Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A Talk Podcast

M&A Talk is the #1 podcast on mergers & acquisitions. 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.

Making Acquisitions with Public Equity

Making Acquisitions with Public Equity

Irving Kau


In this episode, we talk with Irving Kau about how public equity is used to acquire companies in the private sector. We discuss why public equity is used to acquire companies, the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, and whether you, as a business owner, should consider accepting public equity as a form of consideration when selling your company. We also discuss the intersection between the private markets, venture capital, private equity, and the public market. We delve into the mechanics of using public equity, both as a buyer and a seller, whether you should consider this strategy, and how this strategy is used by different participants and in different economic environments.

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Guest Profile

Mr. Irving Kau is a detail-oriented, global leader focusing himself on follow-through, execution, and task completion. He has extensive experience working in both global public equity and global private equity, specifically in conjunction with Asia Pacific-based companies. During his career, he has worked on the buy-side, sell-side, and company side.

With a background both in finance and science, while publishing several peer-reviewed academic papers, Mr. Kau has the ability to understand the technical considerations of financial, management, and advisory work within many natural science related industries. In addition to hard work, Mr. Kau deeply values character and ‘doing the right thing’ in each and every circumstance as a long-term perspective, despite any potential short-term effects.


  • The U.S. equity markets are more forward looking, as opposed to other international stock markets, which helps lay the groundwork for investment in small-cap, speculative companies.
  • The investor base is different in Europe than the USA.
  • NASDAQ has a much different investor base than the other stock exchanges.
  • Valuing high-growth companies is more art than science and is highly subjective.
  • Selling your company and accepting stock from the acquirer is not necessarily an exit.

Topics Covered

  • What does it mean to acquire companies using public equity? [1:20]
  • Why is there a focus on NASDAQ? [4:15]
  • Why would a venture capitalist choose to keep a company private? [5:40]
  • Who uses public equity to acquire companies? [9:20]
  • What are the mechanics of using public equity to acquire a company? How does it work? [13:40]
  • What is restricted stock? [14:45]
  • To what extent is the company integrated? [17:00]
  • How often is debt used in combination with public equity to acquire a company? [21:10]
  • How often does the purchaser require the owner and management team to stay after the transition? [24:20]
  • How open are most sellers to receiving equity in another company? [25:30]
  • How soon can the seller liquidate the (restricted) stock? [27:00]
  • Is board approval required? [28:00]
  • Is shareholder approval required? [28:40]
  • How does the market react when a company uses equity to acquire another company? [30:10]
  • How do companies communicate with their investor base? [31:00]
  • What does a typical investor base consist of for a tech company? [32:05]
  • Can using public equity change your acquisition strategy? [34:30]
  • Don’t most sellers require a minimum amount of cash down? [35:40]
  • How does this strategy change in different economic times? [36:20]
  • How do you think this strategy will change in the future? [37:15]

Learn More

Resources Mentioned



The Art of Selling a Business With $10 Million to $100 Million in Revenue

Written by Jacob Orosz, President of Morgan & Westfield

For a business to sell for what it’s really worth – or even more – you need to properly prepare. But too many entrepreneurs put off planning the sale of their business until the last moment. Acquired – The Art of Selling a Business With $10 Million to $100 Million in Revenue will help you prepare your business for sale and walk you through the sales process, dodging the pitfalls along the way. With a significant amount of your wealth tied up in your business, planning your exit is one of the most critical initiatives you’ll undertake.

Read more