The Cornerstone International Alliance is the world’s only global alliance focused exclusively on the lower middle market.
We have vetted and combined resources of some of the best independent M&A firms globally to deliver more experience, industry expertise and overall value to lower middle market businesses owners.
What are the chances that one of the few M&A firms in your city or town is the absolute best team for the job? We enable business owners to look beyond regional resource limits and truly work with the best of the best.
BTS is a founding member of the Cornerstone International Alliance. We are part of an elite group of professional firms around the country focused on quality service to owners of businesses within the lower mid-market. The alliance is a platform to share best practices and connection to advisors with diverse experience and depth of knowledge. This relationship enables us to tap the experience and knowledge of others in the field. John Howe, Director
“When I started in the industry over 19 years ago, I noticed that very few firms actually talked to each other or would share best practices other than a conference or two a year. Like several of the members of CIA, I wanted to take a leadership position in the industry to help educate and elevate the M&A community. I served as chairman of the International Business Brokers Association, as a board member for M&A Source, and founded the Wisconsin chapter of Midwest Business Broker & Intermediary Association. But still I thought we could do more. By collaborating with a smaller group of proven firms that connect on a regular basis, we could provide the very best results for each and every client.
Concurrently I saw a big issue with business owners considering the sale of their businesses. Most business owners really “didn’t know what they didn’t know” or how to tell if an M&A firm was quality or just talked a good game in an effort to get a large retainer with little chance of a successful sale. After all, they were most likely only going to choose an M&A advisor once in their life.
Little did they know how significant the consequences of choosing the wrong M&A firm would be. It could mean the difference between successfully selling their business, extending their legacy and living out their dreams or shutting it down and liquidating the physical assets for cents on the dollar, while watching their legacy evaporate after years of sacrifices and all their employees now out of work.
With the founding of CIA, we have engineered much of the risk out of the business sale process. Now, our clients can rest assured that they have the best team, strategies and resources available to them by accessing our aggregated, well vetted pool of M&A specialists – our success rate and experience speak for themselves!”
"The entire process went smoothly and professionally. The BTS team kept me fully informed at every step. They worked hard and were effective in bringing the deal home."
"Skip and I continue to be grateful for all you have done to make the sale of Pure Flow come to fruition."
"BTS’s level of expertise in the process and close attention to detail enabled us to successfully navigate the deal."
"These types of transactions are often long and complicated and I doubt it could have been successfully completed without your close ongoing involvement."
"The outside objective point of view that you have brought us has been invaluable as we prepare for the rapid growth."
"John then found the right buyer and coordinated a seamless transition—he doesn’t miss a single detail."
"John immediately identified our strengths and experiences and discussed a business that ultimately was more in line with our goals."
"The BTS team came in, evaluated everything in a professional and thankfully non-threatening manner."
Prepare for the Market Rebound
For many business owners, the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating – especially for those who were planning to sell their businesses.
Using Downtime to Add Value
As business owners are working to process the impact of COVID-19, we’re looking at how it will affect M&A. The good news is that many companies and private equity firms have been doing well for year
Are Buyers Still in the Market?
We believe that mergers and acquisitions will continue once the current crisis ends...based on the volume of inquiries from private equity funds, search funds and well-funded individual buyers.
Use the Threat to Better Prepare
Today there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of business...there are things you can do to prepare for an eventual sale of your company– especially now.
Crisis Shows Ripple Effect of Business
Our focus at BTS is on small companies that are the backbone of the economy...This gives us exceptional insight into what it is like to be owner-operators.
Dealing with risks in a company sale
The passing last week of Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen – famous for his theory of business disruption - is a good time to consider business risk.
M&A Advisor Tip: Earnouts Can Break a Deadlock
Earnouts can be used to address a perception of risk faced by a buyer. They also are used to bridge a valuation gap between a buyer and a seller.
Changes by owners helped a sale
Owners considering selling can look at the experience of a N.H. company for ideas of what to do to increase their chances for a good transition.
Advisor Tip: Don’t lose your focus
Don't let those future plans distract you from what's going on today.
Growth Methods Used by Buyers
We often hear from founders who feel they have hit the ceiling with what they can do with their companies. Buyer groups in the market see this as an opportunity.
Precision Machining Company
Initially, liquidation was a serious consideration. It would offer a quick exit but would hurt loyal employees and disrupt the customers who had come to rely on its quality production.
Green Product Company
Our client owners could dig in for the long haul…However, this would take five years or more. Owners simply lacked the horsepower to do it.
Water Purification Company and Young Buyers
Owners decided they wanted to retire. They also wanted to be fair to the staff who had been loyal to them. Could the company be sold, the staff retained and the facility remain in use?
Magnetics Company with High Profile Customers
(T)he manufacturer would need to focus on growing EBITDA to capture interest from major strategic buyers and achieve a higher multiple of earnings.