ALL SEARCH, NO OPS?
Does anyone have any experience with a search fund model that focuses almost exclusively on the search and acquisition of targets, but shifts almost all post-acquisition operational responsibility to an operational partner (or professional managers). After closing on the deal, the "search partner" and search platform will continue to source new deals and bringing in new operational partners. If so I would like to hear about your experiences.
Some food for thought:
- Building a search platform and deal pipeline is time consuming and laborious. Shutting it down upon a successful acquisition seems to be value destructive.
- This may be closer to the traditional PE model in acquisition mode, but still focused on the search fund deal size.
- This would allow someone with strong finance, fundraising, M&A and law backgrounds (but little operational experience) to focus on providing higher value after an acquisition.
- The ongoing search platform may source better deals the longer it operates as it builds credibility. How many entrepreneurs might not sell after an initial cold call, but might come around in a year or two, once the idea to sell was planted.
- This is not a search fund financing model (i.e. investing in other searchers), since the "search partner" will actively work on the search.
- Downsides/risks to the model might include:
(1) the inability to find good partners down the line,(2) search investors will want to see a track record of success in the operation of the earlier acquisition before funding additional search/acquisitions, and
(3) the search pipeline might be less productive the longer it operates as it already sniffed out the good deals..
Thank you all in advance for your thoughts.
(Edited to fix formatting)