Our Thinking

A simpler way to scale

Small business owners today have it tough. Competition is fierce and not only are they competing with a multitude of other independent businesses, but they also have to complete with large multinational companies who have bigger budgets and more manpower behind them.

They are tired of being cut out of the action. Not able to secure significant procurement contracts because of size, all while needing those contracts for advancement. The age old chicken before the egg problem is being played out over and over again in small businesses globally.

This traditional system for small business growth is slow and outdated, there needed to be a better way.

What Unity Group did was rethink the way small to medium sized enterprise (“SME”) owners attract investment and scale, and what we came up with is a new type of business model – Agglomeration™.

The reason this model is different is that we started from a place that acknowledged the untapped potential of the SME sector. We needed to create a model that addressed both business owner frustrations, while also de-risking the industry for investment. The model allows owners to benefit from the value drivers of the public market – scale, valuation and liquidity all while keeping control of the business they’ve built, from maintaining branding to decision making for the workforce. For investors, this model provides previously unavailable investment opportunities in the SME space through a public equity platform where regulations and governance practices are in place to give investors peace of mind. As we target only the strongest businesses and given the level of support provided to drive organic growth, the investment initiation point is early enough for a meaningful level of value creation. Unity Group is more than just another financial services firm. We know business owners are having too hard a time trying to build their businesses, with little hope of extracting any real value from their efforts. We’ve brought all the tools together under one roof. Private equity expertise, transaction experience and corporate services from investor relations to accounting in order to drive change in the investment of SMEs and help them scale.

What is Agglomeration™

Agglomeration™ is a unique type of collaboration where a group of SMEs from similar and adjacent industries join forces and list publicly on a global exchange and then grow further through organic and inorganic activities. To join an Agglomeration™ each business owner exchanges shares in their business for public-listed stock in the central holding company. Each business must be mature, profitable and generally debt-free with similar or complementary services and be run by highly talented leaders in their field. As part of an Agglomeration™, each successful business owner is given the freedom to continue to run their business in their own way, helping to ensure that the talent that built the business in the first place continues to build the business in the future.

What are the benefits of Agglomeration™ for SME owners?

The Agglomeration™ model was created for SME owners to empower and enable them to transition their business from small, founder-lead into a large multinational company. It enables scale, unlocks liquidity, but unlike “normal” mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), it allows owners to maintain control over their business.

1. Bigger, faster
Achieve operational and balance sheet scale instantly, which provides access to larger contracts and clients whose strict procurement guidelines usually preclude SMEs from the bidding process.

2. Access to capital
The Agglomeration™ Model offers a smooth and steady risk managed route to accessing capital while allowing business owners to retain full control of their operations.

3. Complementary skills
Business owners are incentivised, through their equity interests and a transparent earn-out structure, to innovate and collaborate by tapping on to complementary skills within the Agglomeration™.

4. Grow through acquisitions
Business owners are also able to pursue inorganic growth opportunities under the model.

5. Access to talent and services
The central holding company offers corporate functions support to ease the transition from the private-to-public market.