Exit Strategies Insights

Industry insights, knowledge base and announcements for business owners and professional advisors

Exit Planning Insights

Better to sell early in consolidation. Here’s why.

Consolidation is inevitable in maturing industries.  As an M&A advisor working with owners of private wholesale distribution and manufacturing companies, I often get asked whether selling early or late in a consolidation phase is better from a valuation perspective.  My answer is always case-specific, but generally earlier is better. Before I explain why, I want to point out that industry consolidation is not always at the top of a seller’s list of sale timing considerations. …

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M&A Advisor Tip: Finish Strong

Begin the sale process while your business is on an upward trend. Buyers pay a premium for businesses with well-defined opportunities and a strong growth story. Too many business owners get tired or complacent and psychologically retire early, before the sale. In fact, after retirement, burnout is the number two reason business owners sell. Unfortunately, burnout usually leads to declining revenues and reduced leverage in the sale process. Stay focused until the end and sell …

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Lopsided Market Drives M&A Values in Pandemic

With all the upheaval in the world right now, you’d expect M&A deal values to take a dip. But recent market analysis shows that’s anything but the case. According to GF Data [1], companies with an enterprise value of $10 million to $25 million sold at an average multiple of 5.9 times EBITDA in the first two quarters, versus a 5.7 average from 2003 to present. Similarly, business sales with a transaction value of $25 …

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Selling Your Business in the Covid-19 Era

Business owners contemplating a sale may be asking the question: Is this a good time to sell my business or do I need to wait until the Covid-19 economic disruption is over? Let’s explore three interrelated factors to help an owner answer that question for their situation. Market Conditions Are their buyers for my business during this pandemic?  Yes, there is no shortage of buyers for well-run companies. That statement was true before Covid-19 and …

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M&A Advisor Tip: Work Yourself Out of a Job

The more your business revolves around you, the more risk buyers see. To increase business value and marketability, build a strong management team. Work yourself out of the business by developing an experienced, empowered management team. The less the business is dependent on you and your knowledge or relationships, the less risk buyers face in a transition. And less risk translates to a higher sale price. Also, more buyers will be able to buy your company …

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Ten Key Drivers of Company Value

In our current time of economic recession, social unrest and political partisanship, simple questions rarely have simple answers. For an owner operator of a small- to mid-size business, the question of business value in today’s market is increasingly difficult. It is at these times that the team here at Exit Strategies Group (ESGI) feels the need to simplify the process down to the basic premise of what drives value. In explaining value, ESGI default to …

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Pros & Cons of Selling Your Company to a Strategic Buyer

When it’s time to sell your business, you will likely have multiple buyer types to choose from. You could receive offers from strategic, financial, and individual buyers. As you start thinking about selling your business, think about what’s most important to you in a sale. Different buyer groups tend to operate by different playbooks. Understanding what each group typically has to offer can help us target the buyers who are the best fit for your …

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M&A Advisor Tip: Put on Your Poker Face

Ready to sell?  Talk to your spouse and trusted tax, financial and legal advisors. Beyond that, keep it a secret. Confidentiality is extremely important in almost any business sale, merger or acquisition. When stakeholders think your business is for sale, it creates dangerous uncertainty. Valuable employees start looking for other jobs, vendors tighten credit terms, and competitors use it as an entry point to poach your customers. The average business takes 9 to 12 months …

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Private Equity is Open for Business

We stay in regular contact with  private equity groups from around the country to monitor M&A market activity. Currently, the message we are hearing is that these firms are “open for business.” Private equity firms are in the business of buying, building and selling businesses. It’s how they deliver investor returns. They don’t have time to sit back and wait things out. The clock is ticking as they work to meet investor expectations within fund …

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Gifting Window for 2020 May Be Closing

With a Global pandemic and prospects of a sustained recession with double digit unemployment coupled with West Coast wildfires and East Coast hurricanes, I would say that everyone in these United States is looking forward to ringing in the New Year on January 1st. But before the ball drops on a socially distanced crowd in Time Square, you should think about other changes that may occur as we put 2020 in our rear-view mirrors. Specifically …

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