Buy & Build CEO: Leveraging Private Equity to Build a Winning Global Business
“This is a story about creating wealth; lots of it.”
- Ted Clark
Ted Clark is back with an engaging primer on one of the business world's most rewarding paths to success: the "buy-and-build" merger and acquisition strategy using private equity. Buy & Build CEO: Leveraging Private Equity to Build a Winning Global Business combines personal journey, research, and straight talk you won't hear in your MBA program.
“Private equity helps democratize access to the American Dream by investing capital in people and companies based on merit and results,” Clark emphasizes. “At its best, it creates value by partnering with management teams and helping those teams realize their potential.”
Few are born with silver spoons in their mouths, so how do ordinary people find ways to build almost-unimaginable wealth? With neither college degrees nor family connections, Clark worked his way up from forklift driver to CEO of the parent company of the business that had first hired him 22 years before. He tells that story in his first book, Shipping Clerk to CEO: The Power of Curiosity, Will, and Self-Directed Learning. Now he takes readers to a whole new level of financial achievement. Once again, curiosity, tenacity, and good instincts served him well when Clark decided to leave the huge corporation he once led to launch his own company. In this disarmingly candid narrative, he names names while giving readers a behind-the-curtains look into the world of leveraging other people's money.
Clark calls his new book a “quasi-autobiographical self-help book of fifteen lessons that nearly any worker can apply to almost any career path for greater returns on the hours spent at work.” Each of the fifteen core lessons is accompanied by clear explanations of terms and illustrated by examples from his and others’ journeys. Insightful research findings, statistics, and quotes from academics, consultants, and executives round out the learning.
Step-by-step, decision-by-decision, Clark takes us from the earliest stages of envisioning a new business to the end game of selling out at a very substantial profit just fourteen years later. In Buy & Build CEO, Clark describes how he and his very carefully selected team turned a regional company with 68 employees and $35 million in sales into a global company with 1,600 employees and over $650 million in sales. Along the way he shares invaluable lessons and the finer points of the buy-and-build merger and acquisition strategy:
- Building winning teams
- Managing risk and unknowns
- Taking fiduciary responsibility
- Crafting a pitchbook that draws in investors
- Finding the right private equity partners
- Integrating companies and corporate cultures
- Going global
Clark's road to building his own company wasn't always easy; he readily admits to mistakes in working with a board of directors, hiring people who were not right for the job, and navigating "deal fatigue" to know when it's right to walk away after months of pursuing a new acquisition. His new company faced many challenges, including early bankruptcy, a union strike, the 9-11 tragedy, and the 2008 recession. Yet industry experience, leadership skills, and well-honed contingency plans helped Clark and his team weather the unexpected.
A strong believer in lifelong learning, Clark guides entrepreneurs to educate themselves, whether they hold an MBA from Wharton or the college of hard knocks. This book is a one-of-a-kind manual from a been-there, done-that executive determined to help others realize their business potential as well.
About the Author
Ted Clark is a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor with over 40 years of experience. Starting as a shipping clerk at age 19, he rose through the ranks to become President & CEO of Products Research & Chemical Corporation (PRC), a global leader in aircraft and construction sealants and coatings. In 2003, Ted co-founded Royal Adhesives & Sealants and built it through 19 acquisitions into one of the top 10 adhesives and sealant companies in the world. Ted consults with business managers on acquisitions and growth strategies using private equity capital. He lives in southern California.