5 Lessons Business Can Learn from Sport

5 Lessons Business Can Learn from Sport


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Like elite sportspeople, our most successful clients are match fit, lean, agile and prepared to adapt their strategy to win...
1) Define the goal – The fastest, the strongest, the best

Every business should have business plan, is yours up to date? A study by Cranfield School of Management showed that owner-managed businesses with a clear business plan in place perform significantly better than those without, and experience higher growth in sales and profit.

2) Growth Plan – Track and measure to improve performance

Does your business have a growth plan? Will you need to recruit new employees, move to new premises or invest in new products? Most importantly, will this expansion turn a profit? A growth plan will help you identify actions, as well as set targets and keep your business on track.

3) Who’s on your team?

Does your business have a high performing executive team? It’s the first thing investors will look at in a new venture. Because you founded your business, it does not always follow that you have the necessary skills and experience to grow your business. Hire the right people, trust them and delegate to them – your team are accounted for in a business valuation.

4) Innovation – What do you need to help you succeed?

Things change – production costs, the market, technology and your competitors. Stay up-to-date with industry news and networks and use this knowledge to update your growth plan. This will help to ensure that your sales and marketing strategy is adaptable, insightful and relevant.

5) Mental attitude – Focussed and positive

Put emotional attachment to your business to one side. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made and sometimes emotions can cloud your judgement. Trust us when we say that most people rarely look back once they sell or exit from a business.

If you want to know more about selling or growing your business, contact the team on +61 3 8622 8622, or email for more information.


Popina Foods sells to Freedom Foods for $35 million

Popina Foods sells to Freedom Foods for $35 million.

Kennedy Needham has completed the $35m sale of Popina Foods: a market leader in oat-based cereals, muesli and snacks, to ASX-listed, Freedom Foods.

What started out as a significant capital raising to fund new assets for the expansion of Popina Food's oat-based muesli and cereal production facility at Dandenong, Victoria – evolved into a $35 million sale to Freedom Foods Group Limited, a leading ASX listed manufacturer of a range of beverages and food products including allergen free cereals and snacks.

Popina founder and MD, Arnold May first approached Kennedy Needham in 2012 in relation to a detailed business valuation and strategic plan. In 2014, Arnold May again approached Kennedy Needham, this time to facilitate the introduction of suitable equity partners.

The popularity of healthy cluster formatted oat-based cereals and related snack bars had continued to grow strongly, both domestically and internationally. With ovens working around-the-clock, unless funds could be raised in a timely manner for the purchase of additional manufacturing assets, the business would not be in a position to grow swiftly enough to capitalize on rapidly increasing demand. Armed with both an updated valuation and strategic plan Popina was primed for investment.

Popina-freedom-300x200pxMichael Shaw, Kennedy Needham’s lead corporate advisor to Popina and an expert in the Food Industry and Agri-business sector, identified genuine potential in possibly divesting the whole business, and presented the idea to Arnold who was open to this pathway as an alternative growth strategy.

Michael Shaw said, “My area of expertise is the Food Industry. I have a deep and rich knowledge of the businesses involved, access to an extensive network which enables me to create successful solutions – I’m thoroughly delighted how well this worked out for Arnold and Freedom Foods. It was the perfect outcome“.

Amongst the targeted strategic investors or buyers, one potential party stood out as the leading contender: Freedom Foods Group Limited. An outright purchase of Popina aligned with Freedom’s significant international and domestic expansion plans. For Arnold May this would was a superb opportunity to realize a strategic value for Popina.

With the parties enthusiastic about the mutually beneficial opportunity, an exclusive Terms Sheet was entered into during late August 2015 with completion occurring in late November 2015.

You can read more about the sale in the case study. If you are looking for a buy-in partner, read How to find a Buy-In partner for your company in 15 weeks’ for an overview.

If you want to know more about selling your business, contact Michael Shaw (or any of the team) on +61 3 8622 8622, or email for more information.

