Buying and Selling Businesses

Owners and company leaders can greatly increase the value of their business through acquisitions, or by selling off parts of it.  Conversely, when an owner wants to realize the value of years of hard work, a good sale can put millions into their personal account.

However, M&A is fraught with risk. Statistics show that about 50% of deals don’t meet expectations. Buyers can’t (or won’t) pay. Sellers discover that no one is willing to pay what they need and/or want for all their years of hard work, or what they think the firm is worth. Buyers often realize they can’t run the acquired business well.

Surprises on both sides can ruin what looked like such a good deal.  Often, buyers and sellers rely on intermediaries — investment bankers and business brokers — who focus and are compensated on getting a deal done, not necessarily getting the right deal done at the right price and terms.

Risk is such a critical issue in M&A. To reduce it, we’ve created an online assessment tool that business owners can use to determine just how risky a deal might be.  Click here to try it on a past acquisition (as a test) or an upcoming one.

What We Can Do

We help clients reduce risk in M&A and increase the likelihood of success.  We get to know you and your business, and prepare for an acquisition or a sale. This could include shoring up the aspects of your business that will otherwise reduce its value, and improving performance so that it meets your sale target.

If you’re a seller, we direct you on how to get your team — and your checkbook — into shape so that you can afford to buy the right business for you, as well as integrate and invest in the acquisition so it achieves its expected return.

How We Do It

While we can start at any point in buy or sell the process, we prefer to start early, one to three years before you begin your M&A activity. At this point, you may not need a lot of our time. We’ll do an assessment, then guide you at key intervals.  As the deal activity starts, we can be the private advisor that works with you in the background, or we can be at the negotiating table right next to you.

In some cases, we can act on your behalf in conversations, collecting information so you can make better decisions and not be put on the spot. We do not act as an investment banker — either on the sell side or the buy side — nor do we act as legal counsel or tax advisors. Instead, we help you coordinate all of the support teams that make deals work well.

About Robert Sher

Robert Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He was chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group from 1984 to 2006 and steered the firm to become a leading player in its industry (decorative art publishing).

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Forbes.com columnist, author and CEO coach Robert Sher delivers keynotes and workshops, including combining content with facilitation of peer discussions on business topics.

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Suite A4101, San Ramon, CA 94583, USA
TEL: 1-925-829-8190
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