Selling Your Company
If you’re ready to sell now, ROI has a proprietary system to help buyers compete in a confidential manner.
- First, you should have a business valuation done so that you know the “fair market value” of your business; the base value your business would have to a non-synergistic or non-strategic “financial buyer” in the marketplace. This is your sanity check.
- Next, we develop a list of qualified buyers which may include competitors, customers, suppliers, private equity groups or others who want access to your customers or need your location for their products or services. You, of course, would approve the final list of buyers prior to ROI beginning the process. Any buyers you do not want on our list, would be removed.
- In “packaging the business” for sale, we complete a detailed Confidential Offering Memorandum that includes not only financial information but also the “back story” as to why your company has value. Our team will understand these facts and be proficient in explaining them. We contact the target companies directly while maintaining confidentiality until a strong non-disclosure agreement is in place. In a good auction there may be 5-8 buyers in this first phase. Generally only the top eight will be contacted initially. This keeps the number of buyers “in the know” to a minimum, but provides for a solid competition for your company.
- ROI Corp then proceeds to narrow the list by reviewing Letters of Interest from potential buyers and providing feedback designed to encourage the best offer. Once the first offer is received, we alert the other potential buyers so that they can come forward in a timely fashion with their offers.
- The offers are reviewed and a final and smaller group of buyers (usually 2-5) is assembled. At this stage a lot more than offer price can be evaluated. As the owner, you may want to consider such issues as key employee protections, tax minimization, gut-feeling, employment options for you, etc. We’ll help you evaluate the offers and feel confident about your decision.
- Once the members of the final group are re-contacted and final offers are in place, a first and second place winner are selected. Remember, the first deal may fall through so the backup buyer is important.
- ROI Corp then helps to finalize the deal with the first choice company while keeping the back-up option in the wings. The process ends with a successful sale of your business for the highest possible price.
Improve your business now and sell for more at a later date:
If you have 1-5 years before you may want to sell your business, you have time to increase your future pay-out. ROI Corp’s Value Maker Program is a proprietary process that benchmarks the value of your business now and identifies the 5-15 key points that you can focus on with your CPA or business advisor so that when you’re ready to sell, your business is worth much more to potential buyers than it is today.
Types of Potential Buyers
Each type of buyer has advantages and disadvantages. ROI Corp can help you best understand what options could be available for your firm.
- Synergistic or strategic buyers. Often these buyers will compete for your company and offer the most in value. With this arrangement you may also have the option to sell only a majority stake in the business, securitizing your future and remaining on as CEO for a second, and potentially larger, sale of the remaining portion later!
- Individual or small group of investors can be the best suitor. While these buyers tend to pay a “financial” value, they also tend to keep on the majority of employees and maintain the company in the same location.
- Family members or key employees are often interested in being the next boss in owner managed businesses. There are many advantages to this if the right person (or team) exists within the company.
Sell a portion of your business now and the rest later:
A tried and true exit strategy is selling a portion of your company (usually a 70-80% share but sometimes less) to an investment group with deep pockets. The owner, you, can stay-on as CEO with two advantages; you secure your future with a substantial liquidity event when the first sale occurs; and you get to grow the business with a strong board of advisors and more capital. Then, after a predetermined period (typically 5 years or so), the potentially much larger company can be resold and you cash in the 20-30% ownership you retained. This second bite of the apple can sometimes be more than the first sale in proceeds for the former owner. We would be happy to discuss this and other options with you at a confidential meeting.
To discuss whether your business is a good fit for the Controlled Informal Auction process, please contact us at 781-682-6209, by email or by using the Request Information form to the right and one of our partners will contact you.
Sell to a family member or key employee:
The majority of businesses in the US sell to family members or key employees. M&A advisors are generally thought of when a buyer must be found – and of course, in this case, that’s not necessary. However, ROI Corp can still provide tremendous value in the sale process. After all, this is very likely your first sale and your buyer’s first purchase. By contrast, we’ve helped hundreds of business transition since our founding in 1997. Most of the effort in buying a business occurs between the agreement to buy and the closing date. We can provide a business valuation so that everyone involved feels the price paid is fair. We help the buyer understand the financing options available including SBA and other loans. We guide you all through the process, offer mediation help when needed and make suggestions for how to meet the non-financial needs of both buyer and seller, such as seller employment agreements and other important transition issues. We can help you avoid pitfalls and keep the process moving, provide paperwork, legal and other professional referrals, and celebrate with you in the end.