Finding the right buyer: our research process

Published in Insights by Emma Curtis on 15 June 2023

At Kingsbrook we believe that our research capabilities are one of the most important parts of our service. So much so that this is our largest single expense outside of staff. Our research team is dedicated to finding a choice of strategically motivated and financially strong acquirers for our clients’ businesses.

We have put together a team of expert researchers and a range of industry and proprietary tools to help us identify the right potential buyers. Here is a little insight into how we do it.

Step 1: learn about our client

When a client signs up, the assigned researcher learns everything they can about them, using tools such as their website, and their LinkedIn profile, and profiling any associations and exhibitions they are a part of.

We delve into our client’s business, finding out the nuts and bolts of how it works, what it does and how it does it.

We also like to identify and research the market in which they operate, giving us a really in-depth understanding of their market as a whole.

Our research team holds a dedicated research meeting with each client, discussing the business and the market in depth, flushing out extra detail and creating a comprehensive research plan.

Step 2: learning from our past projects

One of our most valuable tools is our deal database, which holds details of all our deals, projects and interactions with both clients and potential acquirers. Our researchers add to this database every day with every conversation we hold with a potential acquirer, and we use it to inform our decision processes. We can see who has already bought in your sector, and who has missed out on a deal and may be interested in a similar company. We also record those companies who have told us that they are not interested in growing through acquisition. It lets us understand who is acquisitive and how active your sector is in M&A.

Step 3: combing through external databases

Kingsbrook invests in subscriptions to multiple commercial and acquisition databases, which tell us about the latest completed deals. These invaluable databases are our second largest expense in the business, and contain hundreds of millions of company records. They help us to understand the M&A market globally, across all sectors.

Step 4: qualifying potential candidates

Once our researcher has trawled these sources for the most up-to-date information, a qualification process begins. A few of the criteria we consider include:

1. Does the company have a history of acquisition?

2. Does the company have the necessary funds or access to them?

3. Does the company have synergies with our client? These include areas such as similar sectors, or a complementary customer base. Would it benefit from cross-selling opportunities our client could offer?

4. Has the company spoken to us before and provided us with acquisition criteria? Our client could provide them with a perfect fit.

Step 5: the finalised research list

The most suitable candidates from this exhaustive process make it to a research list of approximately 80 potential buyers. Each list is bespoke to our client, and each one of the potential buyers on the list will have a reason for its inclusion. We never just add the obvious candidates.

Clearly, the creation of a research list is a complex and thorough undertaking! Our process has been honed and refined over 30 years. This gives us the confidence that we are providing our clients with the strongest list of potential acquirers.


If you are thinking of selling your business and would like to explore your options with Kingsbrook, please get in touch, either by email at [email protected] or call us at 01635 736741.

Published on 15 June 2023 by

Emma Curtis

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