SI Review: December 2013

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You Ask/We Answer: Whether to have an M&A advisor

Question: I am considering acquiring another staffing firm and am not sure how to proceed. Should I have an advisor?

Answer: Last year, we conducted a survey of staffing firms that had been involved in an M&A transaction as a buyer or seller. Based on responses of more than 100 staffing firms, we conclude using an advisory service of some type can help avoid problems down the road. While 35 percent did not use an advisor, the rest used accountants (15 percent), an advisory service that specialized in staffing (17 percent), a lawyer (26 percent) and an advisory service that did not specialize in staffing (7 percent). All reported roughly similar satisfaction levels with the acquisition, but none of the staffing firms using professional M&A advisors scored their experience less than a five on a scale of 0-10, suggesting that professional M&A advice may at the very least avoid worst case scenarios.

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