Price is often the number one focus in mergers and acquisitions and everyone is eager to get down to the numbers. However, as you might expect, buyers and sellers have very different expectations on price, which can lead to friction between the two parties. On the one hand, most sellers plan to offer their business […]

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“I’m not interested in selling my business right now.” “We already have a strategic plan in place.” “We are already talking to another buyer.” “Why should I listen to you? I get asked to sell all the time.” “I may sell in a few years when my company has a higher value.” “Who are you????” […]

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Owners are usually skeptical or defensive when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” company. In fact, many will hang up or refuse to consider your offer. If you do manage to break through and get the owner to agree to a first meeting, your job is to put them at ease, dissuade fears and communicate the […]

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Trust is everything. As leaders, we can forget this during the excitement of a deal. We can get caught up in reviewing financials, bogged down in the details of due diligence, or absorbed in mountains of research and completely forget about the humans involved in the transaction. When you take a moment to think, it’s […]

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“Why should I let you buy my company?” Chances are an owner will ask you this question during the course of your acquisition and you must have a convincing answer. While the strategic fit and benefits of an acquisition may be abundantly clear to you, an owner may not share your perspective. As a leader, […]

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After signing a letter of intent, you expect the deal to close, but there are a number of reasons acquisitions fail ranging from regulatory hurdles to unexpected challenges that arise during due diligence to cultural clashes. In my last post, I discussed reasons deals fall apart even after both parties sign a LOI. Here are […]

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For an owner of a privately-held company, the business is their baby and using hard-nosed tactics to negotiate for the lowest price is ill-advised. The human factor cannot be overlooked when pursuing M&A and establishing trust with an owner is critical. Buying a privately-held business is not like buying a car where you can negotiate the […]

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  Q: When a company has two owners that are equally involved is it advisable to ask them to choose only one negotiator, especially at the final stages? A: Negotiating with one owner of a company and convincing them to sell their business can already be challenging. The situation becomes more complex when the company you wish to […]

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We recently had a situation where our client, the buyer, was pursuing the acquisition of one of their suppliers. The buyer expected the process to be relatively easy because he and the seller had known each other for years. However, when he tried to speak to the owner about possibly selling his company, he was […]

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When meeting an owner for the first time, your goal is not to instantly sign a deal. You first want to get to know them and make them feel comfortable about selling their business to you. In order to do this, there are some important questions to ask and subjects to broach, which I’ve covered […]

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When contacting an owner about acquisitions, don’t be surprised to hear “no.” Most owners, when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” business will automatically refuse simply because it’s unexpected. Remember, for an owner focused on running the day-to-day operations of his business, this offer is coming out of the blue. There are, of course, a number of […]

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Think about the last time that you met somebody for the first time: a coworker, a friend, a romantic interest, or even a new barista at the coffee shop. When you first met this person, whether you consciously thought about it or not, you formed an impression of them, even though you didn’t really know […]

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Do you know who will read your letter of intent? Many assume that only the owner of the company you wish to purchase will read the LOI, but often there’s a wider audience. While the owner is your top priority, there are other likely readers of the LOI you need to consider: the board of […]

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Q: How often are you able to bring together both buyer and seller functional personnel during due diligence? Some sellers might be sensitive to confidentiality and not open to bringing their personnel into the fold. A: When conducting due diligence, we advocate a functional approach, where leaders from the buyer’s organization meet with the seller’s. There […]

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As we near the end of the fourth quarter, everyone is wondering what will happen in 2016. Will the frenzied M&A activity of 2015 continue into the new year? There seem to be mixed reviews on what activity will look like next year. The Intralinks deal flow predictor indicates a 7% increase in global M&A […]

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It goes without saying that the introductory meeting is a crucial step of the acquisition process. If it goes well, your partnership could result in a successful deal. If it goes badly, you may be throwing away a great opportunity and have wasted hours of time and resources chasing the deal. Your goal for the […]

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SABMiller has agreed to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106 billion offer to acquire it. Together, they will form a global beer conglomerate with $64 billion in annual revenues that is estimated to make up 29% of global beer sales. The new company would be three times bigger than its next competitor, Heineken. Given that this is such […]

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Q: Who is the internal champion on the M&A team? What is their role? A: The internal champion is an important member of your M&A team. Your acquisition team should include people from your own company such as the CEO, CFO, the internal champion, and functional leaders, and external experts such as lawyers, accountants, valuation experts, due diligence experts […]

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When you’re pursuing an acquisition, making meaningful connections with the right people at the right companies can be challenging. Who is the right person to contact? How can you go about contacting them? And once you do get in contact, what do you talk about to capture their interest? These questions are I frequently hear […]

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Time your negotiations by understanding owner psychology. Everyone wants to talk about price in mergers and acquisitions. It’s often the number one focus of buyers and sellers…but for opposite reasons. Both are likely to say they are looking for a “good deal,” but this can have a completely different meaning depending on the perspective. Buyers […]

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