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30 Innovative Brands of the Year 2022

A boutique M&A advisory firm delivering premium quality services for the lower and middle market: Salt Creek Partners


In the highly competitive world we live in, the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) strategy is gaining immense traction among corporate houses and industries. M&A is generally done with an objective to enable the company to flourish, grow, and be more impactful. The final product of an M&A is aimed at creating more value for an entity post-merger. A firm dealing in M&A will act as a consultant, coach, and guide for its clients and help them navigate the complex processes of mergers and acquisitions. M&A advisory firms are made up of experts who work on behalf of their clients to attain success from the start of the deal till closure.

Globally there are various M&A advisory firms delivering excellent services, but Salt Creek Partners stands out from the rest. Salt Creek Partners ("SCP") is a boutique M&A advisory firm operating in the Southwest, Southeast, New England, and Gulf Coast regions. SCP serves business leaders in the emerging growth and middle markets. The company specifically focuses on clients looking to be acquired and companies wanting to make an acquisition. SCP provides strategic consulting to re-position and optimize companies wanting to sell in order to increase their valuation ultimately.

In conversation with Naoto Hall, Managing Partner and Founder of Salt Creek Partners

Q. Can you tell us about your services in brief?

SCP serves business leaders in the emerging growth and middle markets, frequently involving Forbes 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Top 40 Private Equity Groups, and Fortune 1000 Industry Leaders. We work across a diverse range of sectors with a specific focus on clients looking to be acquired and companies wanting to make acquisitions. We work closely with ownership to develop a strategy that optimizes and repositions their company to accomplish two primary objectives for clients looking to be acquired. First, we want to craft a unique and compelling acquisition narrative to ensure the highest valuation possible. Second, we want to narrow the field of buyers to ensure the client can select the right long-term partner to continue their legacy. We also provide extensive buy-side advisory to Private Equity Groups and acquisitive corporations, working closely from thesis development through target engagement. In launching this firm, we assembled a team of complementary partners who have proven track records with managing complex financial transactions, providing investment banking services, performing market research and analysis, guiding companies from concept through hyper-growth, and building companies towards varying exits. We keep long-standing relationships with many CXOs/Owners and speak with them monthly or weekly. This allows SCP to remain current with the analyses and data that we provide to our clients. Although the firm is broadly defined as generalists, we have quickly carved out a niche within environmental, infrastructure, and industrial services. SCP is regarded as one of the leaders within the environmental world, and our consulting services are highly sought after in this current market.

We have seen firsthand that the growing and middle-market companies are underserved, and we are committed to changing that reality. Our advisory capabilities not only teach how to build and grow companies but how to improve them. We believe in the alignment of finances, values, and objectives and are committed to being the premium quality investment bank for the lower and middle markets.

Q. There are other reputed companies in the market, how are you a better service provider?

M&A deals are an art AND a science. Unlike traditional investment banks, we have innovated our processes to adapt to the current climate and workflows of private equity and corporate buyers. Our success can be attributed to executing a custom M&A process tailored to each client. Each engagement is an intellectual exercise requiring creativity and innovation. As opposed to the traditional view focused solely on transaction certainty, which typically results in a lower overall outcome for clients, we focus on competitive tension through a market-driven process. An effective deal process also involves enhanced preparation while retaining the flexibility to streamline the intensive marketing and due diligence phases without compromising quality. This allows our firm to meet the exact needs of each of our clients and deliver a better outcome of events. Because we recognize the sensitivity and significance of our mandate, our team is committed to earning and keeping our clients’ trust at every stage of the partnership. We have a demonstrated track record of delivering actionable offers to clients within the first 3-4 months, often far exceeding expectations prior to going to market.

Meet the leader behind the success of Salt Creek Partners

Naoto Hall is the Managing Partner and Founder of Salt Creek Partners. He has led +70 acquisitions within the investment banking, private equity, and VC realms from start to finish. He has conducted buyside banking acquisition strategies and investment theses for private equity funds, growth capital investors, and acquisitive corporations. Naoto brings to Salt Creek his significant experience with market research, deal sourcing, financial valuations, modeling, due diligence, negotiation of terms, and post-closing integration processes. He has spent a career specializing in evaluating and executing growth investments, recapitalization, and acquisition strategies within the technology, environmental, business services, and industrial markets. He saw first-hand how underserved the middle market was with high-quality advisors and wanted to change the status quo. Over the years, he witnessed advisors of sellers not showing up to meetings, not running a tight process, and eventually leaving corporate life for SCP. He now strives to provide bulge bracket expertise and service to the middle market so that all CEOs can achieve their American dream. Conversely, he leads the firm in their expertise within environmental, industrial, and infrastructure services due to his prior role of taking a startup public on the NYSE via buy and build strategy.

“We have seen firsthand that the growing and middle market companies are underserved and we are committed to changing that reality.”