Let’s see South Australia as others do

When I pick up the paper or tune into the radio or television these days, I’m disappointed by the general gloom that seems to pervade reporting on our South Australian economy.

I’m disappointed because from where I sit as a lawyer in the mergers and acquisitions space, the message is very positive. So positive, in fact, that I strongly believe it is time we all became a little more upbeat and started celebrating the many achievements of our wonderful state, its economy and the many talented and innovative people who choose to call it home while leading the way in fields such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, health and food.

Yes, there are challenges, just as they exist everywhere in the world. But, I can assure you that I regularly come across some cracking South Australian businesses looking to sell either in their entirety or raise additional capital.

And all for good, positive reasons.

The former have usually grown a business from scratch, built it into a success and feel now is the time to cash in, while the latter are invariably looking for extra funds to take that next quantum leap and keep growing. Interestingly, almost all of them don’t wish to talk about their successes, preferring to be quiet achievers and fly under the radar or perhaps they’re just fearful of the dreaded ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’.

In the past few months, I have personally been involved in no less than five transactions of major significance, each of which represents sensational news for all South Australians and should be a source of great state pride to the State and the owners who have done such a great job.

The one disappointing concern is the majority of the buyers or investors into these businesses are invariably from interstate or even further afield.

Yes, it would be nice to have more local buyers that enable capital to be recycled in South Australia and keep these fantastic enterprises in largely local hands but let’s look at the flip side.

Our attractiveness to those beyond our state boundaries suggests that there are astute business people and investors who see South Australia as an economy that will grow and, in the process, give them a great return on their investment.

They see the enormous positives. So should we.

Want to know more? Contact author Gerry Cawson, Head of our Mergers and Acquisitions Team.