Strategy Planning Execution, Inc. ("SPX") is a Corporate Transactions Advisory firm that specializes in driving the strategy, planning and execution of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for enterprise clients within Technology and Service industries.  SPX prides itself on being one of the rare firms with a proven track record of being able to effectively drive the execution of a corporate transaction from start to finish.  In essence, we provide the resources and knowledge that our clients need to either rapidly grow inorganically through mergers and acquisitions or to promptly exit business ventures altogether through divestiture or the sale of the entire enterprise.  Instead of our clients worrying about building a Corporate Development function of their own, they can continue to focus on running their businesses while outsourcing those activities to SPX.

SPX’s value proposition is simple – We provide exceptional analytical insight to our clients, supported by years of diverse experience, superior methodologies and a compendium of documented lessons learned.  We are experts at what we do.

Cedric Thomas is the Managing Principal of SPX.  He has over 20 years of proven leadership experience running strategic programs and business operations at companies such as Apple, Tesla and Symantec.  Prior to starting SPX, Mr. Thomas also worked as a Management Consultant at one of the “Big Four” firms where he drove multiple Corporate Transactions and Business Transformation projects for enterprise clients. View or download Cedric's summary of professional experience by clicking here.

SERVICES


Acquisition Services

Review of your enterprise portfolio to determine the optimal acquisition strategy to drive inorganic growth.

Identification of potential acquisition candidates based on a formalized list of acquisition criteria.

Preliminary due diligence and valuation of a potential target along with an assessment on its impact to enterprise value.

Planning and execution of a formal Due Diligence process to understand and confirm detailed information and potential risks about an acquisition target.

Estimation of the intrinsic value of a company based on past and projected financial information, multiple methodologies and various scenarios.

Representation of the acquirer to effectively negotiate a fair and beneficial Definitive Agreement to acquire a targeted company.

Development and execution of a plan that defines how the combined company will operate when the acquisition closes.

Development of a plan to integrate the organization, operations and systems of an acquired company so that the combined enterprise can operate as one.

Management of internal and external stakeholder change during the integration process.

Development of the necessary training aids and communications to provide operational and policy guidance to the combined company’s stakeholders.

Restructure and optimization of the combined entity’s functional organization from top to bottom.

Design of critical operations for each corporate function (e.g. Sales, Marketing, etc.) of the combined company.

Migration of the acquired company’s stakeholders, business processes and data to the combined entity’s Information Technology infrastructure.

Re-design of the combined company’s end-to-end business processes based on current capabilities and IT infrastructure.

Re-launch of the acquired company’s products and services under the combined company’s brand and banner, based on the expected Lead-to-Cash infrastructure.

Enterprise Exit Services

Preliminary assessment of the sale prospects of an enterprise or product line as well as the requirements that must be in place for the business to continue to successfully operate on the day that the sale of it closes.

Identification of potential buyers for an enterprise that is being sold or a business that is being divested based on specific buyer criteria.

Estimation of the intrinsic value of your company based on past and projected financial information, multiple methodologies and various scenarios.

Design of the divested company’s organizational structure and operational model on the day that the divestiture closes.

Development and distribution of the necessary marketing materials (e.g. Management Presentation, Private Placement Memorandum, etc..)  to sell the enterprise or product line.

Planning and management of the Due Diligence process on behalf of the enterprise seller.

Design of the Transition Services Agreement (TSA) on behalf of the seller based on the expected capabilities of the divested business when the divesture closes.

Development and execution of a plan that defines how the divested company will operate when the divestiture closes.

Management of internal and external stakeholder change during the sale or divestiture process.

Representation of the seller to effectively negotiate a fair and beneficial Definitive Agreement.

Development and execution of a plan to transition the divested business off of Transition services so that it can operate effectively as an independent entity.

Assessment of the divested enterprise’s operational practices in order to develop a multi-faceted operational improvement roadmap that addresses gaps in efficiency and effectiveness.

Monitoring and review of service levels achieved during the negotiated Transition Services Agreement (TSA) period as well as the assessment of any gaps.

Case Studies


Acquisition Strategy and Due Diligence

Digital Yalo acquired Ninja Multimedia to add more capabilities to create an even stronger, dynamic and innovative marketing agency.

The Situation

Digital Yalo was interested in building its internal capabilities and expanding its breadth of services.  The company has provided its clients with traditional marketing agency services for years.  However, the company’s founder wanted to continue to grow and offer innovative service offerings by rapidly adding new capabilities to his team through an acquisition.  This is one of a multitude of acquisitions that Digital Yalo intends to execute to rapidly grow.

Our Solution

Similar to most privately-owned middle market companies, the client did not have a formal Corporate Development department or function, so SPX agreed to provide this function on an interim basis.  Our responsibilities include:

  • Developing an overall Corporate Development strategy and roadmap
  • Advising the client on capital structure and financing decisions
  • Finding potential targets that fit the client’s culture and strategy
  • Developing customized valuation models to evaluate potential acquisitions
  • Performing Due Diligence and analyzing the results
  • Driving the negotiation of the terms and conditions of acquisitions of interest
  • Providing advisory services during the integration planning process

During the Ninja Multimedia acquisition, Digital Yalo had already chosen Ninja Multimedia as a potential acquisition candidate.  Thus, our role was to identify risks with the possible acquisition and to calculate an acquisition price through a rigorous (but expedited) Due Diligence process.  SPX also developed and documented “Value Drivers” for this transaction that provided Key Performance Indicators that help to measure the extent to which the acquisition would be accretive or diluted to Digital Yalo’s shareholder value.

