48 Acquisitions in 2.5 Years: Strategic Acquisitions with Jonathan Jay

Apple Podcasts

About Our Guest

Jonathan Jay has been an entrepreneur since dropping out of university at age 19. Now 50 years old, he has built businesses in publishing, digital marketing, adult education and coaching, and preschool education and sold each of them.

During the pandemic, Jonathan made 48 business acquisitions to create the 4th largest group in his sector in under three years.

One notable deal was buying a £5m annual revenue digital marketing company from its Private Equity owner for just £1 and selling it for £1.3m just eleven months later.

Jonathan is an advocate of a healthy work-life balance, suffering mental and physical burnout, and believes you can achieve success without business taking over your life. He now helps other people buy businesses and helps them avoid the expensive mistakes – as he says he has made them all.

About this Episode

48 Acquisitions in 2.5 Years: Strategic Acquisitions with Jonathan Jay

Buying a business for £1 seems a bit far-fetched. So does acquiring 48 in just a two and a half year span. However, both these stories are true and belong to Jonathan Jay.

A classic, serial entrepreneur, Jonathan started buying, growing, and selling businesses when he was 19. However, his approach to business changed when he realised that selling businesses was how you made money. This kickstarted a long, successful career of strategically buying businesses and selling them off to strategic acquirers in turn.

Learn the various structures and techniques Jonathan has used to grow and acquire his portfolio of businesses.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How to make the most money in business: Hint, it’s not by running one
  • A process for overhauling a distressed business
  • Knowing when to get out before your business diminishes
  • Core principles for integrating acquired businesses

Connect with Jonathan Jay

Show Notes

(4:45) Jonathan’s real eye opener was when a strategic acquirer approached him and wanted to buy his magazine business. This deal meant he made more money the day he sold the business than in the previous 2.5 years of owning and running it.

(16:24) Imagine buying a business for £1. That’s exactly what Jonathan did, taking on all the liability from a business doing £5M a year. It took him only six months to turn it around and another six months to sell it to a strategic acquirer.

(27:00) Here’s how Jonathan defines and finds strategic acquirers for his businesses.

(32:28) Jonathan bought 48 business over the course of 30 months on top of the five businesses he already owned. As you could imagine, this was a highly stressful time for Jonathan and ended up in the hospital.

(41:11) Integrations are the hardest part of acquisitions. They can go very badly, very easily. Jonathan shares his experience on what went wrong and what you can do to learn from his mistakes.

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