The Braff Group Focuses on Finding the Best Outcome for Healthcare Clients

This case study details how a health care M&A advisory firm uses virtual data rooms to support each stage of the M&A process.

Health Care M&A Advisory Firm Virtual Data Room | Firmex

About The Braff Group
The Braff Group is a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing exclusively in health care services including behavioral health care, home health care, hospice, pharmacy services (home infusion, specialty Rx, institutional Rx), urgent care, health care information technology, health care staffing, home medical equipment, and ancillary health care services. Since the firm’s inception in 1998, The Braff Group has closed more than 300 health care transactions — more than any other M&A advisory firm covering these sectors. The firm has been honored five times for excellence in Healthcare Dealmaking by the M&A Advisor and, according to Thomson Reuters, has repeatedly been ranked as the #1 healthcare services mergers and acquisitions advisory firm.

What They Do
Sell-side M&A Advisory Services

Market Focus
Health Care Services

Recent Completed Transactions
– Southern Resources Consultants, Inc.
– American HealthCare
– Services Association
– Medistar Healthcare Management Company

How They Use Firmex
Pre-due diligence data collection, Due diligence

A Robust Marketplace for M&A

Steve Garbon joined The Braff Group in 2008 as Finance Manager, assisting clients and Braff Managing Directors throughout the transaction process by applying his skills in accounting, financial analysis and valuation.

“We are a niche-oriented M&A advisory that specializes in various healthcare verticals, providing sell-side only transaction advisory services including representation, divestiture strategy, debt and equity recapitalizations, and valuation,” explains Garbon.

“While the business drivers for mergers and acquisitions vary within the different market niches we focus on,” Garbon continues,” “overall it’s a very robust M&A marketplace, and the last couple of years have been the best in The Braff Group’s history.

“Health care is evolving rapidly and there’s considerable volatility, especially around the implications of the Trump administration’s American Health Care Act (AHCA),” says Garbon “In the behavioral health care sphere, there is a growing movement for parity, which requires health insurers to cover the costs of treatment for conditions like autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This has created more opportunities for third-party reimbursement. At the same time, rising caregiver costs including people and technology has created an environment where it helps to be bigger.”

Garbon’s background in public accounting and valuation was a natural segue to his current role at the Braff Group, where he has the opportunity to see the real-world implications of company representation and valuation every day.

“Selling a company you created and grew from nothing is never an easy decision,” says Garbon. “This is their baby, and it’s incredibly meaningful and motivating to work with owners to find the right buyer for their business and securing the best outcome for them. When we talk about getting the best deal for our clients, it’s not always about price. Sometimes it’s how the deal is structured or preserving job security for employees.”

“We close about 20 deals a year. Having a Firmex Virtual Data Room subscription gives us the flexibility to work on many different projects simultaneously. When you’re selling a business, timing is everything. Often, we’ll pause until market conditions are more favorable for our client. With our Firmex subscription, we aren’t encumbered by having to stop and start data rooms, or charged additional fees.”

— Steve Garbon, Manager, Finance, The Braff Group

The Solution

The Braff Group understands the pressure buyers are under to verify compliance with reimbursement, regulatory, and other legal matters.

“Many clients never realize how demanding the process can be,” says Garbon. “To help alleviate the burden, we begin discussing due diligence with our clients long before the execution of a letter of intent so they are well prepared to gather and organize the required materials that we make available to buyers in a Firmex Virtual Data Room.”

“During pre-due diligence, we simply set up a data collection folder within the Firmex VDR where our clients can easily upload the financial documents we need to put together the confidential information memorandum (CIM),” Garbon explains. “With Firmex, uploading sensitive documents is as simple as drag and drop in Windows, and the encrypted, password-protected Firmex Virtual Data Room alleviates any security or HIPAA compliance issues.”

“Firmex makes it very easy to adapt to time-sensitive issues, such as adding users, shutting down access to particular groups, sharing large and/or sensitive information, or uploading folder structures, which can be 3-4 folders deep,” adds Garbon. “We can also ensure that bidders only see the files we want them to see.”

Familiarity Breeds Efficiency (and Speed)

“We always recommend that our clients use Firmex as their virtual data room because we’re very familiar with how the platform works and are confident that our clients won’t have any issues that could create bottlenecks or frustration,” Garbon says.

“Unlike other M&A advisories, we don’t pass along the cost of the virtual data room to our clients,” notes Garbon. “As a success fee-based firm, we cultivate long-term relationships with our clients. We view the Firmex Virtual Data Room as a strategic investment. We never shy away from investing in the very best data, technology and resources to support each stage of the M&A process, and Firmex falls squarely into this category.”

“It’s my job to know what makes a company sellable versus not sellable,” Garbon adds. “How a company represents itself is key to attracting potential buyers. Using a virtual data room to consolidate and organize financial documents and data can be a strategic advantage when it comes time to sell. With Firmex, all the information needed to provide a solid representation of the business is in one place and ready to be shared with buyers.”

Flexibility and Focus

“Getting the best outcome for our clients is our main focus,” Garbon concludes. “Our value to clients is finding them the right buyer to accomplish their goal, be it price, a fast close, continuation of the company’s legacy or another motivating factor. If that means back-burnering a deal until the timing is right, so be it. It’s not uncommon for us to have projects open for multiple years. Our Firmex VDR subscription allows us to work on an unlimited number of projects without the hassle and cost of data room renewals and extensions. The flexibility and continuity we gain with Firmex ultimately allows us to provide better service to our clients.”

Discover a virtual data room that's made with you in mind.

Learn more about serious sharing by booking a live one-on-one demo.


What business problems are you solving?

Steve Garbon: “Selling a business can be an overwhelming process with an incredible number of moving parts and a lot of information changing hands. The last thing our clients need is another complication like a virtual data room that is difficult to navigate or requires a steep learning curve. Firmex Virtual Data Room helps us keep deals moving because it’s so intuitive and easy to use.” 

What do you like best about Firmex?

SG: “Firmex makes it simple and straightforward for clients to upload documents, and clients can see exactly what they’ve uploaded. We don’t need to offer much assistance to get our users up and running. As an administrator, I can see all our projects at a glance when I login to Firmex, and get daily updates on the status of each one.” 

What advice would you give a business owner planning an exit? 

SG: “Try to keep emotions in check and think about how buyers look at things, whether it’s normalizing financials, pro formas or reimbursement changes. Being inflexible can increase the risk of a deal falling through. You want the best possible outcome, of course, but you don’t want to win the battle but lose the war. It’s
about the end game.”


Brought to you by Team Firmex.