What It’s Like To Intern At Sampford Advisors

Meet Nick Lorraine, a Financial Analyst at Sampford Advisors who started a 4-month co-op term in May.  Nick is currently studying for his Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a specialty in Finance at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. While in school, Nick is also a Junior Analyst at the Telfer Capital Fund, a 2 year program to give Finance Students in Telfer a chance to gain real world experience managing real money in the Student-Managed fund.

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George Khalife
Raise or Exit; A Founder's Dilemma

If you’re reading this and you’re a founder of a growing technology startup, you’ve probably been in the challenging situation of figuring out whether you should raise capital or pursue a sale of the business. This dilemma is felt across the board, and one that often doesn’t have clear guidelines. Hopefully through this article, you’ll have some tools to leverage in making the right decision for your business and its future.

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George Khalife
From Roommates to Co-Founders: The Story of Building & Selling a Successful Toronto-Based Tech Company

Let’s rewind all the way back to 1997. Two guys just enrolled at the University of Waterloo to study Computer Science. They became roommates. What eventually took place is a series of exciting and challenging moments, cool experiences, and invaluable lessons that anyone can learn from. Below is the story of Ravin Shah and Tishan Mills and their successful start-up QuickTapSurvey.

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George Khalife
Software M&A Remains Strong – 1Q18 Update

With the first quarter of 2018 now firmly behind us, we thought it was about time we revisited how strong the Software M&A markets are in North America. Needless to say, there is still a lot to be happy about and we still expect 2018 to be an extremely strong year for Software/SaaS M&A!

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M&A, MergersEd Bryant
Sampford's SaaSNorth Takeaways

There’s no doubt that the SaaSNorth conference here in Ottawa was a huge success. With hundreds of different SaaS companies in attendance, in addition to many VC and PE firms, the conference fosters a diverse crowd where opinions are shared, challenged, and new insights are gained.  

While at SaaSNorth, the Sampford team had the opportunity to sit in on a variety of discussions led by leading executives from various companies and investment funds and we’re pleased to present our key takeaways from the conference.

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Tech Exits in 2Q17: More IPOs but slowing M&A Activity

With another quarter under our belts, its time again to reflect on how the market is fairing for technology exits in North America, both in terms of the IPO market and technology M&A.

In general, the IPO market seems to be doing well with the number of transactions rebounding from the first quarter low and investor returns continuing to outperform the broader market.  As for M&A, we’ve seen a large drop off in the dollar volume of transactions for the first half of 2017 but the number of overall transactions is still relatively strong.

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Ed Bryant
Using debt to finance your next acquisition

Growth-stage technology companies are increasingly using debt to help finance strategic M&A. Ed Bryant of M&A Advisory Firm Sampford Advisors and Will Hutchins of Espresso Capital, a leading venture debt provider, discuss why.

Well-executed acquisitions can be an important complement to organic growth for growth-stage technology companies, enabling them to achieve critical scale faster and helping accelerate product development, speed market entry, and strengthen competitive position.  But for companies that aren’t yet generating meaningful cash flow, finding the right acquisition financing – and enough financing – can be a challenge. Compounding that challenge is the fact that in M&A, speed matters. The ability to quickly secure financing is often a critical factor in ensuring a successful acquisition. With a variety of debt financing solutions now available, we review how the effective use of debt can complement other sources of funding and help technology companies raise needed capital within the tight time frames required by M&A processes.

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Ed Bryant
1Q17 Tech Exits – IPOs and M&A Remain Strong

The first quarter of 2017 was another good quarter for technology company exits.  We saw a number of very high profile tech company Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) come to market which is extremely encouraging given the limited activity we saw in 2016. 

On the merger and acquisition (M&A) side of things we saw an equally positive trend with the number of technology M&A transactions coming in at 638 for the quarter, a healthy increase over the prior two quarters. 

In this article, I breakdown the first quarter technology IPO and M&A markets in North America in more detail and describe what I believe it means for the year ahead.

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Ed Bryant
Myth Busters – Do Canadian Tech companies sell too early?

We always hear from numerous people the complaint that Canadian businesses sell too early especially when compared to their US counterparts. It’s an interesting notion that is always raised when a sale of a large Canadian tech company happens – BlueCat Networks’ recent $400m sale is a good example.

Rather than just relying on hearsay, we thought that it was worthy of us analyzing the numbers to see if it is true that Canadian firms sell too early...

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Ed Bryant
Record High M&A Activity to Continue in 2017

2016 was an amazing year for mergers and acquisitions, especially in the technology sector. In tech, it was the highest M&A activity we have seen in north America in the last 15+ years. We believe many of the factors that drove this strong performance are in place to make sure 2017 is just as strong, if not better. In this blog, we will highlight some of these trends from 2016 and discuss why we think everything is in place for a very robust 2017.

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Ed Bryant
1st Anniversary – What an amazing first twelve months!

Over the last twelve months we have really been able to prove our thesis that technology firms in Canada are in desperate need of quality M&A advisory services. We started this journey with an idea that our 25+ years of combined Wall Street experience could be a significant asset for many technology firms in Ottawa that are looking to acquire other businesses or working towards an exit and that has been proved over the last twelve months...

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Ed BryantM&A, Mergers
M&A, VC Capital and IPOs: Key take-aways from our Tech Leadership Conference

A couple of weeks ago we hosted our first ever Tech Leadership Conference. With approximately 100 attendees, it was great to see such broad participation from the leaders of many of Ottawa’s technology companies. We moderated three separate panels, focusing on M&A, the Venture Capital environment and IPOs. With a good mix of out-of-town experts and local CEOs and CFOs that had experienced these processes first hand, the panels covered these critical topics from both sides of the coin.....

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Ed Bryant
M&A: Why do Mergers & Acquisitions fail?

Merger and acquisition activity is really picking up, especially in technology where many of the large tech companies have plenty of cash and are finding themselves losing market share to smaller more nimble competitors.  

But while M&A is in the headlines a lot recently, for every two transactions that close, there's another transaction that doesn't.....

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Ed Bryant
M&A: What to do when you get an inbound enquiry

The Canadian tech merger market has started the year off very strong, with $5.1bn of transactions compared to $3.1bn in all of 2015.  In Ottawa we have seen a similar trend with 9 M&A transactions as of the end of June versus 10 for the whole of 2015.

But what’s driving this increased activity? A sizeable proportion of this deal activity is driven by what’s known as inbound M&A.....

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Ed BryantM&A, Mergers