In 2012 Paul Herman and James Caan, one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, founded Bluebox. Their goal was to provide expert advice and quality services to business owners on their journey towards the sale of their business and at the point of exit.
At Bluebox, we are often asked by clients and others what we believe will be the most attractive markets for investment in the coming decade. We sat down as a team to discuss this, and came up with the following 3 sectors:
- Mental health
- Cyber security; and
- The ‘anti-Plastic’ players
Mental Health is currently a very small market in the context of what we believe it will become. The healthcare market is heavily weighted towards physical well-being, but what we are beginning to see (including within our pipeline here at Bluebox) is an emerging trend of operators who are monetising their strategies in delivering mental well-being. There is a plethora of opportunities in this space, such as meditation apps (Headspace, for example), a chain of clinics that address mental health challenges, or other businesses in the mental well-being ecosystem. It cannot be ignored that mental health is receiving more attention in recent years, and come 2050, it could be suggested that it will be treated with equal importance (and with equal public and private budgets) as physical health.
Cyber Security has been a highly attractive sector for some time, but we are confident there will be continuing success stories for operators in the mid-market. Cybercrime is a truly gargantuan challenge that faces individuals, corporates (of all shapes and sizes) and the public sector. The chaos that could be caused by a well-designed, malicious cyber-attack is huge. Maintaining protection against the ‘bad guys’ will need clever minds and investment and we believe there will be some niche operators who will capitalise on this with a well-crafted strategy and a lot of intellectual property.
Anti-plastic players with the right strategy have a seriously exciting future ahead. Plastic is everywhere in our daily lives and is one of the greatest environmental challenges across the globe. The need for its removal is increasingly reaching the headlines, with government strategies such as the “plastic straw ban” being devised to combat this. The significance of the environmental impact brings this opportunity into focus and we believe there will be some big winners in this space. Whether we see success stories for those involved in the clear up or in replacement packaging, or both, remains to be seen.
Clearly, the above is somewhat subjective, and we may be well off the mark on all three themes. However, a 30,000-foot view is always helpful in different areas of life and investment is certainly one. We have a keen eye out for businesses in these markets and have now also created a fund for investment into some of the winners we hope will knock on our door.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our breakfast event which delves into how to prepare a business for sale to maximise value and achieve the highest possible return.
We will be discussing the key stages involved in a sale process with guest speaker, FD Melissa Foux, who has sat on various boards including GU, during the sale process. Please see below:
Event: How to help prepare your Board for an exit? – What you and your Board need to know
• Is your Board ready to sell?
• Why do most business sale processes collapse?
• What will an acquirer attribute value to?
• How will acquirers value the business?
• What is due diligence and how can you help a Board to prepare?
• Key stages in a sale process.
• Expert’s view from an FD Perspective: hear from Melissa Foux.
Date: Wednesday 28th November
Time: 8:30am – 11:30am
Venue: Goodman Derrick, 10 St Bride St, London EC4A 4AD
The event will be hosted by Paul Herman, Founder of Bluebox Corporate Finance. Paul has sold over 70 private businesses during his career, with values ranging between £2m and £200m, and across a wide range of sectors. This includes a number of well-respected UK businesses such as Models Own, Gü, Princess Yachts, Mappin & Webb, Smythson, Watches of Switzerland, TXM Plant and The British Retail Consortium.
We do hope to see you there.
The Bluebox Corporate Finance Team
Nothing contained in this blog is intended as investment advice nor should it be relied on as such