit strengths and mitigate weaknesses
  • Focuses on how to improve customer retention
  • Recommends measures to improve profitability
  • Reviews operational performance
  • Identifies areas for improvement
  • Advises on how to generate predictable cash flows
  • Analyses cash flow and working capital cycles
  • Builds tailored bespoke financial models
  • Creates dashboards that give decisive insights
  • Deduces underlying EBITDA, excising non-recurring items
  • Optimise the presentation of a client’s track record

Acceleration

Organic Growth

Forum often works with a client on a retained basis over a period of several years, advising on key strategic issues. These include new market entry, geographic expansion, and gaining market share.

Our sector knowledge and operating experience equips us well to advise on strategy, systems and processes to support organic growth.

Forum:

  • Advises on optimising funding quantum and cost
  • Prioritises funding solutions that minimise dilution
  • Designs share ownership and incentive plans
  • Analyses new markets
  • Assesses new geographies
  • Review material contracts
  • Structures innovative business models
  • Provides coaching for managers
Debt

Forum analyses risk and return metrics to optimise debt funding to enable clients to achieve their strategic objectives. Our Debt Advisory work includes raising growth capital, financing acquisitions, refinancing existing facilities, asset backed lending, mezzanine finance, and commercial mortgages.

Forum works with clients to develop financial models that achieve optimum prudent levels of borrowing. We conduct stress tests to ensure that operating headroom is adequate. Forum has relationships with a wide range of potential investors, including both banks and alternative lenders.

Forum:

  • Advises clients on all debt financing options
  • Provides introductions to lenders across the debt market
  • Runs competitive process to minimise the cost of capital
  • Performs sensitivity analyses to test variables
  • Negotiates terms and conditions
  • Ensures covenants provide sufficient operating headroom
  • Manages all documentation

Conventional forms of asset backed financing are secured by debtors, stocks, equipment and real estate. Cash flow funding is another viable funding strategy. It is essential to prove cash conversion and sustainability of the subject flows, as evidenced possibly by order books. When the security available is intangible, such as brands, licenses, contracts, or content (collectively, intangible assets or “IA”), specialist skills are required to understand the value and liquidity of the underlying collateral and its cash flow generation characteristics.

Forum:

  • Provides a foundation to establish the value of the IA
  • Assesses the economic life of the IP or content
  • Investigates the liquidity of the market for the IA
  • Identifies third parties to service the IA to assure cash flows
  • Considers potential strategies to monetise the IA
Equity

Forum develops private equity and venture capital solutions that allow companies to realise their ambitions, building win win partnerships with investors.

We look at a prospective transaction, from an investor’s perspective to address potential issues early. Our experience informs our understanding of investors’ concerns regarding structuring, pricing, returns, valuations, sectors, management issues and exit options.

Capital raising could be for early stage venture capital, or development capital, or to deleverage. Forum works with clients to evaluate the degree to which equity financing is desirable to achieve ambitions, over other sources of funding such as mezzanine debt solutions. We work with early stage and more mature businesses.

Forum:

  • Validates business plans and financial projections
  • Models cash flows to prove sufficiency of funding plans
  • Provides a realistic valuation that limits dilution
  • Prepares and co-ordinates data room
  • Develops management presentations
  • Pre-qualifies appropriate investors
  • Writes business plans and information memorandums
  • Enables access to key financial and strategic investors
  • Engages professional network to identify the best match
  • Manages the dialogue from first contact to completion
  • Maintains absolute confidentiality
  • Organises and schedule investor meetings
  • Schedules due diligence sessions
  • Negotiates term sheets with lead investors
  • Organises investor syndicates
  • Concludes documentation on the client’s behalf
  • Co-ordinate key advisors (Accountants, Lawyers, PR)
Acquisitions

We complete a strategic review of all potential targets to identify the optimal value enhancing opportunities and bring to bear tactical know-how to deliver tangible results.

We are not afraid to advise a client to walk away from an unfavourable deal and our process ensures absolute confidentiality.

We are in frequent contact with a wide range of financial sponsors, banks and alternative lenders, enabling us to swiftly arrange and negotiate any financing required.

Forum:

  • Details alternative external growth strategies
  • Helps clients identify potential targets
  • Identifies the market prospects for the target
  • Quantifies revenue and cost synergies
  • Prioritises targets according to the client’s strategy
  • Manages target contacts
  • Leads financial and operational due diligence
  • Values targets and establishes valuation guidelines
  • Negotiates Heads of Terms
  • Manages documentation to mitigate financial risk

Realisation

Valuation

The valuation of a business is influenced by a mix of quantitative and qualitative factors. Forum’s experience has been built over more than 20 years working in diverse markets across the globe. Its deal expertise, sector knowledge and operating experience, all combine to help it deliver superior valuations at the end the Value Creation Journey.

Forum:

  • Tailors each valuation to reflect relevant strengths and weaknesses, macroeconomic, technological and regulatory factors
  • Assists in developing the business plan, ensuring key growth opportunities are forcefully articulated to boost the valuation
  • Uses a variety of valuation methodologies to triangulate and defend exceptional results. These include discounting future cash flows, comparable market multiples, KPI benchmarks, and intangible assets.
Exit

The sale of a business may arise in a wide variety of scenarios. These include: succession for a family owned business; disposal of an “orphan” subsidiary to focus operations; industry consolidation in a drive for scale economics; financial distress; liquidity requirement of shareholders completely unrelated to the target; or an aggressive approach from a strategic buyer, to name but a few.

A professional sale process will optimise outcomes. Anticipating potential problems, packaging information efficiently, and strategically positioning sellers are essential to maximizing consideration. Maintaining strict confidentiality and a rapid process to minimise disruptions that can damage the target.

Forum:

  • Develops a bespoke plan to monetise a client’s business.
  • Isolates key value drivers
  • Prepares the business for sale
  • Writes marketing materials
  • Develops bidding procedures: auction vs. direct negotiation
  • Executes on a realistic schedule
  • Prioritises potential buyers based on strategy and finances
  • Assesses potential cost and revenue synergies
  • Accesses existing financial and trade contacts
  • Provides objective advice on bids received
  • Generates competitive tension between bidders
  • Minimises deferred or contingent element of consideration
  • Assists in ensuring favourable tax treatment
  • Negotiates terms to insulate client
  • Mitigates deal risks: warranties and completion accounts
  • Sourcing relevant advisors: legal, tax
  • Liaises with all other advisors