Tag Archives: Plan & Prepare

Barriers to Entry: Build a Wall!!!

Business owners must “build a wall” around their businesses to avoid advances from would-be competitors, and reinforce their position in the market. Barriers to entry deter new competitors from entering a market, secure the revenues and profitability of established companies, and increase the value of protected businesses. Consequently, businesses with high barriers to entry reduce […]

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Brand Recognition Enhances Value?

Early orchestration of a strategy for your business’ brand will create additional value at the time your business is sold. A brand represents the face of the business; a unique and recognizable design, sign, symbol, or slogan employed to create an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Aside from generating […]

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Drive Value Through Operating Systems!

In addition to a knowledgeable and ambitious management team, developing innovative operating systems and procedures enhance the value of a business. Effective operating systems and procedures must be reliable, updated and maintained regularly, documented systematically, administered consistently, and adequate for growth of the business. Operating systems, or formalized business processes and procedures, are utilized most […]

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Management Team: Exit With A Deep Bench!

An experienced, motivated and stable management team is the most significant value driver of M&A transactions. Businesses with a strong management team focus on the sustained growth of cash flows and profitability, command higher valuations in the marketplace, and allow for the seamless exit of the owners. In the eyes of prospective buyers, there is […]

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Not From Concentrate!

Client concentrations may be the curse of M&A transactions. They cultivate uneasiness with buyers due to the potential loss of revenue, and raise significant concerns with major lending institutions. If a substantial percentage of a business’s revenue is generated by a limited number of clients, buyers tend to have apprehension regarding future cash flows and […]

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Earnouts: Creating Confusion or Promoting Prosperity?

Earnouts, although palatable in principle, may be complex in structure, difficult to define, and subject to unintended consequences. Thus, the gut reaction of most investment bankers to the proposed use of earnouts as an instrument to close transactions is unequivocally: “Don’t use them!” This declaration will more than likely be superseded by a full disclosure […]

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Prospective Buyers: What’s the Scenario?

The most desired transaction for lower middle market business owners contemplating the sale of their business requires deep consideration of the characteristics, motivations, and aspirations of the businesses’ prospective buyers. Customarily, strategic and financial buyers have the largest appetite for acquisitions in the private capital marketplace, and there are significant differences between the two buyer-types […]

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Restricted Stock Award Plans

Ownership can be a powerful tool in the effort to attract and retain talented people, have employees think and act like owners, create an ownership culture, and build successful succession plans. Restricted stock gives employees the right to earn shares of stock over some period of time through continued service or the accomplishment of certain […]

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CIMs: A New Pair of Glasses

Detailed Confidential Information Memorandums (CIMs) require collaboration between Sellers and their Investment Banker(s), and will provide prospective Buyers with enough information to make purchasing decisions. Highly effective CIMs consider the Buyers’ perspective throughout the preparation process; accordingly, CIMs must emphasize the value drivers of businesses and all decision-critical content and data. Motivated prospective Buyers expect […]

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Know the Exit Channel!!

Most business valuations calculate the value of a private company using fair market value, and this value is rarely suitable for making investment and financing decisions. Fair market value, although compliance-oriented and theory-based, fails to consider a business owner’s objectives or reasons for a transaction. The type of transaction will determine the owner’s exit channel, […]

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Leaving It To Chance?

Since a company owner never knows for sure what exit strategy may be successful, they should always consider decisions based on maximizing company value no matter what strategy is ultimately followed. Company owners should focus on the qualitative factors that drive quantitative results that align and strengthen the organization, improve profitability, enhance access to capital, […]

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Private Markets: Stop the Clock!!

According to Robert T. Slee, an investment banker and influential author of Private Capital Markets: Valuation, Capitalization, and Transfer of Private Business Interests, US private markets operate on a 10-year transfer cycle, and mid-market companies are currently in the midst of unprecedentedly high valuations and a pre-recession earnings boom (Seller’s Market). Slee’s corroborated data suggest […]

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Growth Strategy: Leave It All On The Field

A solid growth strategy provides companies with a quantifiable vision for growth in revenues and profitability; thereby, enhancing the value of the company post-implementation and increasing its attractiveness to strategic buyers. Company owners must identify the value drivers of their business, determine an acceptable level of risk, and decide on the best method for their […]

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Did You Get What You Paid For?

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are a framework of accounting standards, rules and procedures defined by the professional accounting industry. No single reference source exists for all of GAAP; briefly, the sources of GAAP are: Accounting principles promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) including Financial Accounting Standards of the Financial Accounting […]

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Normalizing Adjustments & The True Company Value

Although a detailed analysis of the financial statements reveals pertinent financial data, the true value of a Company requires that normalizing adjustments be made to the financial statements. Normalizing adjustments reflect a more accurate financial performance, both historically and projected. Normalized financial statements also help determine the Company’s future cash flows, and assess its financial […]

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Due Diligence: It’s in the Cloud!

Upon execution of the Letter of Intent (LOI), buyers and sellers kick-start the due diligence phase of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process. Due diligence, a most critical step in the M&A process, provides buyers the opportunity to confirm the seller’s financials, determine the risks, establish the potential benefits and understand the overall strategic fit. […]

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The LOI: Defining “is”

When contemplating a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction, it is important to consider each step of the deal process seriously; beginning with the end in mind. Executing a Letter of Intent (LOI) constitutes a critical juncture in the M&A process; however, if it’s that important, why is it non-binding? The importance of an LOI in […]

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Collaboration Generates Winning Deals

Investment bankers have access to an array of industry-specific data, statistics, and analytics; however, the most comprehensive understanding of a business’ nuances originates from sincere collaboration between sellers and their trusted M&A advisors. No two businesses are alike; therefore, sellers must carefully select an experienced team of investment banking and support professionals. A qualified advisory […]

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Emergency Exits!

According to a number of recent surveys, including the Securian Financial Services survey, it’s estimated that less than 30 percent of business owners have an exit strategy. These figures are alarming given the inevitability of an exit, and the fact that most business owners’ accumulated wealth is tied to their businesses. After years of hard […]

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When Opportunity Meets Need

Companies driven by growth strategies need to consider mergers and acquisitions, especially when the following motivations exist: To capture operational synergies To grow market share or access to distribution channels, markets or products To provide new capabilities, technologies or talent Opportunities exist when “targets” provide: Increase scale Broadened product and service offerings Geographic expansion New […]

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