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Introducing M&A Deconstructed

The M&A Deconstructed video series of conversations help take your business sale to the next level

Buying or selling a business is a highly complex and detailed undertaking and usually a once-in-a-lifetime event. We know that for many people it can feel like there’s a mountain to climb.

In our exclusive “M&A Deconstructed” video series you will hear experienced M&A professionals discuss just what it takes to get a transaction across the line. In the series they discuss the complexities of buying and selling a business with the ultimate goal of demystifying the M&A process and setting you on the road to business sale success.

This mini-series of insider conversations are designed to inform and educate the first time seller. Our first video in this series introduces M&A, the presenters and sets out the objectives in detailing some of the processes and terminology. Learn from the experts: how to sidestep the dangers, navigate the ups and downs, and reach your ultimate goal.

In this intro video we meet the experts; Partner and M&A Solicitor at Steele Raymond LLP Nick Davies and our Managing Director and M&A expert Justin Levine and learn a bit about their backgrounds and objectives.

Quick find timeline:

00:13 – Objective of M&A Deconstructed series
02:03 – Nick Davies intro & background
03:20 – Justin Levine intro & background

Series 1: Topics

The conversations in the first series will include:

Register here to get immediate access to all of the videos.

Meet your M&A experts

Nick Davies, Partner | M&A Solicitor, Steele Raymond LLP Solicitors
Nick acts for a wide range of business clients across various sectors, advising on complex corporate transactions including company sales, purchases and mergers. Nick also advises on on mergers, de-mergers and re-organisation.

Justin Levine – Managing Director, The NonExec Limited M&A Boutique
Justin leads a boutique exit advisory firm specialising in manufacturing, technology, IT, digital, healthcare, wholesale and distribution markets. With the support of a 15-strong virtual team of analysts and researchers, he helps private business owners with growth and exit strategies.


Steele Raymond LLP
Richmond Point, 43 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, BH2 6LR

TheNonExec Limited
Contact us here to chat about your business exit.

More M&A Deconstructed

The second part of our M&A Deconstructed video series is currently in production.

If you have any specific topics or questions you would like to be covered as part of the next video series please let us know.


Justin Levine:
So Nick, we’re today on this lovely day to talk about the wonderful world of mergers and acquisitions, and to try and get behind a lot of the common questions that come up. We both face clients, prospective clients, and there seems to be 80% of questions that are very repetitive, and we want to somehow dispel some of the detail behind that and just give a bit of clarity to what some of the terms are involved and how a process runs in M&A.

Nick Davies:
Yes, definitely. A bit of a sort of introductory process to some of the key stages, some of the key terms. See if we can provide some useful tips and pointers for people who may be new to the process. So yes, look forward to it.

Justin Levine:
Well, I think it is, because a lot of people, I don’t know if you find the same, most of my clients have never sold a business before. It’s the first time, a one-off, [they’ve] never done it before. They know intimately their own business, but bring them into the world of mergers and acquisitions, business disposable exits, and the terminology and the notion… It is kind of…

Nick Davies:
It’s very new, isn’t it?

Justin Levine:

Nick Davies:
We act for a lot of sellers. We do a lot of buy side work as well. So on the buy side, we quite often act for people who are going through a build and buy strategy to grow their own business. We do get some clients who are well versed in the process, but a lot of sellers, a typical retirement sale for example, will be somebody who has not been through that process before. And yes, it can be a bit of a shock to the system, I think, in terms of terminology, time consumption. So let’s see if we can sort of deconstruct a bit of that and add a bit of knowledge into the equation.

Justin Levine:
Yes, exactly. Well, I’ve known you personally a long time. It’s over 10 years now. I think 13/14 years?

Nick Davies:

Justin Levine:
I know Steele Raymond, of course, we’ve worked together a lot of times. But just remind me a bit about your background.

Nick Davies:
OK; I’ve been at Steele Raymond for 15 years. I’ve been a partner here for eight years, working in the corporate team, specialising in M&A, helping people buy and sell companies, businesses, all manner of assets really. I think it was 13 years we first worked together. You were the MD of a local electronics manufacturing, engineering business, and I acted for you and that business in the acquisition of another business based in Essex. So we first crossed paths then, and we’ve gone on to work together in many different guises since then. So you were the client then.

Justin Levine:
I was, I was.

Nick Davies:
And you’re now sitting in a different role with your CF hat on.

Justin Levine:
It is “poacher turned gamekeeper”, I think is the best phrase. Well, we met, actually it was 2008. So actually when we bought that business, it was four weeks… Of course, I now realise that the financial world kind of knew about the stirrings that Lehman Brothers 12 months prior to it going pop. But we spent quite a few millions of pounds four weeks before the world financially just sort of disappeared from under us. So I remember it well. The gray hair, the white hair, I remember it well.

Justin Levine:
Yes. So me, personally, you probably know, I’m a little bit of square peg in a round hole actually because I trained as an engineer. I was an aeronautics engineer. I went into industry, I spent time in sales selling industrial equipment, then became a managing director and chief executive. Worked in a very large French company, helping them build a big technology division overseas. It ended up with several thousand people inside of it. And when I was 36, decided that I really wanted independence, I didn’t want to be a corporate ‘bod’ as my ambition. And so, we set up a consulting business and that’s migrated into a mergers and acquisitions business. It’s a boutique business, 15 people. I lead it. I lead all of the client engagements and we do work, of course, in the South West quite prominently. We’re not the right fit for everybody, but we are the right fit for some. I think actually manufacturing, engineering technology, we really do stand out…

Nick Davies:
It’s a sweet spot for you.

Justin Levine:
It’s a good sweet spot. And I know we do some good work with Steele Raymond.

Nick Davies:
Yes, well, we’ve worked together over many years, not only when you were a client, but now in your sort of advisory CF capacity, and we’ve done many, many deals over the years. So hopefully we can take the experience, the joint experience we’ve got, and shed a bit of light on some of this murky M&A world.

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