Whether you are selling your business or buying a business, the principles that create good transactions remain the same. With that in mind, we look at how value is created through two lenses:
Perspective and Process
We have owned and operated our own businesses. We have marketed them for sale and made an exit. We have lived with the results of doing that – operating in a post transaction deal structure, dealing with integration, working through earnouts and other post-transaction issues, sometimes exiting on the day of sale. Where a transaction goes is a sorting process as buyers and sellers figure out what looks like common ground and how to create a win.
There are plenty of advisors with dozens of tombstones and a track record of success being transaction advisors. Nothing wrong with that and we can talk about that too – as advisors and as principals, with our own money and with other people’s money. But we think there is a better way. You started to position and sell your business or buy other businesses to fit with yours long before you talked to anyone about it.
That story is important. Once engaged, there is almost always still work to do operationally or in terms of your people to maximize value. We have thoughts there. Then there is the question about how you preserve your mental capital while you own and operate a business and at the same time go through a transaction process. We know.
We operate our advisory business with precision, with accountability and to achieve results. Just like we operated our companies. When you retain us you enter into a transaction process that has been refined over decades of experience. We do a comprehensive look into your business to understand its drivers and its depth of resources. Out of that we develop materials that support a transaction based on the specifics of your company and what you want to achieve.
We go to market with a message targeted at specific buyers in the case of a sale and specific sellers in the case of an acquisition. Many advisors do a spray-and-pray, shotgun approach to marketing. We think it is distracting and almost always the counterparty shows up from a group that was identified early on, no matter how wide you cast the net.
Once we have generated interest the work of selecting the right counterparty begins. One thing about transactions is that early on everyone is on their best behavior. It makes selecting the best fit challenging. This is where experience pays off, and the terms of a letter of intent make a difference. Likewise you are not on your own as you go through due diligence as a buyer or a seller, select the right advisors for tax, legal and accounting help as needed, go through draft documents including detailed schedules. Closing a deal is hard work.
Along with working the transaction process we make a commitment to you to communicate what we know and make sure every dialog is your dialog. Ridgefield represents the interests of our client – always. And one of the ways we do that is by making sure you know what we know as it happens. You will like how we communicate.