Peter Rowell, former president of International Data Corp, has established a company that specialises in the field of information technology mergers and acquisitions. Richmond, Surrey-based Regent Associates Ltd has been in existence since March of last year, and is the only service of its kind outside the US. Following the events of Meltdown Monday last October Peter Rowell believes that many companies will seek to expand through being acquired rather than by flotation on the Stock Exchange. Through its association with Shroeders Merchant Bank and the International Data Group market information service, it offers financial and marketing advice to its clients. If the advice is acquisition then Regent Associates will organise the anonymous screening of target companies, or of suitable acquirors as the case may be. An introduction between client and target company or potential parent will then be arranged. It usually deals with UK companies, but will also operate internationally if there is a UK interest. Its very first acquisition deal was a UK company acquiring its US distributor. The company was responsible for organising three acquisitions in its first nine months to December last year. So far this year it has completed one transaction and aims to complete seven or eight by the end of the year. Regent Associates takes a market approach to its operations. When consultations begin at the strategic planning stage the advice is often to expand by means other than acquisition. For instance if a company wishes to expand into Germany Peter Rowell feels it is better to try and do so organically; in contrast it is often much easier to break into the US market through acquisition. On the tricky question of fees, the client company pays a retention fee. If there is a successful acquisition, Regent Associates will take a percentage of the value of the transaction; the percentage varies depending on the degree of involvement – but if it finds itself acting for both parties in a transaction, only one fee is involved. Regent can also help arrange financing from appropriate institutions, or help with the presentation of a financial package to a potential banker.