Sean Kennedy launched TRG in 2002 and has since grown it from a three-person team to more than 300. In addition to its impressive organic growth, the company has expanded through acquisitions, bringing on companies from the U.S., Canada and the UK as it works to become an international player in the managed solutions space.
After making domestic acquisitions in 2015 and 2017, TRG acquired Real World Communications, a Canadian mobility devices, wireless and network solutions provider, this year. It was the company's first cross-border transaction. And the process, says Kennedy, the company's president, was unique.
"It really differed from the fact that labor laws are different, laws are different, corporate structures, taxes; you've really got to get a good team of accountants and lawyers when you're starting to do these international acquisitions," he says.
It took time, he says, to get educated on the target's acquisition process, their calendar years, their tax ramifications and accounting practices, all of which are different to what is typically seen in the U.S.
Again this year, Kennedy got the opportunity to execute on another foreign deal with TRG's acquisition of Symec Technologies Limited, a UK-based company. While the earlier acquisition offered some insight into how to navigate the process, it's not the same.
"From a culture standpoint and from a legal and from a tax standpoint, there's a lot of similarities and there's a lot of differences," Kennedy says. "But I think it was really apples to oranges to understand how to make sure that you took a look at our culture and how our culture would impact the UK team or impact the Polish team or impact the Toronto team. I think when you look at these two acquisitions it's more case by case. These are two companies servicing three different markets with three different cultures and you've got to figure out how your culture meshes with theirs."
Kennedy spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about the company's growth, the differences between its domestic and international acquisitions, as well as the process of integrating teams that come from much different cultures.