Exit Strategy & Disposals

Preparing for a sale

In our experience vendors often share the same concerns when entering into the process, irrespective of the specific nature of their company.  Here are some of the answers to the most common questions we are asked:

We are thinking of a potential sale, but where do we start?

Identifying the key criteria (financial and non-financial) for (and against) a sale of the business is the first step.  Business owners are often guilty of not critically assessing their own company and benchmarking against their peers.  Ideally this process should be carried out by an experienced professional, who will derive a realistic and achievable valuation based on their experience and exposure to the current market. 

How can you help us prepare for a sale?

Understanding your business and advising on the appropriate timing for a sale is key to obtaining the maximum value.  Often it is necessary for areas of pre-sale ‘grooming’ (they always exist) to be identified in order to enhance the appeal of your business to a prospective purchaser.  We can lead this process, providing honest and constructive advice to enhance the value.

What other steps should we take before moving forward?

We advise owners to carry out a detailed, focused pre-sale investigation of their own business at the outset.  This will reduce the likelihood of unexpected issues arising through a purchaser’s due diligence, and ensure that all of the documentation that will be required by the purchaser is readily available.   Not only does this ensure your company is portrayed as a quality, efficient and well organised operation enhancing the perception of value, but it will prevent delays which can be costly financially and from the perspective of disruption to you and your business.  We can help you perform this review cost effectively and with minimum impact on your business.  You must be well prepared.

Confidentiality is of paramount importance; how are we protected?

We research, identify and appraise potential purchasers in order to find the best fit for your business, utilising extensive deal databases and Companies House resources to assist in the search.  We meet and discuss with our clients at the outset to identify any parties they wish to exclude from the marketing process (perhaps direct competitors, national firms or individuals) and only contact purchasers who are pre-approved by our clients, meaning they are in total control.  This is a vital part of the pre-sale process.  All prospective parties are required to sign a formal Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) prior to being provided with the Information Memorandum, ensuring the client is legally protected from the outset.  This is a time consuming task, but the peace of mind provided for our clients ensures it is always worth the effort.

When you are ready to move forward how do we promote your business for sale?

Through a detailed and focused Sales Memorandum specifically tailored to attract the attention of individual preferred purchasers.  We have produced many similar documents and are adept at fine-tuning their focus to emphasise the key features of a business that are most likely to generate interest from buyers.  Understanding what attracts and motivates buyers, and enhances perceptions of value, is a key skill which we can contribute.


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