Behind the Scenes – Acquisition of a Tech Company by a Public Company

About the Episode

A successful partnership was recently formed when Ed Gardner of Descartes led the acquisition of GroundCloud, founded by David Leland. They both discuss the acquisition process, from David’s decision to look for a partner to Descartes’ decision to make an offer. This discussion walks through the process from management presentations through the offer stage, due diligence, closing, and post-closing, with tips, advice, and insight into the thought processes that went into each stage of the acquisition.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Deezer | Listen on Stitcher | Listen on Google Podcasts | Listen on TuneIn

In this Episode

1:20 What is the background of GroundCloud, an all-in-one safety, productivity, and compliance ecosystem for logistics?
11:35 What does Descartes do?
13:25 How can a company improve safety, at a very high level, with technology?
15:57 What was the process like for GroundCloud to decide how to grow to the next level and then prepare the company for sale?
18:51 How did GroundCloud choose an investment bank to work with and what was the experience like?
22:15 What’s the number one piece of advice for entrepreneurs who are about to go through the sales process and don’t know what to expect?
24:07 What caught Descartes’ eye when they were approached about GroundCloud?
27:46 What do most teasers look like, and how long are they? What information do they include?
30:16 How was the management presentation done between Descartes and GroundCloud during the first meeting?
32:55 What are the differences between an acquisition being viewed as a partnership rather than an exit?
39:02 What was Descartes’ plan of action after the first management presentation?
40:48 What should entrepreneurs expect during management presentations to potential buyers?
45:06 How confident was GroundCloud in sharing its financial information with potential buyers?
47:03 Advice to business owners in terms of sharing business and financial information when the potential buyer is a competitor.
49:42 What is the importance of the 2-step process of presenting an IOI (indication of interest) before the LOI (letter of intent)? What happens after each step?
53:47 What happens during the offer stage?
58:13 What was the due diligence process like for both GroundCloud and Descartes?
1:01:00 What happened during the closing and the post-closing period?

Learn More About This Episode

Listen to Other Episodes

Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • IOI – indication of interest
  • LOI – letter of intent
  • CIM – confidential information memorandum

Meet Our Guest

Ed Gardner

Ed Gardner

Executive Vice President of Corporate Development with Descartes

Ed Gardner is Executive Vice President of Corporate Development with Descartes, an SaaS solutions provider, where he is responsible for the development and execution of Descartes’ M&A strategy. Before joining Descartes in 2003, Ed’s previous work included both practical logistics experience, where he worked in a senior leadership position at a third-party logistics provider, as well as deal execution and integration experience as part of Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services practice in London, England.

Location Location: Toronto, Canada

Meet Our Guest

David Leland

David Leland

CEO of GroundCloud

David Leland is a technology innovator and entrepreneur with a passion for transportation safety and over 30 years of experience creating solutions that help companies become more efficient, compliant, and safe. He is the founder and CEO of GroundCloud, a cloud-based platform that automates operations for logistics providers proven to increase safety, ensure compliance, and optimize efficiency. GroundCloud was recently acquired by Descartes in February 2023.

Location Location: Sarasota, Florida

Selling Your Business?

Work with an industry leader that gets you results.

We invested over a decade perfecting every step of the process. The result is a method proven to reduce your risk and maximize your price.

View Our Process Now

Any questions about selling your business?