COMMERCIAL DUE DILIGENCE FOR THE PRIVATE EQUITY MID- MARKET
STRATEGY SUPPORT FOR PORTFOLIO BUSINESS

Armstrong works alongside investors and management teams to deliver successful acquisitions, operational improvements and profitable exits.

Experience

Business ServicesConstruction & BuildingConsumer GoodsHealthcareITLeisure & PropertyManufacturingOil & GasRetail & Wholesale

Clients

  • I have worked with the team from Armstrong on a number of successful transactions over the years and I'll happily commend them (and often do) to potential users of their service.
    Adrian Peckham Lloyds Acquisition Finance

  • I have used Armstrong on 3 transactions in the past 12 months and I have always found their approach and output to be of the highest quality.
    Paul Morris Isis PE

  • My impression of them is they have a lot of sector knowledge, they make a good pitch, indeed they are modest and understated. They add value by giving an opinion, it’s not all data
    Paul Morris, Isis

  • Armstrong have supported Envirotec through our initial MBI, the subsequent MBO and our bolt-on acquisition of Westway Cooling.
    Chris Lister, Envirotec

  • We use Armstrong for most of our commercial due diligence work and have never been disappointed.
    Partner, Graphite

  • Bowmark really value Armstrong’s primary fieldwork in healthcare. Their ability to identify the key opinion formers and operators in a market, and deliver in depth interviews with them, in a short time, is powerful. It helps us focus on the core issues from an early stage and debate them fully
    Julian Masters, Partner, Bowmark

  • We found the process and report undertaken by Armstrong really helpful in reflecting on external views of our business and the global market assessment; I personally enjoyed the experience of working with the team who brought some very useful insight into the DD process
    Mark Kirkbride, CEO, itmSoil

  • We value Armstrong’s ability to spot additional opportunities in an event concept and identify what the difficulties are going to be when launching a new healthcare show; giving our operational teams the chance to develop solutions to those issues before they have even happened.
    Ralph Collett, Closer Still Media

  • They are one of the key players in the low to mid PE market. They are very positive, a real sense of a good grip on a wide range of markets, commercial, bright, it’s all very positive
    James Blake, Growth Capital

  • The qualitative content is excellent with a huge number of interviews, a lot of market experts too, that really differentiates Armstrong from the others
    Nicola Gray, Electra

  • Armstrong provided a tailored report to support our investment in Happy Days Nurseries Ltd. Despite only having made the investment in April this year, the report’s findings are already proving invaluable in shaping our future roll out strategy.
    Paul Morris, Partner, ISIS

  • Armstrong understood the value in FDM’s unique Mountie operational model and were able to understand the business drivers and scale of opportunity, then communicate this effectively to Inflexion.
    Rod Flavell, CEO, FDM Group

  • Armstrong evaluated all the urban areas in the south west to assess their suitability for our site rollout strategy. The result is a prioritised target list and site-specific operational recommendations.
    Jackie Arthur, MD, Happy Days

  • The commercial due diligence process was very thorough indeed, and not always easy. However, as we debated the issues with Tom and reflected on them, we have found value in the challenge. The result has been new ways of thinking that has added to the health of the business
    Michael Sweeney, Founder, NPW

  • In carrying out the commercial diligence ahead of our investment in Buoyant Upholstery, Armstrong were very quickly able to assess the vast amount and different sources of market information and forecasts to discern the key drivers impacting the business. This assessment, which was supported by meaningful and numerous interviews, brought real clarity to our investment decision and allowed us to determine relevant sensitivities
    Andy Leach, NVM Private Equity

  • I am really pleased with Armstrong’s work. The quality and detail gave us the understanding of the marketplace that we needed to make critical decisions. The level of engagement was excellent. A lot of the customers Armstrong spoke to really enjoyed the process of being interviewed and are asking for feedback, which has increased their engagement with us already. Derby City Council people are now much better informed and we are in a stronger position to begin shaping our strategy
    Karen Jewell, Derby City Council

  • The Armstrong report helped to bring alive the opportunities for Veritek in the healthcare and graphics sectors, whilst clearly setting out the challenges in the heritage photo environment. The work was clear, enlightening and delivered to a tight deadline; all of which contributed to a smooth process
    Jonathan Briant, Veritek Global

  • Andy Center, CloserStil CEO immediately saw the value that Armstrong could bring to his start-up operation, significantly increasing the chance of success with each event. Since then Armstrong has been involved in all the significant acquisitions and new concepts that the business has launched. Their ability to challenge in an impartial way, while at the same time developing ideas for improving the business has resulted in them becoming trusted advisers, and an integral part of the team. Armstrong certainly contributed to the 3.2x money exit in 3 years that we have just achieved.
    Peter Hodson, NVM Private Equity

  • Knowing what your customers think about you, what the market dynamics are, how you can improve is amazingly empowering, there is no excuse for not acting on that knowledge. As a result we have completely overhauled all our operational processes, finance function and marketing approach. We continue to work with Armstrong on our own acquisitions because they bring this clarity of thinking and advice, and in doing so make the business more valuable.
    Hamish Horton, Valldata

  • Armstrong provided a clear analysis of veritek's key markets and helped us get to grips with a complex business quickly and efficiently
    Chris Price, Mobeus Equity Partners

  • The Armstrong report helped to bring alive the opportunities for Veritek in the healthcare and graphics sectors, whilst clearly setting out the challenges in the heritage photo environment. The work was clear, enlightening and delivered to a tight deadline; all of which contributed to a smooth process
    Jonathan Briant, Veritek Global

