That was the point of a recent seminar given by Jay Tiedeberg at the ACCA Annual Conference 2000 in Albuquerque. Tiedeberg is a divisional manager for Thomas Pierce and Co., where he works in the commercial-industrial division specializing in succession planning and business transfers in the hvac, plumbing, and electrical industries.
Tiedeberg opened his seminar by talking about the many changes in the hvac trade today, including mergers and acquisitions. He warmed up the audience to the points he was trying to make:
“There is a lot of consolidation going on and a lot of turf wars,” he added, referring to the Wall Street consolidators, utility companies, and manufacturers who are acquiring formerly independent contractors.
Tiedeberg noted some of the recent transactions in the hvacr trade, such as Lennox’s purchase of Service Experts and many of their own independent dealers, Service-Master’s purchase of ARS, the Building One and GroupMac merger, etc.
He listed some of the reasons why consolidators are so active:
Tiedeberg said all of the activity in the hvacr trade will make it tougher for contractors to find and keep competent technicians because many will be looking for stable career paths that the larger, national companies have been offering.
He added that many of the “blue ribbon” contractors are being purchased, satisfying the “appetites” of the consolidators who may decide to make fewer acquisitions in the future and at lower purchase prices.
If owners are considering the sale of their businesses because of the factors mentioned in this article, Tiedeberg said there are several things to consider before putting out the “For Sale” sign, including conflicting goals between buyers and sellers.
These goals are highlighted by:
Knowing some of the ways acquisition companies determine the purchase price is also very important to business owners, according to Tiedeberg. Some of these factors are:
Here is a list of the vital areas that must be explored when preparing to sell a business, according to Tiedeberg:
In conclusion, Tiedeberg said, “The hvacr activity is hot. Set personal and corporate goals, create and implement a strategic plan, check and see if it’s working, and if it’s not, get help before it’s too late.”