Scalable Data Systems is a highly-respected provider of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations solutions for industry-leading, Australian clients, especially in the manufacturing and wholesale & distribution sectors. Scalable’s IP for Commodity Trading “CTRM” has earned a market-leading reputation globally with due recognition accorded to the company as a Microsoft Gold and a global ISV Partner.
The Business Sale
The shareholders of Scalable Data Systems decided to sell their shares in their Brisbane-based family business, which had a history exceeding 25 years. They also wanted to see the business fulfil its potential, particularly through expansion of the global distribution of their CTRM product. IFL Ventures led the search for an acquirer who was a good fit with this goal, and it was purchased by Sonata Software, which has a strategy to be a global leader in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 business. Sonata had already undertaken several acquisitions in line with this strategy.
IFL Ventures represented Scalable Data Systems throughout the entire transaction process, including assisting with financial management, managing due diligence advisors, and working closely with both the buyer and seller to ensure a transaction structure which creates alignment for all parties.
The businesses represented by IFL Ventures are all unique, but they often have several characteristics in common, typically being sold by the business founders, who are still working hard in the business. They are frequently family businesses, which brings the complexities of achieving shareholders’ collective and individual goals.
Brett Crew, a founding Director of Scalable Data Systems and a shareholder of the business, commented, “It is emotionally challenging to sell something you have built. Graeme was able to operate without this emotion and injected much-needed realism into the transaction. His experience was evident as he helped us navigate the sale process. He is a great communicator and explained why some processes that felt frustrating at the time were important to follow. Graeme also had the experience and exposure to our industry segment that was essential for negotiations with prospective purchasers.”
While other Scalable shareholders have exited the business, Brett has remained with the business and is now VP of Sonata Australia and CEO of Scalable Data Systems. Brett gave the following advice for anyone wishing to sell their business:
“Selling a business takes a lot of preparation – you need an advisor who is working hard for your good outcome. Graeme was an important intermediary in the sale because he could get insights that we would not have been able to obtain by ourselves. Not only that, it would have been impossible to run our business and the sale process at the same time without Graeme’s involvement – he went the extra mile for us.”