The Buy and Build Accelerator

Helping you find your next acquisition, quicker.

Hi Paul, Many thanks for organising the event, some very helpful insights shared to take forwards in my current business, and will certainly be recommending it to people in my network!. Thanks, Ollie

Ollie Horbye, Co-Founder of Olsam Group

What can you expect?

This is not a VC type of accelerator. This is an in-person, paid bootcamp where subject-matter experts, many of them former Buy and Build podcast guests, will spend the day sharing the practical tools needed to help you conclude a successful search.

If you are reading this, you are likely looking to acquire a wonderful business. You may have even have left, or are considering leaving your job to search full-time.

To be successful you need to achieve two, sometimes conflicting, outcomes:

  1. You need to close a deal, as quick as possible, without costly mistakes, and

  2. Ensure your deal and business set you up for success in the operating phase

Having gone through an 18-month search myself, I understand the challenges that you will face- I’ve made all the mistakes already. I had 2 deals die at the finish line (costing me £20k+), spent £5k+ on charlatan service providers, but ultimately acquired a wonderful business with the help of my network. But this not about me.

If you start with the right tools, network, and peer group there is no reason why you can’t shave of 6 months off of your search and complete an acquisition in under 12 months. This is what this accelerator aims to help you achieve.

You might have considered which businesses and sectors to start with. Are those sectors easily financeable? Perhaps you are trying to build your deal flow funnel with high-quality brokered deals. How are you differentiating yourself from everyone else in the eyes of the intermediary? If you are considering a proprietary outreach strategy, which are the best company data sources and platforms for outreach? Will email work or is physical mail the way forward? At some point you will need to consider how you will finance the acquisition. What lenders are best suited for your deal? Do they expect sophisticated financial models? Do you need external investors? What would they expect in terms of returns and rights? Finally, you will need a fantastic deal team to help you get that deal over the line. Do they have the relevant experience? Are they commercially focused on getting the deal done (and not stalling to rack up fees)? Do they offer solutions if your deal dies during due diligence?

Our line up of speakers consist of investors, debt advisors, M&A attorneys, sell-side advisors, as well as past and current searchers. They have been specifically picked to help you solve all these problems, and any others you may be struggling with. In the last year alone, they have helped raise over £300m to finance SME deals and helped dozens of SME’s transact. Rest assured, they have the knowledge to help accelerate your acquisition journey.  

We are aiming for a small group of approximatively 18 individuals to ensure the day is interactive and you are able to meet all of your peers and presenters.

“Thanks again for the event on Thursday -  I thought it was really informative and the group well rounded at different stages of their journey-which added a lot of insight!”

Kerr McEwan, Managing Director of M Squared

Why have we decided to create this accelerator?

The entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA) movement has gathered a lot of momentum in UK/Europe and there is a growing interest in “non-traditional” paths to acquiring and operating a small business.

Other ETA events are excellent and worth attending, but the feedback we get is that they tend to be more focused on connecting traditional search fund investors with prospective searchers, over several days. That can be worthwhile, but this event is for those who want to get their search going now and do not want to spend too long away from the desk.

If you are only contemplating this path, we suggest you take a listen to our podcast where we share the insights of others and our own ETA journey. We have 80+ episodes available for free. If then you still think this is the path for you, then consider joining the next cohort.

If we can shorten your search by 6 months, help you avoid dead deal costs, or prevent you from buying a bad business. That alone is worth 50x the cost to attend.

Who is this event for?

Although not an exhaustive or exclusive list, the topics and speakers have been organised for searchers that are:

  • considering alternatives to the “traditional” search fund path

  • unsure of what sectors to focus on to increase the chances of success

  • struggling to source quality deals or build rapport with intermediaries

  • facing challenges raising debt or weighing up what deal types/sizes have the best chance of raising debt

  • looking for flexible, open- minded equity investors that consider each deal on its own merits and create win-win structures

  • unsure how to go about building financial models and pitchbooks to build your case with lenders and investors

  • seeking to build a network of experienced SME deal professionals to get the deal over the line, at fair prices

Who is this event not for ?

This event is not for you if you are:

  • interested in acquiring a business with “no money down”. That is not to say you need significant wealth yourself, but you will need equity and/or debt to close a great deal

  • still learning about ETA. This will be practical, for those in search mode or just about to take the plunge. If you are really early, check out our podcast.


8:30-9:00am: Check in and welcome breakfast with tea/coffee

Session 1: How to create quality deal flow (via intermediaries and off-market) while avoiding the dodgy brokers (open discussion with current and former searchers)

Session 2: Making financial statements and forecasting fun: identifying financial red flags, building rough valuation models, and deal structure basics (external presenter)

Lunch break (We will provide the food on site)

Session 3: Demystifying debt financing: what lenders look for in a deal, deal structure beat practices (to increase your chances of raising debt), and the best SME lenders in the market (external presenter)

Session 4: Inside the mind of an investor: what investors expect when looking at an investment opportunity, how and when to build an investor network, and pitching best practices (external presenter)

Afternoon Break (tea/coffee and snacks provided)

Session 5: How to convince sellers you are the right buyer: fireside chat with a sell-side corporate finance advisor (representing sellers) on building rapport with sellers, main reasons deals fall apart, types of buyers sellers look for, and much more (external presenter)

From 17:30 Networking Drinks

A partnership between Citium Capital and Buy and Build Media

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