What’s Brewing with Agency M&A with Jonathan Baker

When should agency owners consider selling their business? What are buyers looking for? What’s the market like in 2023?

Buckle up, because today’s guest, Jonathan Baker has the answers. As the Practice Lead for Mergers and Acquisitions at Punctuation (formerly, David C. Baker), Jonathan knows a thing (or ten!) about what it takes to successfully close a deal in this market, and in the agency landscape overall.

Interestingly, Jonathan has experience in selling his own business, having gone through the process with his brewery company that today boasts multiple locations and close to 200 employees.

So, what’s brewing with M&A? While it’s been a challenging year for many agency owners and deal flow has slowed down massively, there will always be buyers on the market looking to complement their offering with specialized services.

This episode dives into topics like positioning and specialization, the emotional side of selling your darling, and why you should continue to act as if you weren’t selling even if you were in the process.

Here’s what Corey and Jonathan cover in this episode:

  • The state of agency M&A this year.
  • When agency owners should consider selling.
  • How agency valuations are formed.
  • What buyers are looking for and who’s buying.
  • Who should be involved from your team in M&A talks.

Here are some actionable key takeaways for agency founders:

  • If you don’t have it in you to grow your business further, perhaps it’s time for M&A.
  • M&A can be a growth lever to get access to systems and perks of a larger firm.
  • Strong positioning, client focus, and solid processes make you more attractive for M&A.
  • A specific expertise can help get you acquired by generalist agencies.
  • Don’t share too much too early internally because things can change dramatically.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

- Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn Here

- Learn About Punctuation Here

- Check out the MYOB Conference Here


Join us as we explore the ropes of agency M&A.

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