Why use an adviser if there is only one buyer?

To answer this question, we would like to ask you about some common areas of knowledge and decisions that you will need to make during a transaction: 

  • Are you able to clearly articulate what your net debt and normalised working capital positions are?
  • Are you comfortable with when you should be asking for technical documents such as a ‘locked box’ or ‘completion accounts’ from your management team?
  • Do you fully understand how different offer and earnout structures will impact the quantum and timing of your take-home cash?
  • Have you mapped out and compared the various strategic options (i.e. sale to a strategic, private equity investment, debt-funded buyout) that are available to you, and considered what each route means for you over the next 5-10 years? You might be surprised!

If the answer to any of these questions is no, or you are not 100% comfortable with the options ahead of you, you need an adviser, no matter if you have one buyer or 20. The presence of a well-known adviser will also minimise the temptation for an investor to take advantage of your lack of experience in this area. 

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Sometimes having only one buyer can yield the best results, but the process needs to be carefully managed.

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Sometimes having only one buyer can yield the best results, but the process needs to be carefully managed. Here are three of the (many!) ways that an adviser can help you to make the best of your deal:

  1. If there is only one buyer in the mix, an adviser can help you to add the all-important perception of competitive tension and ensure that the deal goes through on the terms that are favourable to you, or take it wider, should negotiations not deliver the right result 
  2. An adviser will ensure that the right items are clarified and agreed early in the process, avoiding time-consuming surprises down the road
  3. An adviser can help with preparation for a sale, ensuring that you put your best foot forward and that there are no unforeseen issues that could arise during due diligence.

Being organised and running a well-structured process allows the management team to focus on the business. Ensuring that trading remains strong throughout the process is critical to maximising value. We’ll do our thing in order to give you the time to do yours! 

All in likelihood, you will have spent years nurturing and developing your business, with the moment of sale being a culmination of all your hard work. The risks of going it alone are pretty significant. Whilst the headline offer from a buyer may look acceptable, the devil is in the detail. As you are specialists in your industry, we are M&A specialists and, with vast experience in securing excellent results for founder, will pick up things that less experienced operators may miss.

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We don't hide behind jargon and complexity. Instead, we aim to open up the black box of M&A, illuminating the path with clear insight, simplifying the process, and delivering valuable information.