Results
  • Completed Due Diligence efforts and valued the target within a 30-day period
  • Orchestrated the negotiation and execution of the acquisition within a 30-day period
  • Drove the negotiation of the acquisition to ensure the retention of all key and critical employees
  • Developed Day 1 Integration Plans that gave both the acquirer and the target the necessary guidance that they need to operate efficiently and effectively on “Day 1”

End to End Integration Planning and Execution

New Mountain Learning merged with Carnegie Learning to form a Math and World Languages print and digital educational publishing powerhouse.

The Situation

Carnegie Learning and New Mountain Learning had just announced that they had merged and needed to perform integration planning.  Although both companies competed in the educational space, they were vastly different in terms of products, strategies, customers, operations and Information Technology systems.  Every company function needed to be integrated in order to move the combined entity in one common direction.

Our Solution

First, we developed a multi-phased integration strategy that focused on stabilizing the enterprise and immediately recognizing synergies.  This included:

  • Designing and implementing a combined optimized organization
  • Determining how to perform critical processes and to provide the necessary reporting while still operating in two different system environments
  • Identifying immediate operational overlaps and opportunities for cost savings

Second, we focused on migrating the combined company to one Information Technology environment.  This extraordinary effort included:

  • Transitioning employees to one common Human Resources Information System
  • Migrating all sales operations to one instance of Salesforce.com so that all Lead to Quote processes for all products can be managed and reported on uniformly
  • Migrating all business processes to one Enterprise Resource Planning system
Results
  • Retained and grew key customer accounts during the integration effort
  • Retained critical employees during the integration effort
  • Integrated two vastly different businesses into one common Information Technology environment
  • Positioned the company for increased organic growth
  • Identified a multitude of operational improvements that will lead to increased efficiencies and effectiveness once implemented

Acquisition Strategy and Target Valuations

Lumileds was interested in valuing specific targets to grow inorganically as a part of their overall corporate strategy.

The Situation

Lumileds had just spun off from Phillips.  The company quickly stabilized operations and established the necessary internal governance structure to execute acquisitions.  These acquisitions were expected to be relatively young companies and in adjacent high growth industries.  However, Lumileds had no tools or methodology in place to determine what these companies should be worth.

Our Solution

First, we developed and documented a methodology that we could put in place to get all of the stakeholders of each valuation effort to be totally aligned.  This document outlined roles and responsibilities during the Valuation Phase, provided an overview on how cost of capital should be calculated and it described the various valuation methodologies and when they should be used.

Second, we built custom valuation models to determine the intrinsic value of each company that they considered during the Acquisition Targeting phase.  These models also calculated the range of additional shareholder value that each acquisition could generate based on the price that Lumileds paid for the target.

Results
  • Developed a Valuation Methodology where one did not previously exist
  • Built customized models to value and justify bids on multiple targets
  • Enabled the client’s valuation calculations to become a key component of their Due Diligence process when reviewing acquisition targets

Integration of SolarCity and Grohmann Automation

Tesla had just acquired SolarCity and Grohmann Automation.  The Finance operations of both companies needed to be integrated into Tesla.

The Situation

Tesla acquired two companies that had different Finance organizations and different ways of doing business.  Both acquired companies had their own Enterprise Resource Planning systems and unique processes that were designed to support their respective organizations.  Somehow, we needed to integrate the teams, rationalize processes and migrate data into Tesla’s environment in a way that minimized disruption.

Our Solution

We began by helping Tesla design and implement a combined Finance organization that included the respective organizations of both acquired companies, with a rationalized reporting structure.  This facilitated decision making and removed risks for employees.

Second, we evaluated the similarities and differences between Tesla’s IT environment and the environments of the acquired companies.  By understanding these differences, we were able to identify potential gaps and risks.  These gaps and risks turned into business requirements that we needed implement within Tesla’s environment as well as interfaces between environments to accommodate the operations of both acquisitions in the best way possible.

Third, we migrated the data from the environments of both acquired companies to Tesla’s environment wherever applicable and facilitated User Acceptance Testing and Training for the employees of both acquired companies in order to rapidly migrate processes and procedures.

Results
  • Retained 100% of Critical employees during both integration efforts
  • Migrated Finance employees to Tesla’s environment within a 6 month period while still meeting Finance Service Level agreements that were in place
  • Developed an inventory of Operational Improvements that could be implemented to maximize the Finance organization’s efficiency and effectiveness

Our IP


How Do You Measure the Success (or Failure) of an Acquisition?

Determining how to correctly measure value is the first step to recognizing value in any corporate transaction.?

How Do You Measure the Success (or Failure) of an Acquisition?

Determining how to correctly measure value is the first step to recognizing value in any corporate transaction.

CAREERS


We are always looking to connect with talented corporate transaction practitioners that have deep experience in our service areas and a passion for exemplary client service. Please tell us about your experience and send us your Resume.  If there is an interest and a fit, we will get back to you!

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CONTACT