Exit Strategies Insights

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

Sell a Business Insights

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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Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors: Alternative to a Bankruptcy Sale

When the goal of a financially distressed business owner is to sell with minimum publicity, free of unsecured debt and potential liability for directors and management, the most advantageous exit path may be an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC). Most buyers won’t acquire the assets of an insolvent entity unless the assets are “cleansed” through an ABC or bankruptcy process. Typically, the board of the troubled entity has decided that a rapid sale …

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M&A Advisor Tip: COVID-19 Era Due Diligence, Part 4

M&A buyers are still active in the midst of this uncertain business environment. However, they are mindful of added risks caused by COVID-19. These are some financial questions that are likely to come up in future due diligence in light of COVID-19: Did the business utilize any government relief, debt deferrals, or rent reductions? In terms of government relief, was the business accurately entitled to that relief and did they meet requirements for debt forgiveness? …

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Recapitalization Pros and Cons

When we talk about recapitalization, we’re talking about a partial sale of a company that allows the owner to liquidate some of the value they have in their business. Typically, this involves selling a part of your equity (usually 70-80%) to a third-party, however some business owners do sell just a minority stake. Recapitalizations are a standard investment tool for private equity firms. They have investor dollars they need to put to work and a …

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M&A Advisor Tip: COVID-19 Era Due Diligence, Part 3

M&A buyers are still active in the midst of this uncertain business environment. However, they are mindful of added risks caused by COVID-19. These are some contract-related questions that are likely to come up in future due diligence in light of COVID-19: Did the business default on any third-party agreements? What are the termination rights on key contracts? Are counterparties adhering to their contract obligationss? Were terms modified or waived in a way that would …

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M&A Advisor Tip: COVID-19 Era Due Diligence, Part 2

M&A buyers are still active in the midst of our uncertain environment. However, they are mindful of added risks caused by COVID-19. These are some technology-related questions that are likely to come up in future due diligence due to COVID-19: Do employees have the ability to work remotely – without frustrating workarounds? Does the IT system have sufficient capacity to support remote operations? Are further developments necessary to sustain a long-term virtual environment? Are security …

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M&A Advisor Tip: COVID-19 Era Due Diligence, Part 1

M&A buyers are still active in the midst of uncertainty. However, as you would expect, they are mindful of added risks caused by COVID-19. Talent-related questions that may come up in future due diligence due to COVID-19: Did layoffs or other cuts impact the business’s ability to retain key employees? Did the business comply with state and federal laws related to layoffs and furloughs? How is employee health and well-being managed? Are policies and practices …

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Methods of Selling Distressed Businesses

As most companies transition from survival to rebuild mode in the second half of this year, some will become financially distressed and the owners will want to move on. Fortunately, for the shareholders and creditors of these companies, there is an active market for distressed business assets. Distressed businesses can be attractive acquisition targets for strategic buyers, and sellers can optimize financial outcomes through a proactive M&A sale process. Financial distress is a term in …

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M&A Advisor Tip: M&A in a Virtual Environment

Due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus, virtual meetings will continue to replace most of the in-person meetings typically held between a buyer and a seller at some stage in the business sale/acquisition process. When selecting an M&A advisor, be sure that they can help you best present your business in a virtual environment and run effective remote team meetings. And ask about their investment in virtual deal room technology. Virtual deal rooms store sensitive information, …

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Business Values May Not Decline

A recent survey of M&A advisors and business brokers showed that of all small and medium businesses on the market at the end of Q1, about 35% had closed (temporarily at least), 40% were operating at partial capacity, 4% had benefited, and 21% remained unaffected by COVID-19. Not surprisingly, advisors indicated that 46% of lower middle market deals were delayed at the end of Q1 and 11% had been cancelled altogether. For deal cancellations, 25% …

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