What’s the M&A Recipe for RPM’s Secret Sauce? [Video]

In a candid video interview, Tom McGee, VP of corporate development, shares some of the key ingredients.

11 December 2018


With over 30 years and 170 acquisitions to its credit, RPM International Inc. (RPM) has covered quite a distance, and they’ve captured deep experiential knowledge of mergers & acquisitions (M&A) markets along the way. In this installment of the Transaction Advisors’ M&A Methods interview series, sponsored by Intralinks, Tom McGee, vice president of corporate development at RPM, provides valuable insights into their strategy for success.

RPM’s high-performance coatings, sealants and specialty chemicals, which run the gamut from Rust-Oleum® to edible coatings, generated $5.3 billion in sales last year. But McGee doesn’t sugarcoat the conversation. 

“The reality is that many of our markets are mature,” he says. “There was a paradigm shift at RPM more than 20 years ago…and the idea was to find great businesses that already had great teams that knew their niches and to expand into those tangential areas by acquisition.”

Watch the interview to find out a few of the key ingredients to RPM’s secret sauce, including: 

  • How the company leverages their network of buy-side brokers 
  • Whether earnouts work
  • The types of deals that hit their sweet spot
  • Who McGee trusts to open up deal flow 

His company’s specialty products division is a collection of “smaller, more entrepreneurial businesses that are best run with the lightest touch possible.” In the interview, you’ll gain an understanding how McGee combines instinct with custom research to determine the most optimal deals for RPM. 

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Darren Ressler

Darren Ressler

Darren Ressler is Intralinks’ Content Director.