Search Funds UK
Expert guidance through each stage of the entrepreneurship through acquisition process
We have a wide range of services to support entrepreneurship through acquisition and search funds. Our team, led by Carl Lundberg, has built a reputation in the search fund space for delivering exceptional results at high speed and always providing straightforward advice, no matter how complex a deal may be.
In support of the UK search fund community we founded the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Awards, with the primary objective of celebrating promising and established searchers and providing an opportunity to bring the community together in an enjoyable setting. We also sponsor the IESE International Search Fund Center, which is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and investors from around the world who are involved in search funds.
Services for Search Funds
How can we help?
Target identification and initial contact
Searching for deals is time-consuming and not all searchers have the infrastructure or funding to do it themselves. We can help you identify potential targets that fit your strategic objectives and investment criteria. We can provide you with a shortlist and make initial contact with a view to lining up meetings with potential target companies.
Financial due diligence
We provide a flexible and pragmatic approach to financial and taxation due diligence. Working closely with the lenders in the search space, our scope and reports are robust and comprehensive. Whether you would like an initial red-flag review on ‘quality of earnings’ or a full investigation, we will agree a scope and approach to meet your requirements.
Working on SME transactions often comes with its challenges. Our experience of closely advising clients on dozens of search fund acquisitions means we can pre-empt and deal with issues swiftly and in a manner than ensures the security of the transaction.
Engaging us to advise more widely than the standard due diligence scope means you’ll free up your time, have a trusted advocate to brainstorm issues with, benefit from our significant experience and work towards a win-win more quickly.
Search Fund Structuring
We regularly assist searchers with the structuring of their search vehicle and acquisition ‘bidco’, advising on matters such as overall group structure, share capital structure, including ‘vesting’ or searcher shares, preference share mechanics and much more.
In doing so, our tax specialists consider the tax efficiency of the proposed structure and ensure the searcher(s), the companies and the investors are appropriately safeguarded against tax risks.
Wider Transaction Services
Our Corporate Finance team has the expertise and experience to support you through the entire transaction to ensure you come away with the best possible outcome. We are deeply rooted in the search community in the UK and if we can’t help you ourselves, we know someone who can! If there is anything else with which you need assistance, please ask.
Get in touch
If you’re an experienced search fund investor or an entrepreneur with aspirations to become a CEO, speak to our team today to arrange a free initial consultation.
Our Corporate Finance team offers total transparency to determine the best approach for your next transaction.
To get in touch simply complete the form or call us on the number below.
Call us+44 (0)20 7299 1400
Get in touch
Meet the team
I would like to thank Carl, Will and the team for their proactive engagement in completing the acquisition of The Combined Services Provider Ltd in August 2023. GE team helped Norland Equity Partners with the FDD, Financial Modelling and Negotiations. It was a protracted transaction and the GE team demonstrated professionalism and built a win-win relationship with me as a client and the vendor’s team as well. In some very difficult negotiations, Carl and Will contributed to a very successful and fair outcome for all stakeholders – they fought hard for me as a client and established a trusted relationship with the vendor’s team by their transparency, openness and empathy at every interaction. This made a significant difference at these key points of negotiation and helped to secure the deal.
Managing Partner, Norland Equity Partners
We are extremely proud to have acquired Workpays and the Gerald Edelman Transaction team played a pivotal role not only in ensuring that this deal went through but that it went through smoothly. Their expert strategic advice was key in ensuring all investors and lenders were satisfied with all aspects of the deal – the accounts, the share purchase agreement, and the diligence. At all stages of the transaction, I was fortunate to be able to rely on their experience and knowledge to negotiate the transaction and structure the deal in a way that worked for everyone. It goes without saying that I recommend the team at Gerald Edelman to anyone who needs M&A and business advisory services and I’m looking forward to working with them again soon.
Managing Partner, Coniston Peak
The Gerald Edelman team were instrumental at helping close Redpath Capital’s acquisition of Just Loos in June 2023. They provided reliable and consistent advice and were always available on a moment’s notice. They went above and beyond by helping with negotiation strategies (regardless of day and time) and by providing in-depth feedback on our financial model over its construction. It was a pleasure to work with them and would happily recommend them to our peers.
Managing Director, Redpath Capital
Why choose us
Why Gerald Edelman?
Our team have developed a leading reputation in the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (“ETA”) community, having supported many searchers with transactions and structuring matters over the past few years. We are also founders of the ETA Awards, the primary objective of which is to celebrate promising and established searchers and provide an opportunity to bring the community together in an enjoyable setting.
Our Corporate Finance team has the expertise and experience to support you through the entire transaction process to ensure you come away with the best possible outcome. We also assist searchers with the structuring of their search vehicle and acquisition ‘bidco’, advising on matters such as overall group structure, share capital structure (including ‘vesting’ or searcher shares), preference share mechanics and much more. We are deeply rooted in the search community in the UK and if we can’t help you ourselves, we know someone who can!
Our Corporate Finance team consists of our Transaction Services and Deal Advisory teams:
• Transaction Services – Working on SME transactions often comes with its challenges. Our team has experience advising clients on dozens of search fund acquisitions, meaning that we can pre-empt and deal with the issues swiftly and in a manner than ensures the security of the transaction.
• Deal Advisory - Our team helps clients across all sectors to achieve their goals of buying or selling a company, including strategic planning in advance of a transaction to help maximise valuation and deliverability.
Frequently asked questions
How can you help me assess and analyse potential acquisition targets?
Being specialists in the Search Fund space, we can help you identify opportunities, assess the viability of deals and filter out unsuitable options. Firstly, we will work closely with you to define the search criteria, which will include clarifying target industries, size range, financial metrics and operational characteristics, which will help us narrow down a pool of potential companies to explore.
Next, we will screen and filter relevant businesses, which we do through our online databases as well as through our own networks and industry knowledge. Our team of experts will directly contact companies. Direct outreach yields some great results and often we find hidden gems by contacting companies that are not actively seeking buyers.
Finally, once potential targets are identified, we carry out due diligence to ensure they are the correct fit. This not only includes analysing financial metrics, but can also include qualitative factors, such as company culture, team strength and market position.
What's the timeline for an acquisition?
Overall it can take anything from three to twelve months, depending on the complexity and size of the acquisition.
Pre-deal stage (one to three months)
During this stage we will work closely with you to identify potential targets and begin reaching out to potential businesses.
Due Diligence (one to three months)
Once we have identified potential targets, we will undertake due diligence to ensure they are the right match for you.
Negotiation and signing (one to three months)
During the negotiation phase we will support you in finalising the terms of the deal. Lawyers for both parties during this phase will need to draft and finalise the definitive purchase agreement and other related documents. Extra time may be needed if the deal requires regulatory approvals.
Closing (one to two months)
During the final stages you will need to ensure the necessary financing is in place to complete the transaction. The transaction then officially closes and ownership of the target company is transferred to you.
In situations where a target has already been identified, we can mobilise a team quickly to get you through the next stages as fast as possible to meet exclusivity deadlines or other seller-set timelines.
What's your fee?
That depends on the scope of our engagement but we are very competitively priced and provide the best value in the market.
We understand the importance of de-risking our clients from dead deal fees and offer attractive terms to help to share that risk.
To find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.