How to find a Buy-In partner

How to find a Buy-In partner for your company in 15 weeks

How to find a Buy-In partner for your company in 15 weeks


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When Kennedy Needham was engaged by a Perth freight and logistics company to find a suitable buy-in partner for a $1m opportunity, Drew Williams completed the entire transaction from engagement-to-settlement in just 15 weeks. Significantly reducing both transaction costs and a time frame that can take 6 months.

The client had developed and patented a new containerised palette system for handling dangerous and precious goods. One founder wanted to sell down a portion of his interest. Freight is a niche market and not the most glamorous of propositions. However, Drew has shared some of the steps you can take to achieve a swift, successful outcome for a business Buy-in opportunity.

1) Proof of concept

Can you demonstrate that your product is viable and that your business model and channel partners will enable scale? You need evidence to support this in the form of good business structure, sound accounts, and a business plan to show that your house is in order. In this case, the freight system had already been trialled for the past 2.5 years, as well as having the first IP filings completed.

2) Use your industry networks

There will be phone calls, emails and plenty of legwork involved. Finding an appropriate partner can be an emotional rollercoaster. You might feel frustrated, then hopeful and sometimes despondent. Unless you are part of numerous industry networks, this stage can be arduous.

The client had already generated significant interest from major freight and logistics groups, this was helpful, but success came after Drew profiled smaller groups with an established interest in this sector, adding competitive tension. This method can sometimes generate interest in the direction a company is headed from even the most unlikely groups. The parameters of the deal were clearly communicated to each party at every stage, helping to separate the time-wasters from the serious contenders, meaning that the transaction was concluded with minimal disruption.

3) Open to negotiation

You might have an idea of what you want, but your investors are likely to bring a wealth of management and business experience to the table too. Put any emotional attachment to your business to one side. Be prepared to listen, you might end up formulating a new plan and strategy for your venture.

4) Equip yourself with an experienced, professional team

When the time comes, you’ll need transaction experts. It goes without saying, engage a group you can entrust, that has experience doing similar work, who demonstrate a high level strategic thinking and understand the execution and due diligence processes.

This process can sometimes be extremely daunting if undertaken without guidance. A wrong path can be financially and emotionally costly. A corporate advisory relationship might be premature for you at the moment, but all of Kennedy Needham’s advisors are on hand to answer your questions and can point you in the right direction.

Drew is known for his expertise in numerous technology sectors. He has an expansive professional network, years of experience and his advice widely respected.

If you want to know more about Buy-ins, contact Drew Williams (or any of the team) on +61 3 8622 8622, or email for more information.

Kennedy Needham Rural Service

Kennedy Needham Rural Service Launched

Kennedy Needham Rural Service Launched

October saw the launch of our Kennedy Needham Rural service, a new service dedicated to supporting businesses in rural and regional Australia. The service is operated from our regional office in Macedon, Victoria.

Outside of metropolitan areas, businesses can struggle to find adequate advice, because banks and advisory services can lack the experience and knowledge to deal with the unique challenges of rural business.

Rural businesses need to grow and prosper to meet their market potential. To do so they must attract investment and that investment will only be placed into businesses which are both sustainable and viable.

“Our role is to investigate the business, analyse the market, find out where the growth potential is and ensure that the business is stable and investment ready.”

The team at Kennedy Needham's Melbourne office has already attracted a number of clients from the grain, milk and beef industries due to the strong networks the team has within those markets – both here and overseas. Those clients recognize that the future of the Australian food business lies in export.

The launch of Kennedy Needham Rural service will mean a more mobile and immediate service offering to existing regional clients and a ready availability to meet new clients face-to-face.

If you want to know more about Kennedy Needham Rural service, contact any of our friendly team on +61 3 8622 8622, or email for more information.

Kennedy Needham Rural
Level 11, 461 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000


Divestment and Acquisition News

Divestment and Acquisition News


Kennedy Needham recently completed the divestment of Lit Support and The Coding Company, bringing to 5 the number of transactions completed in the last 18 months.


On the acquisition side, our recent successful acquisition project for Australian Unity in the last 6 months was completed this month.