18th August 2017
innergy Group Ltd are one of the largest and fastest growing distributors of Calor Gas, welding gases & gas equipment and drinks dispense gases in the UK. They delight their customer by reducing costs and providing amazing service and support. 100% of their customers, in independent surveys, have or would recommend innergy.
The company is owned by Gez Walsh who has been a member of Connect Yorkshire since the current model was inaugurated in 2011. The company has sales of approx £4.5m of which roughly half has come from acquisitions
Whether to continue to acquire businesses in innergy’s industry and related industries, whether the method used to find suitable targets was the best, whether the commercial logic of making acquisitions was sound. At the time of the Springboard mentoring session with Entrepreneur in Residence, John McArthur. innergy was paying a firm of accountants to source leads.
Springboard advice given.
Gez Walsh should lead and do the whole acquisition process, including sourcing leads, himself rather than pay accountants to do it. He must make time to do this-it should be a major part of his working day. He should produce a marketing pack on acquisitions to send to targets emphasising the commercial logic for the targets. He should get testimonials from those he had bought businesses from and work up case studies of how it has worked.
As the biggest companies in the industry were also always looking to buy, the marketing pack needed to demonstrate why it is better selling to innergy than to the competition.
John, who has done 9 acquisitions as CEO of Tracsis plc, confirmed that he thought Gez’s commercial logic and pricing for the acquisitions he had completed already was sound.
Progress since the advice was given
Since the Springboard mentoring session Gez has dispensed with the search services of the accountants and has completed 2 acquisitions himself bringing in an additional £1.4m of turnover and 9 staff and has another 2 nearing completion.
Testimonial from Gez Walsh
“I have taken away a huge amount from our session, particularly around selling the deal and structuring the commercials. One process I immediately reviewed and changed was recruitment – “As’ recruit As’, Bs’ recruit Bs’ and Cs’”. I had been delegating this but I will now make sure I am involved in second interviews. I knew I knew this, I simply forgot I knew this!
The value of validation is hugely powerful too. Getting an experienced perspective on my model and ambitions inspires confidence. To this end I am progressing with a potential acquisition with which I had been harbouring some doubts. I now recognise that the doubts have been mainly around my appetite for risk rather than any risk associated with the transaction. In many ways this acquisition is more attractive than our earlier successful deals.”