by David Luster
Hedgerow Mergers & Acquisitions was the featured merger and acquisitions speaker at Lotusphere 2001, the IBM/Lotus partner worldwide convention held in Orlando, Florida in January. Over 10,000 firms from around the world participated in the five day event. Hedgerow's M&A workshop, "Mergers & Acquisitions, A Blueprint for Success" was presented by Chris Talis, David Luster, and John Celentano and attended by business owners seeking professional advice on effective growth strategies for success in today's highly competitive business environment.
Now that the Initial Public Offering (IPO) window has essentially closed for most companies, and organic growth in itself is too slow for most firms to remain competitive in today's fast moving technology sector, mergers and acquisitions offer the best option for growth. Information technology (IT) business owners attending the workshop were keenly aware of this market situation and were focused on gaining knowledge that would provide them with a competitive advantage in an industry experiencing a flurry of partnerships and consolidation.
The workshop was specifically tailored to address the pressures and opportunities presented by a rapidly changing financial marketplace and how to effectively develop a winning strategy. The centerpiece of the seminar was a simulation involving a buyer and seller whereby each group chose company executives responsible for negotiating and completing a successful transaction.
A unique aspect of the workshop that sets it apart from other commercially available workshops is the emphasis on addressing organizational fit issues along with business issues. Hedgerow believes that a successful merger or sale is based on addressing both the "hard" business issues as well as the "soft" issues of integrating two corporate cultures. Facilitators from ARC Worldwide, professionals in addressing the issues of cultural integration, worked alongside Hedgerow facilitators to provide balanced information and solutions to workshop attendees.
Lotusphere workshop participants expressed their enthusiasm for the seminar's content and specifically for the experience gained through the buyer/seller simulation. Based on Lotusphere response, Hedgerow has expanded the workshop into a full day seminar for IBM/Lotus partner organizations, as well as the greater business community.
Mark Nagelvoort, Managing Director of Hedgerow, notes that "we are extremely pleased with our association with Lotus as we continue to provide the highest level of advisory services to all their business partners. Furthermore, as a result of Lotusphere 2001, we are working with a number of Lotus partners to assist in their growth or exit strategies."
David Luster is director of Corporate Business Development for Hedgerow Mergers & Acquisitions with offices in Teaneck, New Jersey and Wilton, Connecticut. The firm specializes in servicing the private business owner, firms with revenues between $5 to $100 million dollars, throughout the tri-state and metro New York region.