  • Armstrong have provided Commercial Due Diligence support to Performance Timber Products Group on two recent transactions. Both Performance Timber Products Group’s Management and Investors were highly impressed with Armstrong’s speed of response and quality of output. The market place analysis provided was excellent, combining a macro view of key drivers with specific information such as a detailed competitor by competitor review. Further, the customer referencing carried out was considered valuable as it provided a vital element of our acquisition process as well as an up to date, objectively obtained, well communicated and presented view of our business from our customers
    Mark de Rozarieux, PTP

  • Valldata’s MBO was the first time we had brought outside investors into what had been until then a family business. The due diligence process opened the doors to external advisers, who had been brought in to dig deep into the business both from a financial, but also a commercial perspective. Due to the process that is followed, it can feel slightly intrusive and at points critical. That can be quite hard to take. However, that changed once we started to see the results, and how we could use them to improve the business and grow value.
    Hamish Horton, Valldata

  • Armstrong provided a clear and thorough report on the market including insightful and in-depth interviews with key participants. The report helped to frame key considerations and enable us to debate them fully. I would have no hesitation in recommending Armstrong and look forward to working with the team again.
    Alec Parkinson, Primary Capital

  • Armstrong had a solid understanding of the cruise market and the travel agency model. They helped us understand the competitive landscape and delicate balance of power in supply and distribution of cruise holidays. Their ability to speak to the right people in a short space of time helped build a consistent and informative picture.
    Mike Simmons, Risk Capital

News

  • Armstrong supports Key Capital Partner's investment in IT services provider Sparta Global
  • Armstrong supports Mobeus' investment in Ski Solutions
  • Armstrong Activity – September 2017
  • Armstrong has provides support to Cruise.co’s acquisition of German online cruise agent Kreuzfahrtberater.de

Business:             Sparta Global
Sector:                  IT services 
Investor:               Key Capital Partners
Investment size:  £4 million

Armstrong has provided commercial due diligence for Key Capital Partner’s investment in IT services provider Sparta Global.

Armstrong provides commercial due dilligence support to Mobeus' investment in Ski Solutions

Business:  Ski Solutions/BSpoke/Cycling for Softies
Sector:       Winter Sports Travel Agency
Investor:    Mobeus
Deal size:  £6 million

Armstrong has provided commercial due diligence support to Mobeus’ investment into London-based premium winter sports expert Ski Solutions.

Armstrong Activity – September 2017

Welcome back from the summer. Hope you are refreshed and revitalised from the break.

Armstrong has been typically busy, especially in Europe, as businesses begin to mitigate Brexit risk by diversifying geographically and generating Euro-denominated revenue. Given ongoing geopolitical uncertainty, this is a trend that we are expecting to continue.

Portfolio activity is also ramping up, with supply-side reviews, data analytics and customer support proving popular amongst GPs.

Transaction activity in the UK mid-market has been variable, and Q4 deal flow is the subject of much debate. While there is a significant level of early-stage conversation, only time will tell if this converts into completions.

Armstrong has provides support to Cruise.co’s acquisition of German online cruise agent Kreuzfahrtberater.de

Business:  Kreuzfahrtberater.de
Sector:       Cruise Travel Agency
Investor:    Cruise.co/Bridgepoint Development Capital
Deal size:   €25 million

Armstrong has provided commercial due diligence support to Cruise.co’s acquisition of German online cruise agent Kreuzfahrtberater.de. This follows our work supporting the Bridgepoint-backed MBO in 2016 and the Risk Capital-backed MBO in 2013.

Cruise.co, which operates the UK's largest cruise website, has acquired Kreuzfahrtberater.de in a transaction totalling €25 million. The acquisition will result in the company having operations in the two largest cruise markets in Europe and create a differentiated European leader in a large, growing and fragmented market.

The new combined company will have cruise sales of c€250m, making it the largest cruise travel agency in Europe. The company’s websites, Cruise.co.uk, Cruises.uk, Kreuzfahrtberater.de and Seascanner.com, will have a combined annual traffic of over 37.5m visits and feature over 260,000 real customer reviews and opinions.

The cruise market is set for major expansion in the next few years with a total of 65 new ships set to enter the market, including new entrants Virgin and Ritz Carlton who recently announced their entry into the market.

Kreuzfahrtberater.de, based

About

Armstrong is founded on independence, integrity and clear commercial advice

History

Armstrong was founded to deliver investors and management teams alike with refreshingly conclusive Commercial Due Diligence based on deep understanding of a business and its marketplace.

Having successfully built one Commercial Due Diligence practice from scratch, Tom Raymond created Armstrong as a new type of business that embodies our values as well as delivering good work.

As owner-managers, we understand that the business lives or dies by our credibility.

We aim to be the Commercial Due Diligence provider of choice for mid market private equity transactions in the UK.

Armstrong do

 Clearly and unequivocally state our insights and conclusions

 Quantify the impact of these insights on the business plan and valuation

 Build close relationships with all parties – clients, management teams and other advisors – to provide advice that will be useful beyond the timeframe of the transaction

 Identify the available exit options and make operational recommendations to maximise returns

 Let you work with a senior director, always

Armstrong don't

 x Draw unclear conclusions and shroud them in caveats or pages of disclaimers

 x Provide partial vendor due diligence – commercial challenge and impartiality is retained whomever the client

 x Push-sell clients follow on consulting services

 Worry about conflicting agendas with our corporate finance, accounting or strategy divisions – we don’t have any

The Team

Armstrong is a tight-knit team of commercially experienced and committed individuals. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries, with different areas of sector expertise and personal skill. What we share is a belief in market principles, customer-centric-thinking and the determination to make a positive difference to our customers’ businesses. As a team we have worked on over 600 projects which enables us to bring insight and value to transactions in a very short time. For more information, please contact one of the senior team below.

We are always open to approaches from energetic, dedicated individuals who are motivated by delivering great work as part of a high performing team. Interested?

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