I’ve Acquired 50 Businesses in My Career – Here’s What I Learned

About the Episode

Listen as we talk to Arturo Henriquez, who has acquired 50 companies in his career as a serial entrepreneur. In this show, we discuss Arturo’s role as both a buyer and a seller and the lessons he has learned from buying over 50 companies across 18 industries. You will also learn how Arturo builds companies so they run themselves. Arturo is a 2-time bestselling author and public speaker. His previous investment banking experience includes roles at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, and KPMG as managing director of their mergers and acquisitions division where he was involved in over 60 deals. As a professor, he has taught courses in Investment Analysis, Corporate Finance, and Capital Administration at graduate and undergraduate levels.

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In this Episode

3:50 How important are the people aspects of the deal?
5:50 What are the major differences between purchasing a billion-dollar company and a small business?
8:00 When did you decide to acquire your first company?
11:00 How did you capitalize your first acquisition?
12:30 Why would a business owner sell if they have a management team in place that runs the business?
14:20 How do you incentivize the management team to run the business for you?
16:05 How important is offering equity to the management team to run a business on an absentee basis?
19:20 How do you structure an arrangement to offer equity to employees?
23:00 What are the key levers that have enabled you to acquire and run 50 companies?
26:25 Why do so many entrepreneurs have a difficult time building an absentee business?
31:30 What does your coaching program consist of?
33:50 How do you find companies to purchase?
42:40 How do you capitalize on timing when acquiring companies?
44:30 How commonly do you find companies with excellent operating processes, documentation, and a management team?
53:45 Why are you industry agnostic?
55:30 Are there any industries you don’t like to pursue?
56:40 What are your favorite industries?
1:01:15 Are there any deals you regret doing?
1:06:40 What is your advice to sellers?
1:07:50 How long does it take to prepare your business for sale?
1:09:40 How long does it take to sell a business?
1:10:20 Should sellers hire a business broker or M&A advisor?
1:11:15 How do you value a business?
1:12:00 Do you use DCF (discounted cash flow)?
1:13:45 How do you like to structure a transaction?
1:15:00 Do you like to use SBA loans?
1:16:10 How do you obtain non-SBA financing?
1:17:45 How does convertible debt work?
1:18:40 What is your take on earnouts?


  • Acquiring a company is part art, part science.
  • Purchasing a large, billion-dollar company is a much more structured process and a far less emotional process than buying a small business.
  • Business owners sell good businesses all the time – it’s all about timing – sometimes they think there are better opportunities.
  • Running any business can be boiled down to the 3 Ps – Product, Processes, and People. The hardest part about running any business is the people.
  • Screening and finding companies is the hardest part of buying a business.
  • Most startups fail – buying a business is a lot less risky.

Learn More About This Episode

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Meet Our Guest

Arturo Henriquez

Arturo Henriquez

Principal Managing Partner at PLA Ventures LLC

Arturo has been an Entrepreneur, M&A Principal, a sought after Consultant/Coach, 2-time Bestselling Author, and Public Speaker with over 25 years of experience in M&A, Leadership, Change Management and Emotional Intelligence. He has been involved in well over 130 business purchases, transactions, engagements, and business deals.

Arturo has successfully started, bought, and sold over 55 national and international companies across 18 industries from his personal portfolio, primarily in the small business space and, in some cases, with operating partners. He has bought restaurants, started a tequila company, a consumer goods export company, a technology company, bars and nightclubs, a pest control company, fast food restaurants, real estate brokerages, a steel fabrication company, franchises, a wholesale distributor, a data center, a loan servicing company, a logistics company, an importer and distributor of electrical appliances, an oil and gas company, a theater production, a professional soccer game, and a senior living management company, among others. These have all been done for his personal portfolio and, in many cases, without using his own capital.

Arturo has raised money from angel investors as well as millions of dollars from venture capital funds such as Merrill Lynch Venture Capital, CVC Latin America, Citibank’s venture capital arm, and the Explorador fund in Silicon Valley. His experience also includes taking a company public on the U.S. stock market and being involved in corporate takeovers as an entrepreneur. He has raised millions of dollars from banks, asset-based lending institutions, and angel investors – all for his portfolio companies previously mentioned.

Arturo has worked at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, and KPMG as managing director of their mergers and acquisitions division where he was involved in over 60 deals. As a professor he has taught courses in Investment Analysis, Corporate Finance, and Capital Administration at graduate and undergraduate levels.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Double Masters in International Relations and Communications from Boston University.

Arturo’s specialty areas include M&A, Leadership Development, Change Management, Emotional Intelligence, and Entrepreneurship.

Details about his extensive experience can be found on his websites:

His many areas of sub-specialties encompass organizational development, financial management, planning, analysis, and operations with Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups; IPOs; debt and cost restructuring; budgeting; sales management; strategic planning; forecasting; accounting and auditing; business development; procurement; strategic sourcing; turnarounds, acquisitions, divestitures, and reorganizations; relocation; corporate and international experience; and strategic assessments, as well as other sub-specialty areas.

Location Location: Spring, Texas

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