ICT Advisory Division, a company with a team of managers, engineers and
technicians with more than 20 years experience – has become today the reference for merging technical and strategical know-how of the bearing industry with the financial and legal competences of M&A professionals.
The company is offering unique and rare capabilities for bearing industry companies, assisting them at 360°, both in the daily operational activities and in
the extraordinary financial issues.
We tried to reveal the insight story of the ICT Advisory Division during an interview with Mr Edmonda Monda, who is a lawyer, tax advisor, auditor, currently operates as the Chief Financial Officer of ICT srl and the head of ICT Advisory Division.
Can you tell us the story behind ICT Advisory Division?
ICT Advisory Division was born at the end of 2019 by the union of competences of the ICT technical division (specialized since 2012 in technical, strategical and commercial consultancy to the worlwide bearings industry) and of Knight’s Bridge Advisory Firm, company who has been engaged in M&A projects of automotive and high precision mechanics sectors since more than 12 years. The company has two sites, in Turin and in Pinerolo (North- West of Italy), and serves customers worldwide in more than 40 countries.
What is your role in the company?
I am the Chief Financial Officer of the company and the head of ICT Advisory Division. I coordinate a team of lawyers and chartered accountants in the legal and financial due diligences of target companies, as well I help our clients to structure the best financial strategy to maximise the sales value of the company (on the sell-side) or to minimize the transaction value and the potential liabilities (if we act on the buy-side). In doing so, we coordinate our actions with the team of engineers and technicians of the technical division who are able to better explain the strength and weakness points of each transaction, as well as the competitive advantages for all the actors of the deal.
In which countries are you active?
We do operate in the whole Europe, in Asia and in Oceania. Our team members are spread between Italy, Poland, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, India, China and Australia. We are currently working to hire professionals also in Brazil and USA, despite these countries are already now covered by ICT activities thanks to the rich network of connections developed in more than 26 years of work in the industry by the company founders.
What is the main activity of ICT Advisory Division?
We work on M&A projects, supporting our customers in the company acquisition process or on the sales process. In case we work on the sell-side, we screen the market looking at companies having potential interest to acquire business similar to the one of our clients. This may happen for several reasons. For example, the ambition to grow in a specific geographic area and/or within certain products segment; the willness to avoid competition to grow; the wish to acquire the product brand rights and/or the technological know-how.
When acting on behalf of the buyer, we first work with the clients in order to better understand their strategy and the main characteristics of the target company, in terms of size range, geographical location, type of business (manufacturing, trading, R&D, etc.), status of the business (profitable or in the need of turnaround), type of transaction (acquisition of 100% of shares or of majority or minor stake for partnership/joint-venture).
ICT Advisory Division is also capable to support the company restructuring processes, identifying the best financial structure – for example – to get out from difficulties period. We can also support in finding commercial partners for business development: for example, to find partners who can commercially develop a specific brand in a certain geographical region of difficult reach for the client.
Which are your fields of expertise and industries served?
ICT Advisory Division focuses on the bearings industry only. Our typical clients are the bearings manufacturers, the bearing components (balls, rollers, cages, seals, rings) manufacturers and the bearing distributors and traders.
Which are the projects that you are currently working on?
We are regularly working on around a dozen of different projects, both on buy- and sell-side. For instance, we are currently actively looking on behalf of our clients for manufacturing plants in Europe and in America to be acquired. Similarly, we are looking for potential buyers of bearings distributors in Europe and in Brazil. In general, I do invite the companies that are looking for important steps of M&A to get in touch with us. We guarantee extreme confidentiality and professionalism and our team can assist … at no risk for the clients.
What do you mean at “no risk for the clients”?
We do always work on the base of “success fee”. It means that the customers pay our services only if the transaction is positively closed. Otherwise no fee is due other than the reimbursement of the exceptional costs that, in any case, are time by time pre-authorized by the client himself. We do believe this is an important way to show to the clients the seriousness of our approach and the fact that, if we accept a project, it is because we are convinced to succeed.
Can you explain the difference between ICT Consulting & Trading and ICT Advisory Division?
ICT Consulting & Trading is the technical division of the company. Indeed, ICT started initially as technical, commercial and strategic consulting company to the bearings industry. Through 10 different high quality long-term partners located between Europe, Asia and America, ICT Consulting & Trading is capable to sit in front of any bearings manufacturers and to offer almost all the needs in terms of components (balls, rollers, cages, seals, rings), process tooling (grinding abrasive, diamond tools, hard metal tools) and machinery (grinding, assembly, visual, dimensional and ECT control, demagnetizers, bearing noise control and statistical analysis).
As said, the Advisory Division was born as natural development and evolution of the experiences and know-how of the technical division, in order to offer an unique integrated service to such industry.
When should a company seek for strategic consultancy?
Especially many small and medium companies do not have any long-term strategy and they move at zig-zag without a clear direction, trying to grasp any opportunity that they randomly find in their path. Some few of them think even that there is no need of having a strategy. Indeed to own a clear defined written strategy is of great help for the company management to have a clear direction, to take decisions that are coherent with the strategy itself and to refuse those opportunities that are in contradiction with the long-term view. The benefits are also evident for the employees that have clear vision of where and how the company wants to move towards.
Which activities do you conduct for the financial aspects of companies?
For distressed business, we do also analyse the financial opportunities of company restructuring in order – for example – to make them more attractive for financing process and/or for a next partnership or sales step. This is of course done taking in account the laws of each country and the international connections that we can offer.
How is the impact of current economic situation for company mergers & acquisitions?
In these last few months, it is evident an acceleration trend of willness to sell for those companies that already had some profitability issues before Covid or that have unsolved succession issues. On the other side, the financially strongest companies have intensified their efforts to look for proper targets for the growth and for their competitiveness enforcement. We do believe that this trend will be even stronger in the next 6-12 months.
Which other services are you offering?
ICT Advisory Division can assist the clients also in Initial Public Offering (IPO). This is of interest for those companies who want to boost their growth process and to finance themselves by entering the Stock Market. A full detailed list of all our offerings can be consulted at our website www.ict-advisorydivision.com