- EOA is a unique SaaS platform that aids global brands in the management of their email marketing campaigns.
- Companies across the globe send billions of email campaigns annually, and there is a finality in sending an email. EOA’s software platform enables customers to deliver email perfection every time. By reviewing and verifying every element of an email, a customer’s brand and marketing message is rendered consistently.
- EOA is the industry leader and represented a key piece of the complete email marketing puzzle.
- The client was seeking to be acquired by a strategic company with a strong balance sheet, large sales and marketing organization, and a complimentary service offering where EOA would represent another arrow in the quiver.
- The owner’s goals were to provide an opportunity for continued employment growth, put the business in the hands of an owner that could maximize the next leg of growth, and create liquidity.
- The challenge Merit Investment Bankerit faced was twofold: projecting the market size as almost infinitely larger than the current sub-$100 million amount since every company that cared about its brand was a potential customer and conveying the sophistication underlying EOAs service offering, which is embedded in the software.
- The Merit Investment Bank team worked closely with the majority owner of EOA to position EOA as a company poised to take advantage of the significant opportunity ahead:
- Email campaigns were growing as companies had seen significant benefits with the shift to electronic marketing due to Covid-19.
- Companies understood that the value of their brand could be negatively impacted by an email rendering improperly or a link not working, and “email testing” as part of an email campaign was growing.
- Companies were moving away from homegrown, in-house “testing” solutions to much more sophisticated systems.
- The other important aspect of the transaction was building a buyer list that creatively captured different buyer categories, both domestic and international, that could best leverage what EOA had created.
- Another challenge of the transaction was something that many business owners/founders experience, which is the emotional difficulty in letting go of “your baby.” EOA’s majority owner was no different. Since its inception in 2009, the majority owner had poured his existence into the business. The Merit Investment Bank team proved to be good listeners and helped advise the client at each step of the process.
- In the end, Pathwire, the most trusted platform for sending, receiving, and tracking emails, acquired EOA to create a significant liquidity event for the founders.
- Pathwire is a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo, the world’s leading software-focused private equity firm.
- The founders were very pleased with the outcome of the transaction, and the majority owner was grateful that the Merit Investment Bank team was by his side throughout the transaction.
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"The team at Merit Investment Bank works hard and puts in a lot of time and energy. And because of that, they're talking to people with a lot more sincerity than just putting out a deck. They went deeper and not only understood our strategy, but they understood how to pitch the right strategy to the folks on the other end of the transaction. They explained our business so a potential suitor understood how it could be integrated into their business.
Merit Investment Bank thought of a more strategic transaction and they built a better story. It's what's created more offers and what made the offers higher."
"Merit Investment Bank not only did everything they promised, they provided significant strategic guidance required to help us navigate the path of getting this transaction across the finish line. Their patience, tenacity, and professionalism when things got tough was the difference in completing this transaction for us."
“I greatly appreciated Merit Investment Bank’s expertise and guidance throughout this process and appreciated, even more, their attention to the intangible things that were important to me and my company beyond just getting a deal done.”
“I enjoyed working with Merit Investment Bank—they made an enormous contribution in such a complex but successful transaction. I would be happy for the chance to give a reference in the future for what a great job they did!”
"I wanted to work with an Investment Banking firm that was going to be able to understand our business, get to know me and my team, and then not only help us secure the investor, but help us find the right investor because they understood what we really needed. We got that and more with Merit Investment Bank. Their strategic guidance, patience, and diligence were critical in getting this transaction finished, and was the difference maker in this process.”
"We are thrilled with the outcome Merit Investment Bank delivered for our family through the sale of the business. With their guidance, we were able to unlock significant shareholder liquidity while positioning the employees of the company for continued success within a growing platform.”
"We hired Merit Investment Bank over other investment bankers because of the responsiveness to our questions, aggressive approach to winning, persistence in following-up, and the many creative ideas the team presented. Merit Investment Bank added significant value beyond just running a process."
"Unlike many investment banks I've worked with during my career, Merit Investment Bank was attentive at all stages of our transaction, which really made a difference in achieving a great outcome."
“Through the broad auction, Merit Investment Bank got us another 75% above the offers that originally came in. We still have a piece of the company and I’m still able to run it. I feel good that our key employees are going to be secure in the future. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
"The team at Merit Investment Bank have provided invaluable assistance in stabilizing and growing my company. They’ve helped with both short-term challenges and long-term planning. Their experience running multiple businesses like mine and vast network of contacts have brought value to my company and to me personally. If you want help taking your business to the next level, I highly recommend Merit Investment Bank."
"As a business/transactional attorney, I have had the opportunity to work with many investment bankers in the M&A arena. The Merit Investment Bank team is, without question, the best in the local middle-market space. They make clients feel comfortable by both listening to and provide thoughtful advice for legal counsel. Most importantly, they are able to negotiate a great deal.
Quite refreshingly, Merit Investment Bank puts the needs of the client above closing a deal – something very rare in the M&A world. I give my highest possible recommendation to the Merit Investment Bank team."
"The Merit Investment Bank team has provided my company with professionalism and valuable counsel on multiple transactions. They listened to our needs, and as business operators themselves, they understood the opportunities open to us and the challenges we faced to grow. They fought hard for us at every stage. We would absolutely look to them for our future investment banking needs."
“The Merit Investment Bank team has extensive M&A and capital-raising experience in the middle market, both as investment bankers and entrepreneurs. They are great to have on an engagement team and are committed to helping clients succeed, whether buying or selling a business or sourcing capital to scale a growing business.”
"The Merit Investment Bank team was invaluable in several transactions involving a niche consumer products company where I served as CEO. The Merit Investment Bank team is talented, well-disciplined, and rolls up their sleeves to work alongside management to get the work done. With their controlled approach, management can continue to focus on the business for the benefit of all involved. I certainly would recommend Merit Investment Bank and will choose to work with them again.”