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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
February 2018

Growth Through Acquisition

CEO Advisor, Inc. works with CEOs and business owners to accelerate growth - both organically and through strategic, opportunistic acquisitions. As a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor with decades of experience, we guide you through every step of the detailed process.

For small and middle-market companies, finding a great acquisition target takes focus, commitment and expertise. Finding great acquisition targets also requires a disciplined approach, experience, time and finesse.

A proactive acquisition search identified through a strategic acquisition process has a high probability of success. Given some acquisitions are not successful long term, we will define success with respect to acquisitions as both A) Deal closure at a reasonable price/terms, and B) Achievement of effective post acquisition integration.

Implementing a Strategic Acquisition Process

Strategic acquisitions take a real commitment, but are doable by most any company given the right team in place. Most small and middle-market companies that pursue acquisitions on their own miss real opportunities due to a lack of a process and experience. Most companies tend to overpay so a defined, disciplined process with a seasoned M&A advisor is extremely important.

Here are the most important steps:

  • Define your acquisition strategy
  • Define your investment criteria and budget
  • Build the acquisition target list
  • Begin target outreach
  • Gather information on interested parties
  • Secure conference call and meetings
  • Gain additional information to compose a Letter of Intent
  • Negotiate the Letter of Intent
  • Perform Due Diligence
  • Draft and negotiate legal documents
  • Close
  • Post-acquisition integration

Focus on the Strategy

If you make the decision to focus on highly strategic, opportunistic acquisitions, you can greatly accelerate your growth and profits, so focusing on the strategy is a key aspect of the process. Here are some key issues to consider:

  • What is the maximum size company you are comfortable acquiring? 
  • What is the minimum size company you might acquire? Buy too small and you'll incur a high relative cost to getting the deal done.
  • Do you have a minimum profitability hurdle in mind?
  • What types of synergies do you expect from acquiring a company in this industry segment?
  • What product or service area will be the primary focus of your first acquisition?
  • What geographic expansion do you want to achieve from each acquisition?
  • What technologies are compatible or incompatible as part of your acquisition search?What management positions, if any, do you seek out from an acquisition?
  • Are you interested in eliminating a competitor, while acquiring customers for growth?
  • What is the acquisition team (internally and outside advisors) that will be involved in an acquisition?

Negotiations in acquiring a company are extremely different from any other negotiations given the seller has built the business from the ground up and is typically a once in a life-time event. With the right M&A advisor, you will feel completely comfortable pursing strategic, opportunistic acquisitions.

CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to help you through this challenging process.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at or visit us at for more information.

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CEO Advisor Advises Main Graphic on the Acquisition of Avanti Printing

CEO Advisor, Inc. Advises Main Graphics on the Acquisition of 
Avanti Printing

CEO Advisor®, Inc. (, a leading business consulting, growth capital and mergers and acquisitions advisory firm in Newport Beach, CA, advised Main Graphics (, a full service printing and graphics firm in Irvine, CA on the acquisition of Avanti Printing, Inc.

Avanti Printing ( has expertise in corporate branding, corporate identity and logo wear, large format printing and packaging, as well as, direct mail services.

Main Graphics, located in the Irvine Spectrum area, provides a broad range of digital and offset printing, large format printing, and online print management capabilities to meet the needs of corporate customers in Southern California.

George Haggarty, CEO of Main Graphics states, "CEO Advisor and Mark Hartsell have been extremely valuable in identifying acquisition candidates, advising us throughout the process on our goal of growth by acquisition, and completing a win-win, cost-effective transaction. Avanti Printing and their team are a perfect fit for our organization."

As trusted business advisors since 2004, CEO Advisor, Inc. provides a hands-on, methodical, disciplined approach to working directly with CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-market companies. We advise CEOs by focusing on growth, business strategy, planning, sales strategy, marketing, finance, growth capital and mergers and acquisitions advisory services to grow their businesses to the next level, while increasing shareholder value for their future exit.

Mark Hartsell, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "Main Graphics is a premier printer with over 27 years of experience. They have the expertise and professional approach that sets them apart in the Southern California market. Their growth and expansion are a testament to their high quality workmanship and high-touch customer service."

About Main Graphics
Main Graphics provides a full range of digital, offset and large format printing, bindery and fulfillment services, direct marketing and cross media services, and online print management capabilities. Main Graphics has the G7, CPrint and Certifications and has been recognized for its high quality printing and customer service. For more information, contact Main Graphics at (949) 788-6100 or visit us at

About CEO Advisor, Inc.
CEO Advisor provides business consulting, growth capital and mergers and acquisition advisory services to effectively meet the specific needs of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, media, printing, professional service firms, healthcare, manufacturing and many more.

CEO Advisor's mission is to advise CEOs, presidents, business owners and principal executives with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level or realize your life's dream through a successful exit.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc., for a free initial business consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at or visit us today at for more information.


"Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."

Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom

"Success doesn't come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It's the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence."

Football Coach
Nick Saban

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."

Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker
"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

Prime Minister of the U.K.