Washington DC-headquartered mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm Taylor Advisory announced last week that it was entering the African market through South Africa with the appointment of Francois Baird as its Africa co-chairperson and Riaan Rademan as its South Africa co-chairperson.
This is despite South Africa’s economy contracting sharply in the first quarter of 2018, with gross domestic product shrinking by 2.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to Statistics South Africa.
“We are encouraged that the economy still expanded by 0.8% when measured against the first quarter of 2017. The time to enter a market is at the bottom, not at the top,” says Taylor Advisory founder Ralph Taylor III.
“We believe that the appointment of Baird, with his long history of success in African markets and an enviable African network, working in tandem with Rademan, a proven executive in the mining, oil and gas markets . . . will provide Taylor with entry to companies interested in making the most of our proven global record.”
CEO Trey Taylor ascribes the company’s record, with a success rate of more than 90% in acquisitions, to its “single-minded application of synergy and the maintenance of absolute confidentiality”.
Taylor Advisory provides M&A consulting services, and manages sales and divestitures, as well as acquisitions.
The company is involved in transactions worldwide, amounting to about $70-billion, owing to its proprietary methodologies that enable it to develop a synergy-based acquisition and divestiture strategy.
“Instead of simply throwing out bait in the hope of generating a transaction, Taylor would first examine the feasibility of all M&A strategic options, find the right parties for the deal and then manage the integration of these entities to maximise the synergy,” says Baird. He adds that the ability to deliver the best results, instead of simply brokering a deal, is specifically vital for Africa-based companies.
Rademan adds: “Taylor’s highly trained in-house business intelligence team works with a multisector network of more than 600 industry experts in 250 different industrial sectors, which enables them to identify actual companies that fit the profile for success.”
Taylor Advisory believes that there are opportunities for growth in African corporate action, despite a decline in M&A in 2017.
The highest number of deals in the final quarter of 2017 was in the financial sector, but the highest value in M&A transactions was in energy and power, with 59 deals concluded.
The value of M&A transactions announced in 2017 was $32.4-billion, compared with $42.5-billion in 2016 and $64.9-billion in 2015. “So, we know the potential and understand the value of building relationships in Africa,” explains Taylor.
“The level of activity will improve again and, when it does, we want to have strategic relationships in place already.”
The company believes that there are opportunities in specific industries, such as finance, oil and gas, and mining in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.
Taylor is confident that determined political leadership will improve the business climate, making Africa an attractive investment destination again.
“Even more importantly, we are confident that such leadership will encourage African companies to become active in M&A transactions beyond national or continental borders,” he concludes.