Our approach

How we approach selling a business

Our full corporate finance service to clients seeking to sell their business involves:

  • Providing early advice on key areas such as exit strategy, valuation, likely purchasers and deal activity in particular sectors. We can identify possible issues that may prevent a successful sale deriving maximum value for you. We can also discuss alternative options to a trade sale such as a management buyout (MBO).
  • Preparing a powerful ‘Information Memorandum‘, which describes your company in detail and highlights its desirability for a prospective purchaser. We take the time get under the skin of our clients’ businesses – acquiring a comprehensive understanding of where the value lies.
  • Conducting detailed research to identify potential acquirers – in particular those who may be willing to pay a strategic premium. Our cutting edge systems earmark companies worldwide with a strong track record of sector specific acquisitions and we devise a shortlist of potential purchasers with the means and motive to acquire your business.
  • Personally approaching key decision makers of each shortlisted potential purchaser on your behalf and providing them with an anonymous profile of your business. These initial approaches are key to “warming up” prospective buyers and our professional experience ensures we make a good first impression and stimulate interest for buyers to examine the Information Memorandum which they receive after signing a confidentiality agreement.
  • Our focus on shortlisted potential purchasers is bolstered by wider marketing of clients’ businesses through our extensive and ever growing network of contacts in the deal-making community.
  • Arranging and attending meetings with potential purchasers, which are often off-site to ensure confidentiality. These sessions are a vital step in the process and we ensure clients are properly prepared and supported.
  • Encouraging potential purchasers to submit indicative offers in order to achieve multiple offers. This creates competitive tension between buyers – thereby maximising the sale price.
  • Negotiating with potential purchasers to improve offers received and ensure the deal is structured appropriately. Heads of terms, which can be drafted by us, are prepared and set out the agreed deal. If drafted by other advisers, we will review and amend them to ensure they accurately reflect the terms offered.
  • Acting as project managers and providing ongoing advice once heads of terms have been agreed. This involves liaising with the preferred purchaser and their advisers along with our clients’ solicitors and accountants. This ongoing guidance and support seeks to minimise and solve issues which almost always arise between a deal being agreed and concluded.

The benefits of a targeted approach

In summary, our targeted approach to identifying appropriate purchasers is based on detailed and thorough research, harnessing cutting edge research tools to firstly compile a comprehensive list of potential purchasers (both UK and international).

Painstaking research narrows this list down to a “cherry picked” shortlist comprising high quality potential purchasers who are strategically and financially placed for buying our client’s company.

The benefits of working with experienced advisers

The sale of a company will be more successful if highly qualified and experienced staff conduct each stage of the process for the following reasons:

  1. The individual issues of each business need taking into account when being sold, warranting a tailored approach for each client rather than a “conveyor belt” approach. It is vital that advisers possess the depth and breadth of skills to deliver the specific requirements of each client.
  2. Most businesses are complex in their operations, products or position in the supply chain and the market place. The better qualified and experienced the adviser, the better their understanding of your business and its value to a prospective purchaser.
  3. Researching and identifying high quality prospective buyers not only requires cutting-edge research tools, but also needs advisers with the requisite commercial judgement to interpret and act on the information produced.
  4. Direct contact with prospective buyers is necessary at an early stage in the process and expert advisers will communicate effectively with directors of the prospective buyers. These discussions are crucial in representing your business in the best light, reinforcing how your company’s strategic benefits can enhance another organisation – and in understanding the purchaser’s plans and motives for buying your business.
  5. During negotiations, highly experienced advisers are more skilled in seeking out solutions to inevitable commercial and financial issues which will arise, and overcoming hurdles which could otherwise obstruct the deal going through.

Further details on our team.

Our track record speaks for itself: we have sold virtually every business we have ever taken on as a client. Our skills and experience can effectively market your business to the most likely buyers and obtain the best possible deal for you.

Unfortunately too many advisers (particularly brokers) take on business sales which require a more tailored approach due to the commercial complexities involved. Often applying a standard process, they use administrative staff extensively throughout and fail to give their clients the level of service required to reach the outcome they expect and deserve.

Aligned with our ethos of honesty and transparency, if we do not believe we will be able to sell your business and meet your expectations we will not take on the assignment – we will not lead you up the garden path with overinflated expectations on value and saleability. We will help you to understand what you could do to improve the value of your business and to make it more saleable.

Further information

Further information on the different approaches to selling a business.

Questions to ask a proposed adviser before you appoint them.

Steps in the sales process

  • Considering all exit options and advising on the best strategy
  • Understanding those aspects of the business that will be attractive to potential purchasers
  • Preparing a pursuasive detailed information memorandum
  • Detailed research to identify those potential purchasers who have the greatest reason to pay high strategic values and have the ability to fund the transaction
  • Confidentially approaching each pre-vetted prospective purchaser
  • Meetings with prospective purchasers and obtaining an understanding of how the acquisition may fit in with a purchaser’s plans; forming a view on what the business is worth to a purchaser compared to its standalone value
  • Creating competitive tension amongst prospective purchasers and encouraging offers; negotiating the offers leading to the selection of a preferred purchaser
  • Agreeing heads of terms with the preferred purchaser
  • Project managing the transaction through the due diligence and legal stages
  • Finding solutions to issues which arise at these stages
  • The whole process is actively managed