NOTE: The fundamental aspects of selling a business seem simple; value the business, market the business, negotiate offers from buyers and close the sale. However in reality, divestiture of your privately held business can be one of the most difficult challenges you as the owner will encounter.
The decision surrounding divestiture of your business is a major event and is often the most important financial decision you will make. The stakes are high and the obstacles often varied and complex. Yet ironically, these issues are among those for which you the owner may have limited experience since you may only encounter them once in a lifetime. You may have decades of experience managing your business, but little or no experience with the important and often complex task surrounding your exit. Having an experienced team on your side with an effective and structured process is vital to exiting your business on your terms with maximum value.
Exit Plan for Transfer to Key Insider(s)
Business: Manufacturer of Tech Component Parts
At the time of engagement with Premier Sales, the company was being sought by a publicly traded company. However, the company was business owner centric – meaning the company’s success and future revenue stream was too reliant upon the business owner. Often, heavy reliance upon the owner results in a self-imposed ceiling on revenue. And, in this case, the gross revenue was too low and the reliance on the owner was too much for a publicly traded company to move forward with their interest. In reality, a transfer of the business, in that condition, to any party would have resulted in onerous terms and conditions unacceptable to the owner.
Together, we developed an Exit Plan and put it into action. This involved identifying and on-boarding a key insider, developing an incentive plan with golden handcuffs and creates two exit strategies. Through this process of developing a plan, the company and its team have a road map. The Company is on track for a 50% revenue increase over last year and ahead of plan with the goal of $10 million in revenue while maintaining net margins of 20%.
Exit Plan for Young Entrepreneur
Business: Landscape Maintenance
At the time of engagement with Premier Sales, the owner had created a very successful service company, with recurring revenue and long term contracts. While the owner loved the business and company, he realized that too large a portion of his total net worth was tied to the business and from an investment perspective it was too risky. The traditional approach would be to sell to a third party, monetize the value and place the funds into a more diversified investment. However, the young age of the owner would be problematic for any prospective buyer.
Our plan was to hold and grow the company for an additional year to meet certain benchmarks that would open the door to a set of different exit options. The company was sold to a private equity group with the owner retaining 40% equity. The owner received a substantial amount of cash at closing allowing him to diversify his portfolio, retained ownership in the company, continued as President, and said goodbye to personal guarantees and personally funding future growth. Three years later, he is still President. The company has grown from a $10 million revenue company to a $40 million revenue company.
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