My company, Paladin Corporation, is an acquisitions group. Its overall objective is to acquire distressed businesses which have good potential cash flow, turn them around, and develop them into “cash-cows” to fund the large scale initiatives which Paladin undertakes to change culture in the marketplace.
I am commonly asked, how do I practically implement the caring and sharing principles in a marketplace filled with so much greed, corruption, and self-centeredness? Wouldn’t that leave my business worse off?
However, I believe it is imperative that Paladin exemplifies that acquisitions can be done in a manner that leads to prosperity for all parties and stakeholders in the transaction.
An example of this includes one of the earliest acquisitions of the Paladin Group which was a women’s health club with over 60 staff, regarded as one of the most upmarket women’s health clubs in Australia.
My wife, Merlene, has been the managing director of this club since 2007. In 2011 it became known to her that a competing women’s health club in the region was “having difficulties”. This was not an upmarket club; the memberships were much cheaper and services provided were of a much lesser standard.
We agreed to approach the owner of the distressed club and offer assistance, including the opportunity for the lady to sell her club to Paladin for a generous price. The owner of the distressed club was somewhat indignant, as might be expected, and she declined the offer. However, Merlene developed a friendly relationship with this lady, and reminded her that we were available if needed.
About six months later the distressed club was on the verge of collapse, the owner was about to lose everything as the landlord foreclosed on the lease. She contacted Merlene and asked if Paladin would buy her club. She was desperate and would accept any offer.
We decided to purchase the club and formed a plan, whereby if the vendor worked hard at the sale, both she and Paladin would benefit from the deal. Remember the slogan, that “All Shall Prosper”.
She set to work on calling her gym members and encouraged them to join the Paladin club at no extra cost. This was an offer too good to be true for these ladies and they joined the club in droves. At the conclusion of the transaction, she had benefited much more than she could have envisioned, the Paladin gym prospered from a significant number of new long-term memberships, and to this day this vendor is one of its greatest advocates. Many years later, both parties involved in this transaction are still prospering.
We could have taken the typical approach that almost all people in the modern marketplace would take – that being to follow the greedy, self-centered, marketplace approach and fleece this lady, leaving her in debt, and financially destitute.
However, in this case, Paladin chose God’s way. By doing this, all parties benefited much more out of the deal, and all came out far better off than if Paladin had maximized its own interests irrespective of the damage to the vendor.
This is the only sustainable way to do business and is how we can create sheep nations in the marketplace and our communities.