“You often hear this from investors along the way, if you want to be successful in the market, you need someone very senior or one of the founders to be based in that market to really understand it.” – Tim Andrew
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.
Tim is co-founder and CEO of Localz – a global leader in day-of-service software that provides the missing link in customer engagement for service delivery and order fulfillment. Tim has leveraged a successful career as a financial services executive into a powerful toolset that he has used to create and exit several high-growth businesses. He is a creative, pragmatic, and commercial leader specializing in starting and re-creating successful businesses from inception to exit.
- What is Descartes, and what is Ed Gardner’s role in the company? [1:09]
- What does Localz do, and what is Tim Andrew’s role? [2:00]
- How did the relationship between Descartes and Localz turn from partnership to acquisition? [3:30]
- What was Localz looking for in a company to partner with or acquire them? [8:20]
- What does Descartes look for when evaluating a company for acquisition? Are the possible reasons for acquisition typically obvious, or does Descartes have to dig deeper to discover the full value of possible synergies? [11:43]
- What thought process did the Localz’s team go through as they considered whether to sell the company and exit versus continuing to scale and grow the business? [14:25]
- To what extent does Descartes do business in Australia and New Zealand? What challenges are there in doing business with companies based on the other side of the planet? [17:27]
- From a business perspective, what is the primary difference between the three markets of the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. and Canada in North America? [20:27]
- How did Localz fit into Descartes’ acquisition strategy? [24:35]
- Lessons that Tim has learned through his experiences of being acquired or selling companies he has founded. [26:47]
- How intense and emotional is the closing process for the founders of the company being sold? [29:05]
- What are the most important lessons for entrepreneurs looking to sell their companies? [32:25]
- Why was speed so important in closing this acquisition? [34:01]
- What synergies did both companies realize? [34:40]
- How does Descartes look at integration when they are dealing with acquiring an international company? [36:56]
- To what extent is industry knowledge important for a founder/business owner when selling a company? [42:20]
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Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode
- Definitive Purchase Agreement – A legal document that records the terms and conditions between two companies that enter into an agreement for a merger or acquisition.
- Integration – The combining of two companies together.
- Synergies – Elements of individual companies that complement each other and lead to added value when the companies are brought together.
- Exit Strategy – A business owner’s plan to sell their ownership of their company.
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