Mergers & Acquisitions

Resources: M&A Talk Podcast

At M&A Talk we bring you exclusive interviews with experts in business sales, valuations, mergers and acquisitions and more. We talk to the most experienced professionals in the industry to uncover their secrets.

Lessons Learned from the Sale of a $65 Million Business to a Public Company

Lessons Learned from the Sale of a $65 Million Business to a Public Company

Erik Olafsson & Ed Gardner

Acquisitions | Corporate Development

When a company is sold, the relationship between the parties has a significant impact on the success of the transaction. We discuss the sale of XPS Technologies, a private shipping software company, by Descartes, a publicly traded firm with a $5.9 billion market cap, and share perspectives on the acquisition process from both sides of the table. We discuss Descartes’ acquisition strategy and how XPS fit into it, the synergies each business looked for, key lessons learned from the acquisition, and advice to entrepreneurs who want to exit their companies.

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Guest Profile

Lessons Learned from the Sale of a  Million Business to a Public Company

Erik Olafsson

Erik Olafsson is a founder of XPS Technologies, an e-commerce shipping solutions company recently acquired by Descartes. An experienced entrepreneur, Erik started his career in investment banking and has worked in financial services and the software industry. At XPS, Erik led all operations, including maintaining and developing carrier partnerships, overseeing program implementation and financials, and developing channels for customer acquisition. Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Utah.

Lessons Learned from the Sale of a  Million Business to a Public Company

Ed Gardner

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.


Topics Covered

  • What does XPS Technologies do? [1:20]
  • Why was XPS Technologies sold? [7:07]
  • What does Descartes do? [8:02]
  • What kind of synergy happened after the acquisition? [10:56]
  • Key lessons learned from the acquisition [15:45] 
  • How can companies assess cultural fitness without meeting face-to-face? [23:50]
  • What is the acquisition strategy in acquiring XPS Tech? [26:10]
  • Advice to founders and entrepreneurs who want to exit [33:25]
  • How to prepare the financial statements [45:05]
  • Is the quality of earnings report necessary in mergers and acquisitions? [47:24]
  • In the purchase agreement, what role do the reps and warranties play? [53:45]

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Resources Mentioned

A Roadmap to the Successful Sale of Your Business (152 pages)

A Roadmap to the Successful Sale of Your Business (152 pages)

You could spend a lifetime figuring out how to successfully sell your business and still end up confused or clueless. What if you can stop the guesswork and start taking action now?

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