Chicken & Pickle(ball)s: Supply and Demand in Private Investing by Merrette Moore


You may have heard that US M&A markets are “too competitive due to high valuations”. This article gives an excellent summary of what is going on.

Ask just about anyone in the game…it’s a seller’s market right now. To paraphrase what a local M&A guy (name omitted) wrote in an article recently, if your company isn’t getting unsolicited calls to be bought, then you must not have much business. To paraphrase what a local private company investor (name rhymes with “carrot core”) recently proclaimed to some pals over beers in Dockside, company valuations are so high right now that people will suffer from the proverbial nosebleeds.

So if you’re an investor like me who prefers not to stick twisted paper towels up your nostrils, what do you do? How do you find private company investment opportunities in this market?

Well, I do a few things maybe worth noting. On the one hand, I’m looking to create ways to make money from existing stable markets. On the other hand, I seek to capitalize on opportunities in fast-growing emerging markets.

Let’s look at the old method first. People eat a lot of chicken. They have been eating chicken for a long time and there are indications that considerable consumption will continue in the future. Like any industry, poultry processing has a supply chain with opportunities for outside financing. The ecosystem is quite stable, the economy is quite simple, and most importantly, the demand is there. I was made aware of an opportunity that has compelling risk-reward parameters, so I jumped in with both feet…and my checkbook.

Now let’s look at the latter way. I love pickles (little dills for me), but I really, really love pickleball. Lots of people too, as this article explains. Whether or not it’s the fastest-growing sport in America, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that many people play this wonderfully weird hybrid of badminton, ping pong, wiffle ball and tennis. . The demand for pickleball equipment, clothing, clinics, tournaments, facilities, etc. explode. With the explosion of demand comes opportunity, so I’m – you guessed it – jumping in with both feet…and, yes, my checkbook.

Private company investing can be like a Rubik’s cube. There are complexities that come into play, of course, but it all comes down to finding opportunities where others can’t or won’t see them. You have to know how to capitalize, which comes down to people and their ability to execute. If you can find those people to collaborate with, and you can find the right place in the supply and demand vortex, there is money to be made.

About Merrette Moore: Merrette Moore is the Managing Partner of Tidewater Investment Company, overseeing the firm’s operations. Merrette has over 25 years of experience in finance, business management and innovation. He has been involved in over 50 private investments, acting as lead investment representative for many of these transactions. Merrette has served on the boards of several private companies, either as executive chairman, director or observer.

About Tidewater Investment Company: Tidewater Investment Co. is a North Carolina-based investment firm focused on direct investment in small businesses as well as healthcare venture capital. Tidewater offers unique access to subordinated debt, small business private equity, growth capital and venture capital investments for high net worth individuals, family offices and small institutional investors. The firm’s investment platform offers investors the flexibility to invest on a case-by-case basis without any upfront commitment of long-term obligation.

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