Selling your business - Part 2


The challenge

To maximise value from the sale of your business, whilst managing a smooth and timely process.

The solutions

Prepare your business for sale

  • Reduce owner dependency and strengthen the management team, if necessary.
  • Ensure all relevant paperwork such as statutory books, leases, employment contracts are up to date.
  • Prepare an integrated financial forecast (including key assumptions, balance sheet, profit and loss and cashflow statements) for the next three years.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending but ensure that appropriate investment is made to support forecast growth.
  • Identify one-off items that affect profits, e.g. unusual bonuses.

Use a third party to manage the sale process

  • Agree a strategy for sale, including who, when and how to approach.
  • Agree a baseline price with your adviser.
  • Make sure your adviser is incentivised to maximise value, manage the process and focus on key issues.
  • Use your adviser to negotiate, acting as a buffer between the parties.
  • Be prepared to step in if there is a deadlock, but consult your adviser first!

Understand what is important to you

  • Price
  • Business continuity
  • A clean exit
  • Paying less tax

Marketing the business

  • Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
  • Consider whether your management team may be appropriate purchasers of the business and can attract appropriate funding (MBO).
  • Keep your eyes and ears open for potential third-party approaches.
  • The best buyer is often the one you want to sell to the least.

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.

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