Kevin Shaw, MBA
Senior Vice President, M&A
Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions
Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions is a deal advisory firm serving small to mid-market companies in Western Canada. Based in Vancouver, BC, it specializes in executing sell-side, buy-side and valuation engagements across a wide range of industries—including manufacturing, technology and everything in between.
Founded in 2012, the firm’s nine-person deal team has seven collective decades of industry-specific experience in accounting, taxation, corporate finance, valuation, business structuring and family transactions. To help find buyers and drive value for its clients, Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions leverages PitchBook’s comprehensive capital market data to source and close the right deals faster.
“PitchBook helps us drive value for our clients. It allows us to find buyers—and the more potential buyers we have for each transaction, the more competition there is. And competition usually drives value. That’s why we use PitchBook for all our deals."
– Kevin Shaw
Sourcing buyers for clients’ companies
In 2018, Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions assisted in the sale of then Vancouver, BC-based Bonzai Intranet. The company was acquired for an undisclosed amount through a leveraged buyout by ESW Capital, a private equity firm located in Austin, TX, which invests in information technology companies across North America and Europe.
According to Kevin Shaw, Senior Vice President of M&A at Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions, neither Bonzai nor Renaissance had worked with the buyer prior to the transaction. Instead, Renaissance utilized PitchBook’s data on more than 1.9 million companies and 282,000-plus investors worldwide to quickly build a targeted list of potential purchasers based on investors’ previous investments, acquisitions, available dry powder, fund performance and investment preferences.
“We never had dealings with the buyers before,” Shaw says. “But through PitchBook’s search filters, we were able to narrow down potential buyers for our client in an effective way. It allowed us to filter for things like ‘which companies have acquired SaaS companies recently’; ‘who are other fast-growing companies in the intranet space’ and ‘which investors in the intranet space have majority equity positions,’ for example.”
By using the contact information for key executives available through PitchBook, Shaw and his team were then able to reach out immediately to connect with the right decisionmakers at ESW Capital. According to Shaw, “It was very useful to be able to reach out directly to somebody who was open to receiving an unsolicited message from us essentially saying ‘Hey, we have an investment that might work for you.’”
“PitchBook also gives us background information in terms of what deals other purchasers might have invested in previously, which helps us negotiate more effectively."
– Kevin Shaw
Building more accurate comps and gaining deeper market intelligence
By combining best-in-class private transaction data—including the world’s largest source of deal multiples and valuations—with public fundamentals and consensus estimates, PitchBook also enables Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions to build more accurate comparables with greater transparency and speed. According to Shaw, this helps the firm focus conversations and drive more effective deal execution.
“PitchBook lets us quickly understand what valuations look like out in the market,” Shaw says, “and that helps us develop what we consider a fair value for our clients’ businesses. It also gives us background information in terms of what deals other purchasers might have invested in previously, which helps us negotiate more effectively.”
To get this type of granular financial information, Shaw and his team use PitchBook’s Companies & Deals search to quickly create a comps list based on the attributes that are most relevant to their clients’ companies—including industry, location, pre- and post-money valuations, total capital raised, revenue figures and more.
Shaw also says he advises everyone on his team to utilize the live support PitchBook offers when they run more advanced searches on the platform.
“We regularly lean on our account manager, Declan, to help us with searches,” Shaw says. “He’s very quick to do so, and I don’t think we even use him as much as we could. He’s very helpful. It’s great to be able to pick up the phone and always be able to talk to somebody who is an expert in using PitchBook!”
That’s why Renaissance Mergers & Acquisitions plans to continue using PitchBook to source deals and gain up-to-date market intelligence—so it can drive even more value for its clients.