We were managing a sale and had a strong offer on the table. But as we did our research, we found out the buyer had just parted ways with another business and hadn’t left on good terms. And we learned he didn’t treat employees the way our client would want.
Even though the offer made financial sense, our client decided to pass. The buyer was upset, but at the end of the day we did him a service. Had he purchased the business, the lead employees would probably have quit, and performance would have declined.
Maybe 20% of the time our client will take less money because they like a certain buyer better. Money is a big piece of any deal, but legacy and culture issues can override a financial decision. The heart wins in the end.
For advice on exit planning or selling a business, contact Al Statz, CEO of Exit Strategies Group, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exit Strategies Group is a partner in the Cornerstone International Alliance.