Preparing a business for sale

January 23, 2017 José Benedicto

In this series we explore how a consultant can support SME owners prepare their companies for a sale.  Whilst most business owners will appoint advisors a few months ahead of selling, these will typically focus on M&A process management and not on creating and maximising pre-exit value, such as EBITDA improvements, sale multiple expansion and preparation for the due diligence process.  To unlock value, a business owner must commence preparations several months ahead of launching a formal sale process, a timescale that is not compatible with the business model of most corporate finance advisors.  Each part of this series addresses complementary work streams that can be achieved by seasoned consultants, though the competencies required to achieve the objectives in each have limited overlap and thus will likely require more than one consultant with the relevant respective skills and experience to ensure success.

The first part centres on how a consultant can help with strategic factors, such as the decision to sell and exit routes, positioning of the business, identification of potential acquirers and timing considerations.  The second part addresses how a consultant can support a business with tangible and practical initiatives to maximise EBITDA, ensure the business projects the best outward image and how to prepare it for the buy-side due diligence process.  The third and final instalment addresses the actual sale process, from project management, engaging advisors, approaching potential buyers, negotiations and navigating due diligence.  I have previously written about how a consultant can be an invaluable resource when conducting buy-side due diligence which provides insight how a prospecting acquirer may approach this phase of the acquisition process.

Read on to discover Part one - deciding to sell your business.

About the Author

José Benedicto

José has over 15 years of private equity, private debt and investment banking experience at blue chip institutions across Europe. His experience includes sourcing mid-market acquisition opportunities, executing on these, conducting due diligence, spearheading commercial negotiations and transaction documentation, closing acquisitions and managing portfolio companies. This experience includes developing and implementing organic and acquisitive growth strategies (including buy & builds/industry consolidations), cost rationalisation and optimisation programmes and cash conversion improvements. José is also experienced at raising capital, including equity and debt through direct lending strategies, as well as structuring alternative investment funds in Europe.

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