Baird Acquires Majority Stake in Collingwood

Humatica Ltd. was retained to advise Baird Capital on its acquisition of a majority interest in Collingwood Lighting, a leading designer and supplier of residential, commercial and exterior luminaires into the professional refurbishment and newbuild markets in the UK and France.

For more than 95 years, Baird has been a strong, stable and trusted financial partner across generations and through many market cycles.

According to OakNorth, James Benfield, Partner at Baird Capital, said: “The European lighting market is an exciting sector as lighting maintains its central position within intelligent and connected built infrastructure. Despite being founded almost five decades’ ago, Collingwood has managed to maintain its strong position through constantly innovating, alongside establishing long-term relationships with its customers.”

International law firm Taylor Wessing advised Baird Capital on the transaction. Humatica provided organisational due diligence services for this transaction.


Interview with Patrick Mina, Managing Partner at Humatica Ltd.


What are three boxes you must tick when undergoing organisational due diligence?

Our organisational due diligence approach assesses the capability of an organisation to take on and execute a significantly more aggressive and complex growth plan. It also assesses the organisation’s ability to adapt to the faster paced, numbers focused private equity environment.

The three boxes that must be ticked are that:

  • The current “baseline” operating model, management and operational processes are scalable and at a sufficient level not to have to spend a disproportionate amount of time initially fixing the basics versus growing the business;
  • The management team are capable of identifying what needs to change organisationally in terms of operating model, management and operational processes to deliver the value creation plan as well as executing to plan the changes required;
  • The management team have the combination of skills and behavioural traits required to operate as a high performing team on an ongoing basis.


From your experience, how do you gain transparency on the behaviours which drive value growth?

Humatica has been conducting organisational assessments over the past 15 years and built up a proprietary database of behaviours and management processes that drive accelerated value growth. These are tested in structured interviews with management team members using a maturity model i.e. what good looks like for a company at that stage of evolution, in that type of industry, with that type of value creation plan. We also use targeted data analysis and psychometric assessments (where feasible) to gain further insights.

Post deal, we conduct a management process assessment survey for all employees which “heat maps” the organisation in terms of behaviours accelerating value growth across divisions, departments, functions and locations.


What was one lesson you learnt from working on this transaction?

Baird’s interactive due diligence approach ensures effective leveraging of the combined experience, understanding and skillset across due diligence providers and the deal team at key points in the process.

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