Valuation Rules of Thumb are a common way to estimate the value of a business. Their easy to comprehend and seemingly broadly apply. But reader beware: at best, the represent an average. And in real […]
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We focus on process and preparation to help harvest a lifetime of efforts.
Selling a Company: It takes Grit
For most of our clients, the sale of their company is both a one-time event as well as the biggest single deal they will every work on. Their company is representative of them as an individual, and the sale is often the culmination of their life’s work. Let’s get this right.
Our approach to M&A transactions is high touch, low volume, and process oriented. What do we not want to do? Rush to market without a well thought out plan and detailed go-to-market preparation. We’ll work with you to understand what drives value, resolve issues that may diminish value, and position for the best possible transaction.
Our Sell-side M&A Process
A rigorous process is one of the best way to sure consistent, positive results. We take this maxim to heart as we bring a company to market. While each situation will vary, our general process is as follows:
- Pre-Sale Prep. The key to a successful transaction process is often removing obstacles - something that in part can be done prior to going to market. We can help you Prepare to Go to Market, or in some cases owners attempt this on their own.
- Develop a Target List. Confidentiality is always a delicate issue in deals. We want to run a balance between generating interest for a transaction, but not broadcasting that deal too far. For most deals we want to run a limited auction. Before going to market we'll research and build a potential buyer list that is targeted for the company at hand, helping us maintain confidentiality.
- Develop a CIM. While company's aren't bought solely based on "deal marketing" documents, a strong presentation sets a company apart from peers in a crowded market. We work with management to develop a CIM that highlights strengths, addresses weaknesses, and helps best position for a deal.
- Execute Contact Strategy. We don't wait around for buyers to come to us. Our approach is proactive and outbound- we've build the target list, now we'll contact all candidates and assess initial fit.
- Negotiate LOI. Once candidates have shown an initial interest the next major milestone is an LOI. We'll try to position such that we are negotiating with multiple parties at once- yielding the best price and terms. While the LOI isn't binding, it typically represents the most likely price and terms that you will close on (subject to Due Diligence).
- Due Diligence. Diligence is often where deals are made or broken - and it's also one of the most straight forward aspects of a transaction to prepare for. (Despite this, it's also often an area that seller's ignore because it's a grind) Nonetheless, buyer's are risk averse and will be looking for problems - diligence is an opportunity to showcase a well run company.
- Drafting. Once under LOI - and in parallel to diligence- the parties will draft the "definitive agreement" upon which you will close. Whereas the LOI is non-binding, the Purchase Agreement is the binding agreement that contains all the terms and conditions surrounding the deal.
- Closing. Congratulations- you're there! Closing is often a year or more away from our initial interaction with a client - staying focused and on task will help you get from this point to your objective.
Getting to Closing
Selling a company is difficult, stressful, and can be emotionally draining. But when done right it can also be one of the most exciting times in the life of a business owner. Most deals culminate your life’s work – and we look forward to working with entrepreneurs to cash in on these dreams and realize the benefits of their efforts.
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Our Recent Writing on M&A
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Every valuation engagement is unique and dependent upon a wide range of considerations, observations, and assumptions. One business can have multiple valuation conclusions based on the purpose at hand, intended user, date of the […]
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