A rollup is a technique used by investors where multiple small companies in the same market are acquired and merged. The principal aim of a rollup is to reduce costs through economies of scale. Rollups also have the effect of increasing the valuation multiples the business can command as it acquires greater scale. Rollups may also have the effect of rationalizing competition in crowded and fragmented markets, where there are often many small participants but room for only a few to succeed.
An investor faced with an opportunity to invest in two competing companies may reduce risk by simply investing in both and merging them. Rollups are often part of the shakeout and consolidation process during an economic downturn or as new market sectors begin to mature.
Rollups of complementary or unrelated companies are also done to:
• Build a full-capability company, when it would be too costly or time consuming to develop the missing pieces through internal expansion.
• Blending companies have different financial metrics, often to make the combined company attractive for investment, mergers and acquisitions, or an initial public offering.
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