From the beginning Ian Haggerty was very professional and in every conversation he demonstrated his industry knowledge and expertise as a broker.

Des Pawelski , 12 Aug 2020

I have been in business for 51 years as cladding contractor with up to 100 employees who work in a factory and on larger commercial building sites. Two years ago I reached the stage where I felt that I should look to sell the business and started meeting with business brokers who advertised in the newspaper’s classified and on Google.

None of the brokers seemed to genuinely understand my business or how to find a buyer. Late last year a competitor from another state phoned and said that he was interested in selling his business. He mentioned talking with a broker who was putting together a number of similar contracting businesses to sell to an investment group. Soon after, I was in contact with Ian Haggerty of Benchmark Corporate based in Queensland.

From the beginning Ian was very professional and in every conversation he demonstrated his industry knowledge and expertise as a broker. Ian took the time to understand my position and then pointed out the advantages and pitfalls in selling my business. We discussed a marketing plan along with an Information Memorandum showing what the business had done in the past, the future potential and the asset/liability position. Things were looking promising.

An advantage of the Benchmark organisation is that they have over 65 brokers operating throughout Australia and a huge buyer data base of potential buyers who have looked at businesses they had for sale in the past. From this pool we soon had prospective purchasers looking over the business, some expressed interest, others thought that the type of business was too hands on for them as every contract we perform is a bit different.

In February the COVID virus struck causing major delays on a number of our larger projects, which caused significant cash flow issues. Things were looking grim and my hopes of a sale started to diminish. I consulted with a liquidator over insolvency concerns and administration was recommended (my cashflow had halved). Selling my business now appeared impossible - the employee accruals from long serving workers was a significant problem.

I informed Ian that I had sought the advice of a liquidator and was intending on placing the company into administration. Ian strongly advised against taking such drastic action and recommended an immediate consultation with ReGroup Solutions, a firm of Turnaround Practitioners. Ian had worked with the ReGroup team previously and gotten excellent results. ReGroup Solutions provided excellent financial advice and guidance and I was able to regain control of trading operations. I then contacted some local businesses (who Ian had contacted previously) and was able to inform them that the crisis situation had been resolved and I was now able to continue trading whilst exploring offers for a sale of the business.

Out of the multiple enquiries Ian received, we were left with two companies with serious offers on the table (despite this being around the time of the COVID virus outbreak). Ian collaborated with ReGroup Solutions and set about negotiating with the interested parties. Due to Ian’s involvement and assistance from ReGroup Solutions, we finally agreed a fair market sale of the business and the majority of employees jobs were saved. Ian went beyond the call of duty and negotiated a very reasonable two year consultancy position with the purchaser.  

With the pandemic, these are very turbulent times. If you are concerned about succession or looking to sell your business, then I highly recommend Ian Haggerty from Benchmark. Ian is extremely adept at strategically managing the negotiations, assessing the genuineness of prospective buyers and then closing the best deal for his client. Ian’s approach was professional and he maintains strict confidentiality throughout. Ian understood the opportunity and potential for my business and then presented this to prospective buyers in the best light.

Thanks Ian and Benchmark.