Q1 2022 Healthcare Investment Banking Report

South Florida firm publishes Q1 2022 Healthcare Deal Report surveying private placements, M&A, IPOs, public market activity, and trends

M3 Wake Research acquired MSRA Company

  • Background: Multi-Specialty Research Associates (“MSRA”), based in Lake City, FL, is a founder-owned clinical research site, conducting Phase I-IV clinical trials. Since its inception, MSRA, a leader in clinical trials, has conducted clinical trials for leading sponsors in therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics.
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as financial advisor to the company
    • Ran a focused, competitive sales process, identifying and contacting strategic and financial buyers
    • Successfully identified a strategic buyer interested in expanding its operations in Florida
    • Was extensively involved in the process from buyer selection through closing
  • Challenges:
    • Expedited sale and due dilligence process to ensure the sellers timeline was met
    • Balancing seller’s objectives to maximize value while preserving organizational structure
  • Outcome: In May 2022, MSRA was acquired by M3 Wake Research, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, an integrated organization of premier investigational sites, with over 16 research locations throughout the U.S..

Q1 2022: Aviation Deal Report

Q1 2022: Tech Deal Report

The Aaron’s Company acquired BrandSmart U.S.A.

  • Background: BrandsMart U.S.A. (“BrandsMart”), based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a leading Southeast U.S. appliance and electronics retailer, offering a wide selection of brands, and thousands of products, including appliances, consumer electronics and computers, furniture, and other home goods. 
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as financial advisor to the company
    • Facilitated the due dilligence process, working closely with the team to expeditiously and clearly answer acquirer’s questions
    • Assisted in the structuring, negotiating, and closing of the transaction
  • Challenges:
    • Ensured the desires were met to carry on the company legacy after decades of family ownership
    • As it was an unsolicited transaction, the seller was not fully prepared for the nuances of a sales process
    • Extensive due dilligence process without interrupting business, while working to meet the timing needs of a public company acquirer
  • Outcome: In April 2022, BrandsMart was acquired by The Aaron’s Company (NYSE: AAN), a leading technology-enabled, omnichannel provider of lease-to-own and purchase solutions with headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

2021 Florida PE Deal Report

Q4 2021: Aviation Deal Report

Miami Investment Banking Firm Cassel Salpeter Issues Aviation Industry Deal Report
South Florida firm publishes Q4 2021 Aviation Deal Report surveying year’s company M&A, deal flow, and market trends

7 Ways Small-Business Owners Can Cope with Inflation

By Julie Bawden-Davis
January 27, 2022

SUMMARY

As the price of goods and services rises across the nation, small-business owners are feeling the pinch. Consider using these tactics to combat rising inflation at your company.

Small businesses that weathered the last two years face a new challenge: rising inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the all-items index rose 7.0 percent for the 12 months ending December 2021—the highest increase in 40 years.

The looming effects of inflation, combined with the loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply-chain issues, can threaten small-business profitability.

According to the Business.org report The Effects of Inflation on US Small Businesses in 2021, featuring compiled data from the Consumer Price Index and an anonymous survey of 700 small-business owners, 60 percent of business owners are concerned about the financial health of their companies and 47 percent report decreased profit margins.”

Increased Wages and High Cost of Goods

Joe Stefani owns Desert Cactus, an e-commerce shop on Amazon with NBA, NHL, U.S. Military and college and university licensing deals. “We’re finding the higher inflation rates are causing substantial increases in wages and the cost of consumer product goods,” he says.

“Some entry-level jobs for our business have seen 30 percent wage increases,” Stefani continues. “Raw materials for the production side of our business have also seen multiple price increases in a short period of time. For example, our raw materials for making stickers have increased 26 percent through two price increases in just six months.”

For many of today’s businesses, inflation is a new experience, notes James Cassel, chairman and co-founder of the investment bank Cassel Salpeter. “Most business owners have experienced minimal inflation or even pricing deflation,” he says. “Today’s small businesses need to be creative in their approach to dealing with inflation, as it’s not likely to go away anytime soon.”

