M&A and Exit Planning

There comes a time in every business when ownership will need to change hands. Many businesses are not well positioned for the exit planning process. As a result, money will be left on the table and the seller may not realize all of the desired goals. In the worst cases, the owner is not prepared to sell, the business has no successor management in place, and the business dies, leaving minimal economic benefit to the owner and the family.

Smooth transitions occur only when the current ownership understands that change is inevitable, clearly defines what needs to be accomplished, understands what drives price, and exploits opportunities to improve outcomes.

While many exit planning professionals prepare enormous catalogs describing a company, its values, and action plans, we believe owners are interested in a simpler, more direct, and action-oriented approach. Here’s what we do:

  • As part of a pricing study, we conduct a detailed analysis of the business to identify strength, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats (“SWOT” Analysis). We provide you with a 1-2 page executive summary of our findings, typically a list of 5-10 action plan items that we believe will enhance the value of the business and smooth its transition to new owners and management. This list can, if requested, be expanded into detailed action plans to exploit strengths and opportunities and eliminate weaknesses and threats.
  • We are available to facilitate execution of the action plan. Other professionals, typically those with long relationships with the client, are normally involved in the execution process, but specialists will be recommended when needed.
  • We recognize that each type of buyer values the business differently. For example, the price paid by family members or current management may differ significantly from that which would be paid by a highly-motivated strategic buyer. We provide management with insight into the range of prices which might be realized through focus on one type of buyer as opposed to another.