Steps That May Help Your Business Address Inflation

Key insights from small business owners reveal steps you can take that may be able to ease inflation’s effect on your business.

1. Streamline and automate processes.

Stefani found that reorganizing his company’s warehouse saved money. “We invested $5,000 in new shelving. After installations, we found it nearly doubled productivity.” Improving processes may mean exploring automation for your company, suggests Ben Johnston, COO of Kapitus, a provider of growth capital to small businesses. “As the cost of labor continues to climb, re-examine processes,” he advises. “Could time-intensive work be automated? Is there software that can be deployed to automate business processes like scheduling, order taking, billing or collecting payments? Is robotic processing an opportunity when manufacturing a good or completing a repetitive task?”

2. Analyze profit margins.

“Examine your profit margins carefully,” says Sam Barrante, an e-commerce entrepreneur. “Start by re-evaluating your costs and then analyze what margins you’re facing in today’s economy. From there, start looking into solutions to increase those margins, while continuing to ensure quality products and services.”

3. Improve productivity.

The more quickly and efficiently you and your employees work, the higher your profit margins are likely to be. “Use technologies and apps that track and improve productivity,” says Cassel.

“The labor pool is very limited right now, so make sure to remain sensitive to employee needs and feelings while seeking to improve productivity. As inflation rises, employers and employees are in this together. It’s important to communicate that.”

4. Cut expenses when and where possible.

Reduce wherever you can, advises Bradley Katz, CEO and co-founder of Axon Optics, a therapeutic eyewear provider. “Consider downsizing your office,” says Katz. “For example, my business uses a hybrid remote/in-office model that allows the flexibility to move to a smaller, less expensive office.”

Also check if your company is paying for products or services that aren’t being used and cancel those items. Also consider substituting materials. You may find alternate products or ingredients that will save you money.

5. Stock up on supplies now.

Evan McCarthy has helped to insulate his company against inflation while also addressing supply chain issues by stocking up on core materials. “We reorganized our warehouse and now have pallets full of supplies reaching to the ceiling in the 10,000-square-foot space,” says McCarthy, the president of Sporting Smiles, which provides custom dental products. “We stocked up, because every time we ordered supplies, the price kept rising. Our cardboard box supplies had three major increases in 2021.”

Also consider renegotiating contracts with suppliers and buying large equipment now, as prices are likely to increase.

6. Raise prices judiciously.

While raising prices isn’t ideal, it may be helpful in combatting inflation’s effect on your business. Avoid turning off customers with dramatic across-the board price increases. Instead, raise prices slowly in modest increments and be strategic. Choose areas where customers are less likely to notice.

7. Be ready for new customers.

“Inflation automatically creates new customer segments, so go after them,” suggests Stuart Robles, a partner at Briggs Capital, a mergers and acquisitions firm for small and medium-sized businesses, and co-author of The New World of Entrepreneurship: Insiders’ Guide to Buying and Selling Your Own Business in the Digital Age. “Inflationary periods are unnerving to many,” says Robles. “As a result, customer segments and market niches previously unreachable can become attainable as your company is seen as a beacon of light in terms of potential lower prices and rates.”

The information contained herein is for generalized informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS ADVICE. Therefore, seek such advice in connection with any specific situation, as necessary. The views and opinions of third parties expressed herein represent the opinion of the author, speaker or participant (as the case may be) and do not necessarily represent the views, opinions and/or judgments of American Express Company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions. American Express makes no representation as to, and is not responsible for, the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or reliability of any such opinion, advice or statement made herein.

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Q4 2021: Tech Deal Report

South Florida firm publishes Q4 2021 Tech Investment Banking Report surveying technology deals, industry M&A, and public markets activity

Q4 2021 Healthcare Investment Banking Report

Miami Investment Banking Firm Cassel Salpeter Releases Healthcare Industry Deal Report
South Florida firm publishes Q4 2021 Healthcare Deal Report surveying private placements, M&A, IPOs, public market activity, and trends